Biodiversity Research Seminar Series (BRS)

BRS Lenore Fahrig: The role of dispersal in conservation: expectation vs. evidence.

October 19, 2022, 12:00 pm to 1:00 pm

2212 Main Mall

Zoom webinar recording link 
Passcode: *06rcB#y

host: Claire Kremen

Title: The role of dispersal in conservation: expectation vs. evidence.


Widespread adoption of the metapopulation concept has led to three expectations: 

(1) weak dispersers are more sensitive to land use intensification than strong dispersers; 

(2) fragmentation of habitat, independent of habitat loss, reduces biodiversity; and 

(3) habitat fragmentation by roads strongly impacts wildlife populations. I review the 

empirical evidence for these expectations. I conclude that in all three cases the evidence 

is weak, and I summarize important implications for decision-making in conservation.


Dr. Fahrig's bio:

Dr. Fahrig studies the effects of landscape structure on abundance, distribution and 

persistence of organisms. Landscape structure includes the amounts of various kinds 

of land cover in landscape (e.g., forest, wetland, roads), and the spatial arrangement 

of these cover types. Landscape sructure affects populations through its effects on 

reproductions, mortality, and movement. Since landscape structure is strongly affected 

by human activities such as forestry, agriculture, and development, the results of this 

research are relevant to land-use decisions. A particular focus in my lab is on the effects 

of roads and traffic on wildlife populations. Her lab uses a combination of spatial 

simulation modelling and field studies on a wide range of different organisms.


  • Biodiversity Research Seminar Series (BRS)

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