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Old 05-24-2009, 03:03 PM   #1
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Default Beneficial Plant 'Spillover' Effect Seen From Landscape Corridors

Beneficial Plant 'Spillover' Effect Seen From Landscape Corridors
ScienceDaily (May 22, 2009) Research by a North Carolina State University biologist and colleagues shows that using landscape corridors, the "superhighways" that connect isolated patches of habitat, to protect certain plants has a large "spillover" effect that increases the number of plant species outside the conservation area.

Beneficial Plant 'Spillover' Effect Seen From Landscape Corridors
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The study found that corridors caused such a wide range of "spillover" beyond the patches to more than the area of the patches themselves that the results were a surprise, says Dr. Nick Haddad, associate professor of biology at NC State and a co-author of a paper published online this week in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. He adds that the finding has broad implications for conservation efforts most importantly that the benefits of landscape corridors, the strips of habitat that connect isolated patches of habitat, extend well beyond those borders.

"Most conserved areas are small two-thirds are less than one square kilometer so the spillover effect with corridors gives a larger conservation bang for the buck," Haddad says. He adds that exotic or invasive species of plants showed no signs of spillover effect.

Haddad says that he and his colleagues used an idea from marine protection strategies in their study. In oceans, certain areas are off limits to fisherman in order to protect fish. In time, excess fish within the protected areas spill over into waters where fishing is permitted. Dwindling fish stocks rise while fishermen catch the excess fish a mutually beneficial scenario.
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