Share This Article:

Edge Effects in Small Forest Fragments: Why More Is Better?

Full-Text HTML Download Download as PDF (Size:389KB) PP. 869-878
DOI: 10.4236/ajps.2012.37104    4,292 Downloads   7,064 Views   Citations

ABSTRACT

Edge to interior gradients in forest fragments can influence the species composition and community structure as a result of variations in microenvironment and edaphic variables. We investigated the response of microenvironment and edaphic variables to distance from a tropical montane forest (locally known as shola)-grassland edge using one-edge and multiple-edge models. The edpahic variables did not show any differences between the grassland and shola soils. We observed that conventional one-edge models sufficiently explained variation trends in microenvironment along the edge to interior gradient in large fragments. As with other studies on small fragments though, we observed no edge effects with the use of a conventional one-edge model. However, the inclusion of multiple edges in small fragments signifycantly improved model fit. We can conclude that small fragments dominated by edge habitat may in fact resemble larger fragments with the inclusion of multiple edges. Our models did not evaluate non-linear effects which often better explain patterns in edge-interior gradients. The incorporation of such non-linear models in the system might further improve model fit.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Cite this paper

M. Bunyan, S. Jose and R. Fletcher, "Edge Effects in Small Forest Fragments: Why More Is Better?," American Journal of Plant Sciences, Vol. 3 No. 7, 2012, pp. 869-878. doi: 10.4236/ajps.2012.37104.

References

[1] Leopold,A. 1993.Game management. Scribner Sons, New York, USA.
[2] Johnston, V.R. 1947. Breeding birds of the forest edge in Illinois. Condor 2: 45-53.
[3] Gates, J.E., Gysel, L.W. 1978. Avian nest dispersion and fledgling success in field-forest ecotones. Ecology 59: 871-883.
[4] Anderson, S.H.,Mann, K. Shugart,H.H. 1977. The effect of transmission-lines corridors on bird populations. American Midland Naturalist 97: 216-221.
[5] Laurance,W.F., Ferreira,L.V. Rankin-DeMerona, J.M., Laurance, S.G., Hutchings, R.W. Lovejoy, T.E. 1998. Effects of forest fragmentation on recruitment patterns in Amazonian tree communities. Conservation Biology 12: 460-464.
[6] Gascon, C.G., Williamson, B., da Fonseca, G.A.B. 2000. Receding forest edges and vanishing reserves. Science 288: 1356-1358.
[7] Malcolm, J.R. 1994. Edge effects in central Amazonian forest fragments. Ecology 75: 2438-2445.
[8] Jose, S. Gillespie, A.R., Goerge, S.J., Kumar, M.K. 1996. Vegetation response along edge-interior gradients in a high altitude tropical forest in peninsular India. Forest Ecology and Management 87: 51-62.
[9] Williams-Linera, G., Domínguez, Garcia-Zurita, M.E. 1998. Microenvironment and floristics of different edges in a fragmented tropical rainforest. Conservation Biology 12: 1092-1102.
[10] Ries, L. Fletcher, R.J., Battin, J. 2004. Ecological responses to habitat edges: Mechanisms, models and variability explained. Annual Review of Ecology Evolution and Systematics 35: 491-522.
[11] Harper, K.A., MacDonald, S.E. 2002. Structure and composition of edges next to regenerating clear-cuts in mixed-wood boreal forest. Journal of Vegetation Science 13: 535-546.
[12] Fletcher, R.J. 2005. Multiple edge effects and their implications in fragmented landscapes. Journal of Animal Ecology 74: 342-352.
[13] Laurance, W.F., Lovejoy, T.E., Vasconcelos, H.L., Bruna, E.M., Didham, R.D., Stouffer, P.C., Gascon, C., Bierregaard, R.O., Laurance, S.G., Sampaio, E.G. 2002. Ecosystem decay of Amazonian forest fragments: a 22-Year investigation. Conservation Biology 16: 605-618.
[14] Mancke, R.G.,Gavin, T.A.2000. Breeding bird density in woodlots: Effects of depth and buildings at the edges. Ecological Applications 10: 598-611.
[15] Fernández, C., Acosta, F.J., Abellá, G., López, F., Díaz, M. 2002. Complex edge effect fields as additive processes in patches of ecological systems. Ecological Modelling 149: 273-273.
[16] Sukumar, R. Suresh, H.S., Ramesh, R. 1995. Climate change and its impact on tropical montane ecosystems in southern India. Journal of Biogeography 22: 533-536.
[17] NATMO.2009. Soil map of India (National Atlas and Thematic Mapping Organization). Available online at www.indiabiodiversity.org. Last accessed on May 04th 2009.
[18] Krishnaswamy, J., Kiran, M.C., Ganeshaiah, K.N. 2005. Tree model based ecoclimatic vegetation classification and fuzzy mapping in diverse tropical deciduous ecosystems using multidate NDVI. International Journal of Remote Sensing 25: 1185-1205.
[19] Allen S. E. 1974. Chemical analysis of ecological materials. Blackwell Scientific, Oxford.
[20] Jose, S. Sreepathy, A. Mohan Kumar, B., Venugopal, V.K. 1994. Structural, floristic and edaphic attributes of the shola-grassland forests of Eravikulam in peninsular India. Forest Ecology and Management 65: 279-291.
[21] Nandakumar, V., Rajendran, P., Narendra Babu, K. 2001. Characterization of soils in the sholas of Idukki and Wayanad districts Pages 25-70 in Nair, K.K.N., Khanduri, S.K., Balasubramanayam, K., editors. Shola forests of Kerala: Environment and Biodiversity. Kerala Forest Research Institute, Peechi, India.
[22] Thomas, T.P., Sankar, S. 2001. The role of sholas in maintaining watercourses in the High Ranges of Kerala. Pages 71-115 in Nair, K.K.N., Khanduri, S.K., Balasubramanayam, K., editors. Shola forests of Kerala: Environment and Biodiversity. Kerala Forest Research Institute, Peechi, India.
[23] Fonseca, C.R., Joner,F.Two sided edge effect studies and the restoration of endangered ecosystems. Restoration Ecology 15: 613-619.
[24] Ries, L., Sisk, T.D. 2004. A predictive model of edge effects. Ecology 85: 2917-2926.
[25] Shanker, K. 2001. The role of competition and habitat in structuring small mammal communities in a tropical montane forest ecosystem in southern India. Journal of Zoology 253: 15-24.
[26] Zarri, A. A., Rahmani, A.R., Singh, A., Khushwaha, S.P.S. 2008. Habitat suitability assessment for the endangered Nilgiri laughing thrush: A multiple logistic regression approach. Current Science 94: 1487-1494.
[27] Ranasinghe, P.N., Dissanayake, C.B., Samarasinghe, D.V.N., Galappatti, R. The relationship between soil geochemistry and die back of montane forests in Sri Lanka: a case study. Environmental Geology 51: 1077-1088.
[28] López-Barrera, F. Newton, A., Manson, R. 2005.Edge effects in a tropical montane forest mosaic: experimental tests of post-dispersal acorn removal. Ecological Research. 20: 31-40.

  
comments powered by Disqus

Copyright © 2018 by authors and Scientific Research Publishing Inc.

Creative Commons License

This work and the related PDF file are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.