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The effects of habitat fragmentation on chaparral plants and vertebrates.

abstract1 (full description below): Oikos 63:39-47.

The effects of fragmentation in a scrub habitat in California on three taxa (plants, birds, and rodents) are concordant. Extinctions within the habitat remnants occur quickly and the sequence of species disappearances of birds and rodents is predictable based on population density in undisturbed habitat. Distance effects on species diversity are weak to non-existent, and habitat area effects are strong. Edge effects and cumulative habitat loss following isolation of the remnants are correlated with loss of species diversity. Recolonization in these taxa occurs rarely. Rodents appear to be extremely susceptible to extinction. Small, old patches, retain a predictable subset of bird and rodent species, reinforcing the principle that larger reserves are generally superior.