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The Utility of Movement Corridors in Forested Landscapes

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Abstract:

Linking habitat patches with movement corridors to enhance survival of populations in the connected fragments is an appealing idea. However, research regarding corridors provides ambiguous evidence of their usefulness. Many studies have shown that species are present in corridors (perhaps use it as habitat). Some studies have ascertained that individuals move along corridors, but few have demonstrated that this movement enhances population persistence in the linked patches. In Fennoscandia, there are few studies that investigate movement corridors in forested landscapes. Despite the scarcity of landscape-level studies and ambiguous evidence, establishment of movement corridors is often recommended as a landscape management tool. This precautionary approach is understandable, but as establishment of corridors usually incurs costs, the benefits of corridors as compared to other reserve design options should be carefully assessed. Furthermore, corridors must be complemented by other measures of nature protection, as they alone probably cannot secure the survival of species in the fragmented Fennoscandian forests.

Keywords: CORRIDORS; FOREST; FRAGMENTATION; LANDSCAPE; MOVEMENT

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/028275801300090645

Affiliations: Department of Ecology and Systematics, P.O. Box 17, FIN-00014, University of Helsinki, Finland

Publication date: March 15, 2001

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