|SREL Reprint #1958|
Patch Isolation, Corridor Effects, and Colonization by a Resident Sparrow in a Managed Pine Woodland
JOHN B. DUNNING, JR.,1 RENE BORGELLA, JR.,2 KRISTA CLEMENTS,3 AND GARY K MEFFE4
1Institute of Ecology, University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602, U.S.A.
Abstract: The isolation of habitat patches is often cited as having a major impact
on the dynamics of small populations occupying patches in a complex landscape
Few studies, however, have provided field data demonstrating that isolation has an
identifiable effect on specific populations independent of other factors such as
local habitat quality or that landscape factors such as corridors can alleviate such
effects. We conducted field surveys of Bachman's Sparrow (Aimophila
aestivalis) populations in region which we call linear landscapes, where suitable
habitat patches were isolated to varying degrees from potential sources of
dispersing birds. In these linear landscapes, isolated patches of habitat were less
likely to be colonized than were nonisolated patches. We also found that corridor
configurations of habitat patches improved the ability of sparrows to find and settle
in newly created patches. These results suggest that, for species that do not
disperse easily through inhospitable landscapes, habitat occupancy at a regional
scale can be enhanced by careful landscape design and planning.
SREL Reprint #1958
Dunning, J.B., Jr., R. Borgella Jr., K. Clements, and G.K. Meffe. 1995. Patch isolation, corridor effects, and colonization by a resident sparrow in a managed pine woodland. Conservation Biology 9:542-550.