Stephen F. Matter
Other affiliations: Truman State University, University of Alberta, University of Helsinki ...read more
Bio: Stephen F. Matter is an academic researcher from University of Cincinnati. The author has contributed to research in topics: Population & Metapopulation. The author has an hindex of 26, co-authored 77 publications receiving 1904 citations. Previous affiliations of Stephen F. Matter include Truman State University & University of Alberta.
Papers published on a yearly basis
TL;DR: In this paper, the authors test the null hypothesis that densities of mammalian populations are constant over patches of varied size, i.e., that performance, as estimated via density, does not covary with patch area.
Abstract: A much discussed issue in landscape ecology is how processes that operate within spatially subdivided subpopulations scale-up to create a larger, landscape-level dynamic. A first step in answering this question is to ask to what degree subpopulations within a landscape vary in performance. Here we test the null hypothesis that densities of mammalian populations are constant over patches of varied size, i.e., that performance, as estimated via density, does not covary with patch area. Using a composite database from published studies, we found that densities of 20 of 32 species did not vary with patch area, while five showed increasing and seven decreasing density-area relationships. Studies reporting significant density-area relationships tended to include a greater number of patches of a greater range of sizes than those that reported no relationship, suggesting that statistical power may be an issue. Landscapes comprised of smaller, less-isolated patches tended to have negative density-area relationships and landscapes with larger, more isolated patches tended to have positive density-area relationships. Our results suggest that no consistent density-area relationship operates over all systems of patches. Instead, the patterns appear to be scale-dependent : frequent movement of individuals in the process of selecting habitats (patches) over smaller-scaled landscapes produced negative density-area relationships; movement of individuals among more isolated patches appeared to involve larger- and longer-scale population processes involving colonization and extinction and positive density-area relationships. Despite the fact that patches represent a central focus in landscape ecology, they appear to be a construct of human convenience rather than biological entities with a set number and kind of processes.
TL;DR: It is shown that genetic differentiation among subpopulations (GST) is most highly correlated with contemporary forest cover, while genetic diversity within sub Populations (expected heterozygosity) is better correlated with the spatial pattern of forest cover 40 years in the past.
Abstract: Habitat fragmentation is a ubiquitous by-product of human activities that can alter the genetic structure of natural populations, with potentially deleterious effects on population persistence and evolutionary potential. When habitat fragmentation results in the subdivision of a population, random genetic drift then leads to the erosion of genetic diversity from within the resulting subpopulations and greater genetic divergence among them. Theoretical and simulation analyses predict that these two main genetic effects of fragmentation, greater differentiation among resulting subpopulations and reduced genetic diversity within them, will proceed at very different rates. Despite important implications for the interpretation of genetic data from fragmented populations, empirical evidence for this phenomenon has been lacking. In this analysis, we carry out an empirical study in populations of an alpine meadow-dwelling butterfly, which have become fragmented by increasing forest cover over five decades. We show that genetic differentiation among subpopulations (GST) is most highly correlated with contemporary forest cover, while genetic diversity within subpopulations (expected heterozygosity) is better correlated with the spatial pattern of forest cover 40 years in the past. Thus, where habitat fragmentation has occurred in recent decades, genetic differentiation among subpopulations can be near equilibrium while contemporary measures of within subpopulation diversity may substantially overestimate the equilibrium values that will eventually be attained.
TL;DR: Nectar flower abundance was manipulated through flower removal, and sex ratio was manipulated by moving individual butterflies within a series of nine alpine meadows by using mark–release–recapture methods.
Abstract: 1. Nectar flower abundance was manipulated through flower removal, and sex ratio was manipulated by moving individual butterflies within a series of nine alpine meadows. The movement and abundance of the butterfly Parnassius smintheus in the meadows were monitored using mark-release-recapture methods. 2. A total of 937 butterflies, 698 males and 239 females, was captured. There were 223 observed between-meadow movements. Fifty-two per cent of males and 35% of females moved among meadows. 3. The immigration of male butterflies was related positively to nectar flowers, host plant abundance, and female butterflies. Male emigration was not affected by any of the treatments. The number of males captured was related positively to nectar flowers and host plants but not affected by sex ratio. The number of resident male butterflies was greater in meadows containing flowers and was related positively to host plant abundance, but unaffected by sex ratio. 4. Flower removal, sex ratio, and abundance of Sedum had no significant effect on the abundance, movement, or residence time for female butterflies, in part due to small sample size. 5. The fact that males immigrate to higher quality meadows suggests that male butterflies are assessing meadow quality, either by sampling meadows or potentially from a distance using olfactory cues.
