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Complex non-monotonic responses of biodiversity to habitat destruction

Zhang, Helin, Bearup, Daniel, Barabás, György, Fagan, William F., Nijs, Ivan, Chen, Dongdong, Liao, Jinbao (2023) Complex non-monotonic responses of biodiversity to habitat destruction. Ecology, 104 (12). ISSN 0012-9658. E-ISSN 1939-9170. (doi:10.1002/ecy.4177) (Access to this publication is currently restricted. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided) (KAR id:102755)

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It has typically been assumed that habitat destruction, characterized by habitat loss and fragmentation, has consistently negative effects on biodiversity. While numerous empirical studies have shown the detrimental effects of habitat loss, debate continues as to whether habitat fragmentation has universally negative effects. To explore the effects of habitat fragmentation, we develop a simple model for site-occupancy dynamics in fragmented landscapes. With the model, we demonstrate that a competition-colonization tradeoff can result in non-linear oscillatory responses in biodiversity to both habitat loss and fragmentation. However, the overall pattern of habitat loss reducing species richness is still established, in line with empirical observations. Interestingly, the existence of localized oscillations in biodiversity can explain the mixed responses of species richness to habitat fragmentation per se observed in nature, thereby reconciling the debate on the fragmentation-diversity relationship. Therefore, this study offers a parsimonious mechanistic explanation for empirically observed biodiversity patterns in response to habitat destruction.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1002/ecy.4177
Uncontrolled keywords: Competition-colonization tradeoff; fragmentation-diversity relationship; hierarchical competition; habitat destruction; habitat loss; habitat fragmentation
Subjects: Q Science > QH Natural history > QH541 Ecology
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Computing, Engineering and Mathematical Sciences > School of Mathematics, Statistics and Actuarial Science
Funders: National Natural Science Foundation of China (
Depositing User: Daniel Bearup
Date Deposited: 11 Sep 2023 13:16 UTC
Last Modified: 25 Mar 2024 12:06 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

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