Fragmentation of Forests

Fragmentation of Forests

With the development (messy and ill) of mankind came several consequences for the environment in general, one is the fragmentation of forests. The fragmentation of forests brings a reversal, instead having some big forests we have several small forests, with that comes de consequences.

For FLEURY (2003) "The process of forest fragmentation, and isolation and reduction of habitat, produces an increase in microhabitat edge." This means that the fragmentation process brings a number of consequences to fauna and flora.

In flora we observe the consequences more easily due to the extinction of the same, since the consequences of the fauna are only observed with a critical analysis and for an observation period with a view that the process of extinction of animals and the very same mutation occurring during a period and not immediately as a deforestation for example.


The reduction of habitat entails a lack of food resources in an amount that meets the demand, this is the number of species that are still in place - which resultes in the reduction or even extinction. As for the birds there is a problem that some fit an entire forest but can not adapt to fragment because of the very same space required for their development and other conditions such as climate and human intervention.
Biological diversity, means the variability among living organisms from all sources including, among others, terrestrial, marine and other aquatic ecosystems and the ecological complexes of which they are part; this includes diversity within species, between species and ecosystems . (Article 2 of the Convention on Biological Diversity).

The main processes responsible for the loss of biodiversity are:

  • Loss and fragmentation of habitats;
  • Introduction of exotic species and diseases;
  • Overexploitation of species, plants and animals;
  • Use of hybrids and monocultures in agribusiness and reforestation programs;
  • Contamination of soil, water, and atmosphere by pollutants;
  • Climate change;

In addition to these reasons, we can add the genetic impoverishment as the cause of biodiversity loss in forests fragmented due to isolation of the species they come to interact, thus creating only one cycle of reproduction.

Edge Effect

"Edges are areas where the intensity of flows between the organic units of the landscape changes abruptly due to the sudden change of abiotic matrices for fragments and vice versa "(Metzger 1999).

The structure of the forest is an important ally or adversary of birds or other species, the more structured for the fragment more protection it will give the species is also important that the site is circular and compressed into the adjacent resist more to the edge effects. Since the fragments are more affected close the border effect due to lack of protection for your interior. But there are species that adapt and live quietly at the edges, just as there are species that are in isolated fragments and due to different conditions and different resources that the same species become two different species.

Some species increase their population density in fragmented forests, is what is called the density allowance. One of the explanations for this occurrence is the loss of competitiveness, given that many species will be extinct in the process thus reducing the number of other predators. Another hypothesis is that in smaller habitats - in some cases - there is the possibility of exploring a larger habitat gradient's than in extensive environments (Blondel et al.1988). For Angels and Boconó (1999) the causes of density compensation are not clear but they may be different according to the auto-ecology of each species.
In general it is seen as negative fragmentation of forests in relation to a forest track. Due to the reasons already stated above, one can observe that the fragments have long-term prospects is a trend, the end of the living species they contain. There is the possibility of the creation of corridors linking fragments near the still generates a lot of discussion we do not know for sure about their efficiency. What is certain is that the fragments have advantages because they are green spaces that serve as shelter for many species, but the ideal is the continuation of the forests and the recovery of many others, given the state we're cannot just keep we need to recover too.

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