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Understanding how landscape characteristics affect biodiversity patterns and ecological processes at local and landscape scales is critical for mitigating effects of global environmental change. In this review, we use knowledge gained from human-modified landscapes to suggest eight hypotheses, which we hope will encourage more systematic research on the(More)
Until recently, large apex consumers were ubiquitous across the globe and had been for millions of years. The loss of these animals may be humankind's most pervasive influence on nature. Although such losses are widely viewed as an ethical and aesthetic problem, recent research reveals extensive cascading effects of their disappearance in marine,(More)
We conducted an analysis of global forest cover to reveal that 70% of remaining forest is within 1 km of the forest's edge, subject to the degrading effects of fragmentation. A synthesis of fragmentation experiments spanning multiple biomes and scales, five continents, and 35 years demonstrates that habitat fragmentation reduces biodiversity by 13 to 75%(More)
Predation can be intense, creating strong direct and indirect effects throughout food webs. In addition, ecologists increasingly recognize that fluxes of organisms across ecosystem boundaries can have major consequences for community dynamics. Species with complex life histories often shift habitats during their life cycles and provide potent conduits(More)
Island biogeography theory, created initially to study diversity patterns on islands, is often applied to habitat fragments. A key but largely untested assumption of this application of theory is that landscape matrix species composition is non-overlapping with that of the islands. We tested this assumption in successional old field patches in a closely(More)
Tree cover is a fundamental structural characteristic and driver of ecosystem processes in terrestrial ecosystems, and trees are a major global carbon (C) sink. Fire and herbivores have been hypothesized to play dominant roles in regulating trees in African savannas, but the evidence for this is conflicting. Moving up a trophic scale, the factors that(More)
Secondary succession reflects, at least in part, community assembly—the sequences of colonizations and extinctions. These processes in turn are expected to be sensitive to the size of the site undergoing assembly and its location relative to source pools. In this paper we describe patterns of succession over 18 years in an experimentally fragmented(More)
Species-area relationships have been observed for virtually all major groups of macroorganisms that have been studied to date but have not been explored for microscopic phytoplankton algae, which are the dominant producers in many freshwater and marine ecosystems. Our analyses of data from 142 different natural ponds, lakes, and oceans and 239 experimental(More)
1. Metapopulation and metacommunity theories occupy a central role in ecology, but can be difficult to apply to plants. Challenges include whether seed dispersal is sufficient for population connec-tivity, the role of seed banks and problems with studying colonization and extinction in long-lived and clonal plants. Further, populations often do not occupy(More)