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Ecology of Fragmented Landscapes

, 360 pages

24 halftones, 18 line drawings

November 2009



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Ecology of Fragmented Landscapes

Ask airline passengers what they see as they gaze out the window, and they will describe a fragmented landscape: a patchwork of desert, woodlands, farmlands, and developed neighborhoods. Once-contiguous forests are now subdivided; tallgrass prairies that extended for thousands of miles are now crisscrossed by highways and byways. Whether the result of naturally occurring environmental changes or the product of seemingly unchecked human development, fractured lands significantly impact the planet’s biological diversity. In Ecology of Fragmented Landscapes, Sharon K. Collinge defines fragmentation, explains its various causes, and suggests ways that we can put our lands back together.

Researchers have been studying the ecological effects of dismantling nature for decades. In this book, Collinge evaluates this body of research, expertly synthesizing all that is known about the ecology of fragmented landscapes. Expanding on the traditional coverage of this topic, Collinge also discusses disease ecology, restoration, conservation, and planning.

Not since Richard T. T. Forman's classic Land Mosaics has there been a more comprehensive examination of landscape fragmentation. Ecology of Fragmented Landscapes is critical reading for ecologists, conservation biologists, and students alike.

Sharon K. Collinge is an associate professor of ecology and evolutionary biology as well as of environmental studies at the University of Colorado. She is the senior volume editor of Disease Ecology: Community Structure and Pathogen Dynamics.

"Sharon Collinge has taken on a challenging topic—the dismantling and potential reassembly of natural landscapes—and done it great justice. Her book is scholarly yet accessible, a must-read for teachers, students, and practitioners of conservation biology."

"The earth is increasingly an archipelago of habitat fragments in a sea of human development. What have ecologists learned about the impact of this global change? How can conservationists cope with it? Sharon Collinge’s book answers these questions by intelligently synthesizing the burgeoning scientific literature on fragmentation and its effects."

"Outstanding! This is the best contemporary effort to synthesize known information deriving from conceptual ecology and its appropriate application to the conservation of biodiversity at landscape levels."

"This important and relevant work is well written and very extensively referenced."

"Its first-person style, relating often to the author's own experiences, is engaging and personable, and yet the book backs a scientific punch too... Its unassuming style and friendly approach belie it powerful insight and interpretation of a vast literature."

" Ecology of Fragmented Landscapes is a fascinating, thorough, and positive book, packed with scientific and technical content—an excellent resource for teachers and students of landscape and restoration ecology or for scientifically oriented naturalists."

"Nearly all advanced students, researchers and practitioners of landscape ecology, natural area management, ecological restoration, land use planning, and conservation biology would benefit from reading Sharon Collinge's excellent overview of ecosystem fragmentation and its effects."

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