TL;DR: The selection of higher quality edge habitats by dominant females and the relegation of sub-dominants to patch interiors provides an explanation for the observed differences in the distribution and performance of females over patches and between landscapes.
Abstract: Using capture/recapture methods, we examined the spatial usage patterns of Microtus pennsylvanicus within and between experimentally created habitat patches of three sizes (1.0, 0.25 and 0.0625 ha) and between a 20-ha fragmented and a 20-ha continuous habitat landscape. We tested the prediction that home ranges near patch edges would be qualitatively different from those in patch interiors, and that the edge:interior habitat ratio could be used to make predictions concerning the dispersion and spatial use of individuals occupying different sized patches and between landscapes with different habitat structure. We found adult females on patch edges to have larger and more exclusive home ranges, larger body sizes, longer residence times, and to reproduce at a higher frequency than those in patch interiors. These "edge effects" also appeared to be largely responsible for the greater proportion of larger, reproductive females we found in small than larger patches and in the fragmented than in the continuous habitat (control) landscape. The selection of higher quality edge habitats by dominant females and the relegation of sub-dominants to patch interiors provides an explanation for the observed differences in the distribution and performance of females over patches and between landscapes.
TL;DR: Comparisons of Tetraopes interpatch movement patterns between landscapes composed of patches of different size revealed that landscapes with overall smaller patches may have greater rates of interpatchMovement between males and females illustrate the need for demographically based dispersal data.
Abstract: Individual movement patterns and the effects of host plant patch size and isolation on patch occupancy were examined for red milkweed beetles, Tetraopes tetraophthalmus, residing in a heterogeneous landscape. Male beetles were found to move both more often and farther between host plant patches than female beetles, and this difference affected the patterns of patch occupancy observed. Overall, unoccupied milkweed patches were smaller and more isolated than patches occupied by beetles. Patches uninhabited by females tended to be more isolated, but not necessarily smaller, than patches with female beetles, indicating that females may be affected more by patch isolation than patch size. Presence of male beetles on patches showed a stronger response to patch size than to patch isolation. Differences in movement between males and females illustrate the need for demographically based dispersal data. Comparisons of Tetraopes interpatch movement patterns between landscapes composed of patches of different size revealed that landscapes with overall smaller patches may have greater rates of interpatch movement.
TL;DR: Preface to the Princeton Landmarks in Biology Edition vii Preface xi Symbols used xiii 1.
Abstract: Preface to the Princeton Landmarks in Biology Edition vii Preface xi Symbols Used xiii 1. The Importance of Islands 3 2. Area and Number of Speicies 8 3. Further Explanations of the Area-Diversity Pattern 19 4. The Strategy of Colonization 68 5. Invasibility and the Variable Niche 94 6. Stepping Stones and Biotic Exchange 123 7. Evolutionary Changes Following Colonization 145 8. Prospect 181 Glossary 185 References 193 Index 201
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TL;DR: This work reviews the extensive literature on species responses to habitat fragmentation, and detail the numerous ways in which confounding factors have either masked the detection, or prevented the manifestation, of predicted fragmentation effects.
Abstract: Habitat loss has pervasive and disruptive impacts on biodiversity in habitat remnants. The magnitude of the ecological impacts of habitat loss can be exacerbated by the spatial arrangement -- or fragmentation -- of remaining habitat. Fragmentation per se is a landscape-level phenomenon in which species that survive in habitat remnants are confronted with a modified environment of reduced area, increased isolation and novel ecological boundaries. The implications of this for individual organisms are many and varied, because species with differing life history strategies are differentially affected by habitat fragmentation. Here, we review the extensive literature on species responses to habitat fragmentation, and detail the numerous ways in which confounding factors have either masked the detection, or prevented the manifestation, of predicted fragmentation effects. Large numbers of empirical studies continue to document changes in species richness with decreasing habitat area, with positive, negative and no relationships regularly reported. The debate surrounding such widely contrasting results is beginning to be resolved by findings that the expected positive species-area relationship can be masked by matrix-derived spatial subsidies of resources to fragment-dwelling species and by the invasion of matrix-dwelling species into habitat edges. Significant advances have been made recently in our understanding of how species interactions are altered at habitat edges as a result of these changes. Interestingly, changes in biotic and abiotic parameters at edges also make ecological processes more variable than in habitat interiors. Individuals are more likely to encounter habitat edges in fragments with convoluted shapes, leading to increased turnover and variability in population size than in fragments that are compact in shape. Habitat isolation in both space and time disrupts species distribution patterns, with consequent effects on metapopulation dynamics and the genetic structure of fragment-dwelling populations. Again, the matrix habitat is a strong determinant of fragmentation effects within remnants because of its role in regulating dispersal and dispersal-related mortality, the provision of spatial subsidies and the potential mediation of edge-related microclimatic gradients. We show that confounding factors can mask many fragmentation effects. For instance, there are multiple ways in which species traits like trophic level, dispersal ability and degree of habitat specialisation influence species-level responses. The temporal scale of investigation may have a strong influence on the results of a study, with short-term crowding effects eventually giving way to long-term extinction debts. Moreover, many fragmentation effects like changes in genetic, morphological or behavioural traits of species require time to appear. By contrast, synergistic interactions of fragmentation with climate change, human-altered disturbance regimes, species interactions and other drivers of population decline may magnify the impacts of fragmentation. To conclude, we emphasise that anthropogenic fragmentation is a recent phenomenon in evolutionary time and suggest that the final, long-term impacts of habitat fragmentation may not yet have shown themselves.
