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Corridor Length and Patch Colonization by a Butterfly, Junonia coeniaAuthor(s): Nick Haddad
Source: Conservation Biology, Pages 738-745, Volume 19, No. 3, June 2000
Publication Series: Miscellaneous Publication
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DescriptionCorridors have been proposed to reduce isolation and increase population persistence in fragmented landscapes, yet little research has evaluated the types of landscapes in which corridors will be most effective. I tested the hypothesis that corridors increase patch colonization by a butterfly, Junonia coenia, regardless of the butterfly's initial distance from a patch. I chose J. coenia because it has been shown to move between patches preferentially through corridors. Individuals were released 16-192m away from open experimental patches into adjacent open corridors or forest. Neither corridors nor distance bad a significant effect on patch colonization, but there was a significant interaction between the presence or absence of corridors and distance. At small distances (16-64 m), J. coenia was more likely to colonize open patches when released within forest than within open corridors, most likely because J. coenia used corridors as habitat. Nevertheless, patch colonization by butterflies released within forest decreased rapidly as distance from patches increased, as predicted by a null model of random movement. Colonization did not change with distance in the corridor, and at long distances (128-192 m), butterflies released in corridors were twice as likely to colonize open patches as those released in forest. These results suggest that one critical factor, interpatch distance, may determine the relative effectiveness of corridors and other landscape configurations, such as stepping stones, in reducing isolation in fragmented landscapes. When distances between patches are short compared to an animal's movement ability, a stepping stone approach may most effectively promote dispersal. Alternatively, the conservation value of corridors is highest relative to other habitat configurations when longer distances separate patches in fragmented landscapes.
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CitationHaddad, Nick. 2000. Corridor Length and Patch Colonization by a Butterfly, Junonia coenia. Conservation Biology, Pages 738-745, Volume 19, No. 3, June 2000
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