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Habitat area, quality and connectivity: striking the balance for efficient conservation

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Publication details

JournalJournal of Applied Ecology
DatePublished - Feb 2011
Issue number1
Number of pages5
Pages (from-to)148-152
Original languageEnglish


1. Population viability can depend on habitat area, habitat quality, the spatial arrangement ofhabitats (aggregations and connections) and the propcrtie of the intervening non-breeding (matrix) land. Hodgson et al. [Journal ofApplied Ecology 46 (2009 964] and Doerr, Barrett & Doerr (Journal of Applied Eology, 20l1 disagree on the relatie importance of these landscape attributes in enabling species to persist and change their distributions in response to climate change.

2. A brief ieiev of published evidence suggests that vaiiations in habitat aiea and quality hae big ger effects than variations in spatial arrangement of habitats or properties of the intervening land. Even if structural features in the matrix have a measurable effect on dispersal rates, this does not necessarily lead to significant increases in population viability.

3. Laige and high quality habitats piovide source populations and locations for colonisation, so they are the main determinants of the capacity of species to shift their distributions in response to climate change because populations must be established successively in each new region.

4. Synthesis and applications. Retaining as much high quality natural and semi-natural habitat as possible should iemain the key focus foi conseration especially dining a period of climate change.

    Research areas

  • aggregation, climate change, conservation planning, corridor, landscape, matrix, uncertainty, CLIMATE-CHANGE, FRAGMENTED LANDSCAPES, RANGE EXPANSION, DISPERSAL, BUTTERFLIES, DEMOGRAPHY, CORRIDORS, DIVERSITY, DIFFUSION, SELECTION

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