Why does forest fragmentation affect some more than others?

A contiguous forest stretches near the equator in Borneo. ©Matt Betts/OSU College of Forestry

As forests around the world are being fragmented, wildlife is affected. That’s particularly true in the tropics, researchers recently found. Looking into why some biologists found significant effects from fragmentation while others didn’t, this team found that animals in areas prone to disturbance tend to be more resilient, while those in landscapes that have been relatively stable are more disrupted. “It shows everyone was right,” co-author Cristina Banks-Leite, a conservation biologist at Imperial College London, told the New York Times. About 70% of the earth’s forest is within a kilometer of a forest edge, researchers found, and fragmentation in the tropics is expected to accelerate.

Read the story in the New York Times.