Forest Fragmentation

Authored by: Edgar C. Turner , Jake L. Snaddon

Routledge Handbook of Forest Ecology

Print publication date:  October  2015
Online publication date:  October  2015

Print ISBN: 9780415735452
eBook ISBN: 9781315818290
Adobe ISBN: 9781317816447


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The majority of the world’s forests are now degraded and fragmented, often as a direct result of agricultural expansion (Foley et al. 2005). For example, in the tropics over 80 per cent of agricultural expansion that took place between 1980 and 2000 replaced forest (Gibbs et al. 2010). Other key drivers of forest loss and fragmentation include urbanization and expansion of road networks, which can open up forest areas for further change (Laurance in press). Continued demand for agricultural land and timber is likely to exacerbate these pressures on remaining forest areas still further. As a result of reduced habitat and population sizes and edge effects within fragments, forest fragmentation frequently leads to changes in animal and plant communities and shifts in ecosystem functioning.

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