Benefits of connecting landscapes increases over time

A white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) appears at the Savannah River Site. ©Savannah River Site

Researchers have published results from a decades-long experiment in South Carolina that underscores the importance of connecting landscapes used by wildlife. In the study published in Science, researchers found the landscapes linked in the experiment had greater biodiversity and more local plants, benefiting wildlife. The study took place at the Department of Energy’s Savannah River Site in South Carolina, where researchers sought to re-create longleaf pine savanna that had been replaced by a timber plantation. “By the end of monitoring, connected patches had 14% more species than unconnected patches,” they found. “Restoring habitat connectivity may thus be a powerful technique for conserving biodiversity, and investment in connections can be expected to magnify conservation benefit.”

Read more in the Washington Post here, and read the study here.