TL;DR: Logistical difficulties preclude a detailed study of dispersal for many species, however incorporating unrealistic dispersal assumptions in spatial population models may yield inaccurate and costly predictions, and further studies are necessary to explore the importance of incorporating specific condition‐dependent dispersal strategies for evolutionary and population dynamic predictions.
Abstract: Knowledge of the ecological and evolutionary causes of dispersal can be crucial in understanding the behaviour of spatially structured populations, and predicting how species respond to environmental change. Despite the focus of much theoretical research, simplistic assumptions regarding the dispersal process are still made. Dispersal is usually regarded as an unconditional process although in many cases fitness gains of dispersal are dependent on environmental factors and individual state. Condition-dependent dispersal strategies will often be superior to unconditional, fixed strategies. In addition, dispersal is often collapsed into a single parameter, despite it being a process composed of three interdependent stages: emigration, inter-patch movement and immigration, each of which may display different condition dependencies. Empirical studies have investigated correlates of these stages, emigration in particular, providing evidence for the prevalence of conditional dispersal strategies. Ill-defined use of the term ‘dispersal’, for movement across many different spatial scales, further hinders making general conclusions and relating movement correlates to consequences at the population level. Logistical difficulties preclude a detailed study of dispersal for many species, however incorporating unrealistic dispersal assumptions in spatial population models may yield inaccurate and costly predictions. Further studies are necessary to explore the importance of incorporating specific condition-dependent dispersal strategies for evolutionary and population dynamic predictions.
TL;DR: The results emphasize the wide range of species-specific responses to fragmentation, the need for understanding of behavioral mechanisms affecting these responses, and the potential for changing responses to frag- mentation over time.
Abstract: Habitat destruction and fragmentation are the root causes of many conservation problems. We conducted a literature survey and canvassed the ecological community to identify experimental studies of terrestrial habitat fragmentation and to determine whether consistent themes were emerging from these studies. Our survey revealed 20 fragmentation experiments worldwide. Most studies focused on effects of fragmentation on species richness or on the abundance(s) ofparticular species. Other important themes were the effect offragmentation in interspecific interactions, the role of corridors and landscape connectivity in in- dividual movements and species richness, and the influences of edge effects on ecosystem services. Our com- parisons showed a remarkable lack of consistency in results across studies, especially with regard to species richness and abundance relative to fragment size. Experiments with arthropods showed the best fit with the- oretical expectations of greater species richness on larger fragments. Highly mobile taxa such as birds and mammals, early-successional plant species, long-lived species, and generalist predators did not respond in the "expected" manner. Reasons for these discrepancies included edge effects, competitive release in the habitat fragments, and the spati.al scale of the experiments. One of the more consistently supported hypotheses was that movement and species richness are positively affected by corridors and connectivity, respectively. Tran- sient effects dominated many systems;,for example, crowding of individuals on fragments commonly was ob- served afterfragmentation, followed by a relaxation toward lower abundance in subsequentyears. The three long-term studies (?14 years) revealed strong patterns that would have been missed in short-term investiga- tions. Our results emphasize the wide range of species-specific responses to fragmentation, the need for eluci- dation of behavioral mechanisms affecting these responses, and the potentialfor changing responses to frag- mentation over time.