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      Character of woodland fragments affects distribution of myriapod assemblages in agricultural landscape

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          Fragments of woodland fulfil many irreplaceable functions in the agricultural landscape including being the main source of biodiversity of soil invertebrates. Due to intensive farming and land use changes, especially in the second half of the 20 th century, fragments of woodland in agricultural landscape almost disappeared. This has led to a decrease in the diversity of invertebrates, especially those for which the presence of these woodland habitats in the landscape is a key element for survival. The aim of this study was to evaluate the importance of fragments of woodland (characterised by their area, vegetation structure, the amount of leaf litter layer and soil moisture) on the distribution of centipedes and millipedes ( Myriapoda ) in the agricultural landscape of South Moravia (Czech Republic). Myriapods were collected using pitfall traps during summer in 2016 and 2017. Results showed that activity-density of myriapods is positively correlated with thickness of the leaf litter layer. Moreover, the species richness of centipedes is positively correlated with increasing size of fragments of woodland although higher centipedes’ activity-density was found in rather uniform woodlands in term of diversity of tree species.

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          Confounding factors in the detection of species responses to habitat fragmentation.

          Habitat loss has pervasive and disruptive impacts on biodiversity in habitat remnants. The magnitude of the ecological impacts of habitat loss can be exacerbated by the spatial arrangement -- or fragmentation -- of remaining habitat. Fragmentation per se is a landscape-level phenomenon in which species that survive in habitat remnants are confronted with a modified environment of reduced area, increased isolation and novel ecological boundaries. The implications of this for individual organisms are many and varied, because species with differing life history strategies are differentially affected by habitat fragmentation. Here, we review the extensive literature on species responses to habitat fragmentation, and detail the numerous ways in which confounding factors have either masked the detection, or prevented the manifestation, of predicted fragmentation effects. Large numbers of empirical studies continue to document changes in species richness with decreasing habitat area, with positive, negative and no relationships regularly reported. The debate surrounding such widely contrasting results is beginning to be resolved by findings that the expected positive species-area relationship can be masked by matrix-derived spatial subsidies of resources to fragment-dwelling species and by the invasion of matrix-dwelling species into habitat edges. Significant advances have been made recently in our understanding of how species interactions are altered at habitat edges as a result of these changes. Interestingly, changes in biotic and abiotic parameters at edges also make ecological processes more variable than in habitat interiors. Individuals are more likely to encounter habitat edges in fragments with convoluted shapes, leading to increased turnover and variability in population size than in fragments that are compact in shape. Habitat isolation in both space and time disrupts species distribution patterns, with consequent effects on metapopulation dynamics and the genetic structure of fragment-dwelling populations. Again, the matrix habitat is a strong determinant of fragmentation effects within remnants because of its role in regulating dispersal and dispersal-related mortality, the provision of spatial subsidies and the potential mediation of edge-related microclimatic gradients. We show that confounding factors can mask many fragmentation effects. For instance, there are multiple ways in which species traits like trophic level, dispersal ability and degree of habitat specialisation influence species-level responses. The temporal scale of investigation may have a strong influence on the results of a study, with short-term crowding effects eventually giving way to long-term extinction debts. Moreover, many fragmentation effects like changes in genetic, morphological or behavioural traits of species require time to appear. By contrast, synergistic interactions of fragmentation with climate change, human-altered disturbance regimes, species interactions and other drivers of population decline may magnify the impacts of fragmentation. To conclude, we emphasise that anthropogenic fragmentation is a recent phenomenon in evolutionary time and suggest that the final, long-term impacts of habitat fragmentation may not yet have shown themselves.
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            Microclimate and vegetation edge effects in a fragmented podocarp-broadleaf forest in New Zealand

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              Forest fragmentation effects on patch occupancy and population viability of herbaceous plant species.

              Habitat fragmentation is one of the major threats to species diversity. In this review, we discuss how the genetic and demographic structure of fragmented populations of herbaceous forest plant species is affected by increased genetic drift and inbreeding, reduced mate availability, altered interactions with pollinators, and changed environmental conditions through edge effects. Reported changes in population genetic and demographic structure of fragmented plant populations have, however, not resulted in large-scale extinction of forest plants. The main reason for this is very likely the long-term persistence of small and isolated forest plant populations due to prolonged clonal growth and long generation times. Consequently, the persistence of small forest plant populations in a changing landscape may have resulted in an extinction debt, that is, in a distribution of forest plant species reflecting the historical landscape configuration rather than the present one. In some cases, fragmentation appears to affect ecosystem integrity rather than short-term population viability due to the opposition of different fragmentation-induced ecological effects. We finally discuss extinction and colonization dynamics of forest plant species at the regional scale and suggest that the use of the metapopulation concept, both because of its heuristic power and conservation applications, may be fruitful.

                Author and article information

                Pensoft Publishers
                28 April 2020
                : 930
                : 139-151
                [1 ] Palacký University Olomouc, Faculty of Science, Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences, Šlechtitelů 27, 78371, Olomouc, Czech Republic Palacký University Olomouc Czech Republic
                [2 ] Pavol Jozef Šafárik University, Faculty of Science, Institute of Biology and Ecology, Šrobárova 2, 04154, Košice, Slovakia Pavol Jozef Šafárik University Košice Slovakia
                Author notes
                Corresponding author: Ondřej Horňák ( hornak.o@ 123456seznam.cz )

                Academic editor: L. Dányi

                Ondřej Horňák, Andrej Mock, Bořivoj Šarapatka, Ivan Hadrián Tuf

                This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

                Research Article
                Ecology & Environmental sciences


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