Forest Fragmentation and Matrix Effects: The Matrix Does Matter

Diane M. Debinski, Iowa State University

This article is from Journal of Biogeography 33 (2006): 1791, doi:10.1111/j.1365-2699.2006.01596.x.


When ecologists envision a traditional habitat fragmentation study, they usually conjure up an image of very discrete fragments, perhaps rectangular or even square, surrounded by a matrix of very different, inhospitable habitat. Patch equals habitat; matrix equals wasteland. We are well aware that real-world landscapes do not fit into such perfectly geometric, discrete packages. However, black and white dichotomies are easier to model, and these models are easily envisioned when we ponder effects of fragmentation.