Meta-analysis reveals the importance of matrix composition for animals in fragmented habitat
Version of Record online: 22 DEC 2010
© 2010 Blackwell Publishing Ltd
Global Ecology and Biogeography
Volume 20, Issue 2, pages 209–217, March 2011
How to Cite
Watling, J. I., Nowakowski, A. J., Donnelly, M. A. and Orrock, J. L. (2011), Meta-analysis reveals the importance of matrix composition for animals in fragmented habitat. Global Ecology and Biogeography, 20: 209–217. doi: 10.1111/j.1466-8238.2010.00586.x
- Issue online: 2 FEB 2011
- Version of Record online: 22 DEC 2010
Aim Connectivity is a key determinant of the distribution and abundance of organisms and is greatly influenced by anthropogenic landscape modification, yet we lack a synthetic perspective on the magnitude and extent of matrix effects on connectivity. We synthesize results from published studies to understand the importance of matrix effects on fragmented animal populations.
Methods We conduct a meta-analysis of 283 fragmented populations representing 184 terrestrial animal taxa to determine the strength of matrix composition effects on the occurrence and abundance of animals in fragmented habitat.
Results Studies that use data on matrix composition report greater effects on abundance and occupancy of fragmented populations than studies that define connectivity without regard to the surrounding matrix (i.e. ‘binary’ studies that describe only characteristics of patch habitat).
Main conclusions Our findings underscore that conservation strategies must consider the importance of matrix habitat, have important implications for metapopulation and metacommunity paradigms, and provide direct large-scale, multi-taxa evidence that matrix habitat is an important driver of ecological dynamics in heterogeneous landscapes.