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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Habitat Corridors Function As Both Drift Fences and Movement Conduits for Dispersing Flies

Authors
item Fried, Joanna - UNIV OF FLORIDA
item Levey, Douglas - UNIV OF FLORIDA
item Hogsette, Jerome

Submitted to: Oecologia
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: January 19, 2005
Publication Date: March 30, 2005
Citation: Fried, J.H., Levey, D.J., Hogsette Jr, J.A. 2005. Habitat corridors function as both drift fences and movement conduits for dispersing flies. Oecologia. 143:645-651.

Interpretive Summary: Loss and fragmentation of habitat isolate animal populations, reduce their size, and thereby increase the risk of local extinction. This threat is especially severe for species reluctant to enter matrix habitat. One means of overcoming this reluctance is the creation of corridors, defined as strips of habitat which connect otherwise isolated habitat patches and direct animal movement among those patches. In eight experimental landscapes, scientists at the USDA Center for Medical, Agricultural, and Veterinary Entomology, Gainesville, FL, worked with scientists at the University of Florida, Department of Zoology, to test how corridors affect dispersal behavior of house flies. Flies were captured with equal frequency in connected and unconnected patches, and flies were less likely to cross and more likely to follow dense habitat edges rather than open edges. Overall results suggest that corridors can affect animal dispersal in unappreciated ways (i.e., as drift fences) and that edge density can alter dispersal behavior.

Technical Abstract: Loss and fragmentation of habitat, particularly in urban greenways and parks, isolate animal populations, reduce their size, and increase the risk of local extinction. One way to avoid this is by the creation of corridor strips of habitat to connect otherwise isolated habitat patches and direct movement of animals from one patche to the next. Studies were conducted to test two hypotheses of how such corridors affect dispersal behavior of house flies. Flies were captured with equal frequency in connected and unconnected patches, and were less likely to cross and more likely to follow dense habitat edges rather than open edges. Overall results suggest that corridors can affect dispersal of organisms in unappreciated ways and that edge type can alter dispersal behavior.

Last Modified: 10/25/2014