Habitat integrity and biodiversity

Picture: @Juan Ramirez
Picture: @Juan Ramirez

The effects of habitat fragmentation on biodiversity and the role of intact forests in mitigating biodiversity loss and climate change.


Habitat Integrity

Structurally intact forests are biodiversity strongholds, and they play a critical role in combating climate change. We are using state of the art remotely sensed and large biological databases to better understand how intact forests reduce extinction for vertebrate species worldwide. We are also estimating the carbon biomass lost or ‘missing’ from the world’s forests because of degradation. Overall, this research will quantify the global role of intact forests in preventing biodiversity loss and mitigating climate change, compared with degraded forests. Further, it also stands to provide solutions for future policy and management action by illuminating how current practices may be compromising the biodiversity values and ecosystem services provided by intact forests. and ecosystem services provided by intact forests.

The effects of habitat fragmentation on species extinction risk

It is clear that the impacts of habitat loss on species depends on the spatial arrangement – or fragmentation – of remaining habitat, but less is known about the role of the anthropogenic matrix surrounding habitat fragments and how it influences species persistence.

Lead by Juan Pablo Ramirez-Delgado, the Conservation Solution Lab is undertaking a global scale analysis to shed light on the relationship between habitat fragmentation, matrix condition and species extinction risk. This project seeks to better understand species’ responses to landscape changes, which are necessary to inform conservation policies and management strategies.