Baltimore Ecosystem Study Institute of Ecosystem Studies

2017 BES Annual Meeting Presentation and Poster Abstracts

Lessons from Another LTER: Habitat Design Restores Habitat Quality from the Ground Up
Hawn, Christine
Co-Authors: Nick Haddad, John Herrmann

Abstract: Maintaining and in some cases, increasing, biodiversity is a central goal for conservation. Because many threats to biodiversity are human related, how we design and manage the built environment has severe consequences for conservation. Here, I demonstrate how one simple design strategy, adding corridors, has overwhelmingly positive effects across the food web. Corridors, connecting fragments of habitat, are a conservation strategy designed to decrease extinction of plants and animals in isolated habitats by increasing their movement. This work is the culmination of 15 years (and counting) of research at another LTER, the Corridor Project at the Savannah River Site (SRS). The SRS Corridor Project is largest and longest-running experiment designed to test the effects of corridors. We have found that corridors benefit plants, pollinators, and their predators through an increase in movement and access to resources. What can the results of this LTER say for the BES? That remains to be tested.