How do habitat fragmentation and connectivity by corridors impact plant populations and communities?
Habitat fragmentation is a leading cause of biodiversity loss and corridors are a central reserve design strategy in fragmented landscapes. In spite of their popularity, corridor efficacy is not well understood due in part to a lack of controlled experiments. Further, most corridor studies have focused on animals – information on how corridors impact plant populations and communities remains especially sparse.
We work within one of the world’s largest habitat fragmentation experiments – and the largest and best replicated experimental test of corridors – to understand how fragmentation and connectivity by corridors impact plant populations and communities. Using a combination of transplanted founder populations, monitoring of natural plant communities, and plant-animal interaction experiments, we seek a mechanistic understanding of the long-term impacts fragmentation and corridors have on plant communities and populations.
Current collaborators include Lars Brudvig (MSU), Ellen Damschen and John Orrock (U. Wisconsin-Madison), Nick Haddad (NC State), Doug Levey (U. Florida), and Josh Tewksbury (U. Washington).