Habitat fragmentation may not matter to species diversity

Gal Yaacobi, Yaron Ziv, Michael L. Rosenzweig

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

48 Scopus citations


Conservation biologists worry that fragmenting a bloc of natural habitat might reduce its species diversity. However, they also recognize the difficulty and importance of isolating the effect of fragmentation from that of simple loss of area. Using two different methods (species-area curve and Fisher's α index of diversity) to analyse the species diversities of plants, tenebrionid beetles and carabid beetles in a highly fragmented Mediterranean scrub landscape, we decoupled the effect of degree of fragmentation from that of area loss. In this system, fragmentation by itself seems not to have influenced the number of species. Our results, obtained at the scale of hectares, agree with similar results at island and continent scales.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2409-2412
Number of pages4
JournalProceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences
Issue number1624
StatePublished - 7 Oct 2007


  • Carabidae
  • Fisher's alpha
  • Habitat loss
  • Island biogeography
  • Species area curves
  • Tenebrionidae

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Immunology and Microbiology
  • General Environmental Science
  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences


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