Effects of Habitat Fragmentation on Tropical Environments

This discussion topic submitted by Dan Radzicki ( radzicdp@miamioh.edu) at 2:45 pm on 4/14/01. Additions were last made on Wednesday, May 7, 2014.

I plan on discussing the problem of habitat fragmentation that is effecting the majority of the worlds rainforests. I will focus on three of the main "groups" that are being affected, as well as how and why this occurs. This is an important topic because of the frequency of occurence, and the long lasting effects, that are also difficult to reverse.

-description/definition of fragmentation
-causes (how it occurs) as well how populations are affected while the
process is occurring, some results have suggested that species may
become extinct long before fragmentation is complete
-the differences between natural occurring and man-made fragmentation

-effect on rainforest dwelling organisms
-changes in behavior
-decrease in reproductive fitness
-possibility of extinction
-effects on the environment if keystone species are debilitated or
wiped out
-how do mammals deal with habitat loss? how can fragmentation
affect the home range of the victims.
-definition of "habitat corridors" and a brief discussion on whether
they are helpful in sustaining a fragmented population or not.
-how there damage in turn effects the surrounding environment.
-possibility of extinction
-effects of biomass loss, and decimation of tree communities and
disruption of species distribution. (i.e. interdependence,
disruption of symbiotic relationships)
-"edge effects" vs. "within-patch effects"

-effect on the environment
-specifically the effect of fragmentation in respect to an increase in
emission levels of greenhouse gases
-it has been shown that certain types of man made fragmentation in
central American are more detrimental to the environment in that
they show a greater increase in greenhouse gas emissions.

(these three broad points will be simplified using specific examples)


1. Laurance, William. Tropical rainforest fragmentation and greenhouse gas
emissions. Forest Ecology and Management. 10/5/98 vol.110, p173-180.
2. Kelt, Douglas A. "Small mammal communities in rainforest fragments in
Chile". Biological Conservation. 3/2000. v93 #3: 345-358.
3. Newell, Graeme R. "Responses of tree-kangaroo to loss of habitat within
a tropical rainforest fragments". Biological Conservation. 12/1999
v91 #2-3: 181-189.
4. Yang Da Rong. "The effects of fragmenting on tropical rainforest
species ...". Zoological Research. 1999 v20 #2: 126-130.
5. Gascon, Claude Lovejoy. "Ecological impacts of forst fragmentation in
central Amazonia". Zoology (Jena). 1998 v101 #4: 273-280.
6. Boswell, Graeme P. "Habitat fragmentation, percolation theory and the
conservation of a keystone species". Proceedings of the Society of
London Series B. 10/22/98 v26 #1409: 1921-1925.
7. Laurance, William F. "Rainforest fragmentation and the structure of
Amazonia liana communities". Ecology. 1/2001 v82(1): 105-116.

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It is 3:34:09 AM on Sunday, July 5, 2020. Last Update: Wednesday, May 7, 2014