How Fragmentation Will Impact On Ecosystem Function

1240 Words Jun 8th, 2016 5 Pages
Introduction
Following the advance of civilization, large forests are completely degraded, eliminated and converted to other types of land use on all continents. However, small pieces of forest are left on areas that are of little use owning to their adverse topography or poor drainage, or other reasons. When discussing the human impact on forests (Ledig 1992). Ledig and Kitzmiller (1992) listed fragmentation of forest as next in line after complete destruction degradation and loss of genetic diversity in forest area. Defined as an unbroken expanse of primary forest greater than 500 km2 without significant human activity, intact forest landscapes comprise only 29.9% of the world’s remaining tropical forests (Gibson et al., 2011). This surviving fraction is rapidly being broken up and fragmented (Wright, 2005). This raises the urgent question of how fragmentation will impact on ecosystem function, the essential set of processes which maintain tropical forest ecosystems (Laurance et al., 2011).Ecosystem function can be defined as the processes that collectively contribute to the self-maintenance of an ecosystem
Owning to the species richness of genetic diversity particularly of tropical rain forest with a high proportion of endemics (Vianaet al. 1997), the number of species being strongly affected or becoming vulnerable and extinct is larger than in other biomes. Owning to local rarity or pronounced clumping of species occurrence, many species may be missing from any…
Open Document