Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Scientists Show Wildlife Corridors Promote Animal, Plant Dispersal

01.07.2005


A study by a North Carolina State University zoologist and colleagues from the University of Florida and Allegheny College says that landscape corridors – strips of land connecting separated areas of similar habitat – are effective in promoting animal and plant seed movement to help sustain diversity and dispersal of native animals and plants.


An example of a landscape corridor connecting two patches of habitat at the Savannah River Site National Environmental Research Park.



In addition, says Dr. Nick Haddad, associate professor of zoology at NC State and a co-author of the paper describing the research, the study shows that easy-to-measure animal behaviors can serve as predictors for whether landscape corridors will be effective dispersal mechanisms for those specific animals and the plants they eat.

The research is published in the July 1 edition of Science.


Haddad and other scientists have published a number of studies on the efficacy of landscape corridors in promoting dispersal of animals. Haddad says corridors essentially reconnect habitats that were once connected before fragmentation – brought on by urban or farm development, for example – threatened native animals and plants. Lack of dispersal means animals and plants become vulnerable to being lost or developing negative genetic effects found in small populations, like those acquired through inbreeding, Haddad says.

The researchers tested their corridors at the Savannah River Site National Environmental Research Park, a federally protected area on the South Carolina-Georgia border that is mostly dominated by pine tree forests. At the researchers’ request, the U.S. Forest Service arranged eight similar sites; each site included five areas cleared of trees. The central patch was connected to one other patch by a 150-meter-long, 25-meter-wide corridor, while three other patches were isolated from the central patch – and themselves – by forest.

In the study, the researchers found that Eastern Bluebirds, one of the major seed dispersers in South Carolina, were 31 percent more likely to be found in the center of connected patches than the center of unconnected patches. The study also showed that seeds from wax myrtle plants – found in the fecal matter of the birds – were 37 percent more likely to be found in traps in the center of connected patches than in traps in the center of unconnected patches.

These results – showing increased movement of animals and plants in habitats connected by corridors – mimicked other previously published studies done by these and other researchers, Haddad says.

But this study has an even more important and broad impact, according to Haddad.

The researchers observed behaviors of bluebirds during the course of the study and found that the birds were not necessarily using the landscape corridors, but were instead often traveling along the edges of the corridors.

Using these behaviors in a predictive model, the researchers arrived at estimates of the numbers of birds distributing seeds to both the connected and unconnected patches.

The study shows a “tight fit” between predictions and actual seed movement.

“From behavioral studies, we can predict how animals will move in large-scale landscapes,” Haddad says. “This study is specifically designed to understand how species might move through corridors. But understanding behavioral approaches is important in any context where you’re worried about the spread of organisms through a landscape, like the spread of non-native invasive species or birds that carry diseases.”

The study was funded by the National Science Foundation and by the Department of Energy-Savannah River Operations Office through the U.S. Forest Service Savannah River Institute.

Dr. Nick Haddad | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.ncsu.edu

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht Dry landscapes can increase disease transmission
20.06.2018 | Forschungsverbund Berlin e.V.

nachricht 100 % Organic Farming in Bhutan – a Realistic Target?
15.06.2018 | Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin

All articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Temperature-controlled fiber-optic light source with liquid core

In a recent publication in the renowned journal Optica, scientists of Leibniz-Institute of Photonic Technology (Leibniz IPHT) in Jena showed that they can accurately control the optical properties of liquid-core fiber lasers and therefore their spectral band width by temperature and pressure tuning.

Already last year, the researchers provided experimental proof of a new dynamic of hybrid solitons– temporally and spectrally stationary light waves resulting...

Im Focus: Overdosing on Calcium

Nano crystals impact stem cell fate during bone formation

Scientists from the University of Freiburg and the University of Basel identified a master regulator for bone regeneration. Prasad Shastri, Professor of...

Im Focus: AchemAsia 2019 will take place in Shanghai

Moving into its fourth decade, AchemAsia is setting out for new horizons: The International Expo and Innovation Forum for Sustainable Chemical Production will take place from 21-23 May 2019 in Shanghai, China. With an updated event profile, the eleventh edition focusses on topics that are especially relevant for the Chinese process industry, putting a strong emphasis on sustainability and innovation.

Founded in 1989 as a spin-off of ACHEMA to cater to the needs of China’s then developing industry, AchemAsia has since grown into a platform where the latest...

Im Focus: First real-time test of Li-Fi utilization for the industrial Internet of Things

The BMBF-funded OWICELLS project was successfully completed with a final presentation at the BMW plant in Munich. The presentation demonstrated a Li-Fi communication with a mobile robot, while the robot carried out usual production processes (welding, moving and testing parts) in a 5x5m² production cell. The robust, optical wireless transmission is based on spatial diversity; in other words, data is sent and received simultaneously by several LEDs and several photodiodes. The system can transmit data at more than 100 Mbit/s and five milliseconds latency.

Modern production technologies in the automobile industry must become more flexible in order to fulfil individual customer requirements.

Im Focus: Sharp images with flexible fibers

An international team of scientists has discovered a new way to transfer image information through multimodal fibers with almost no distortion - even if the fiber is bent. The results of the study, to which scientist from the Leibniz-Institute of Photonic Technology Jena (Leibniz IPHT) contributed, were published on 6thJune in the highly-cited journal Physical Review Letters.

Endoscopes allow doctors to see into a patient’s body like through a keyhole. Typically, the images are transmitted via a bundle of several hundreds of optical...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Munich conference on asteroid detection, tracking and defense

13.06.2018 | Event News

2nd International Baltic Earth Conference in Denmark: “The Baltic Sea region in Transition”

08.06.2018 | Event News

ISEKI_Food 2018: Conference with Holistic View of Food Production

05.06.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Graphene assembled film shows higher thermal conductivity than graphite film

22.06.2018 | Materials Sciences

Fast rising bedrock below West Antarctica reveals an extremely fluid Earth mantle

22.06.2018 | Earth Sciences

Zebrafish's near 360 degree UV-vision knocks stripes off Google Street View

22.06.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>