New study on habitat fragmentation co-authored by Dr. Thomas Lovejoy
Most of the world’s forests are literally on the edge, trapping wildlife in “islands” of dwindling resources, according to a new study published in Science Advances by George Mason University Professor Thomas Lovejoy and other scientists working on habitat fragmentation.
More than 70 percent of forests worldwide are within one kilometer of a forest edge. Putting these ecosystems on civilization’s doorstep with little space to spare leaves the forest’s edge vulnerable to storms and wildlife vulnerable to disease.
“It’s shocking,” Lovejoy says. “It’s actually surprising to me that the percentage is that big.”
The study, released March 20 in Science Advances, is based on Lovejoy’s 35 years of research and six other studies that it inspired. Lovejoy is a University Professor in George Mason’s Environmental Science and Policy Department and a fellow at the United Nations Foundation.