Habitat Islands

Many of the ideas originally developed for islands in the sea have been extended also to so-called habitat islands of a particular habitat type in a matrix of unlike terrain. Most such islands are fragments of habitats that were historically connected, such as remnant trees and forest patches. For habitat islands, as for islands in the sea, ecological and evolutionary processes are governed largely by isolation, time, and the nature of the matrix relative to the dispersal abilities of the organisms in question. Habitat islands, because they are discrete and easy to manipulate compared with islands in the sea, have been exploited in the development of many ecological principles, including those related to metapopulation dynamics and the physical design of nature reserves.

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