Patches and Barriers

A patch contains an interior space as well as an edge. By splitting a patch it creates a larger edge space which increases the amount of edge species but is a detriment to species that need to inhabit the interior. Also by cutting through a patch it creates a barrier that causes a disruption in any system that had been occurring in the patch. (Forman, “Landscape Ecology Principles”)

A road running through a forest is an example of a barrier through a patch. The road prevents animals from traveling from one side of the patch to another, or at least makes it dangerous. It also increases the amount of edge space as the land next to the road turns into edge.

In order to prevent the disruption of patches people need to pay closer attention to the environment that they are building through. Also patches need to be preserved where possible or corridors need to be created between them.

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