Friederike Potash

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Project Title
Landscape Ecology: Matrix Effects in Fragmented Landscapes
Time Commitment
11-15 hours/week, 16-20 hours/week, 20+ hours, 6-10 hours/week
Possible Co-Authorship
Project Description
Habitat fragmentation and loss are major threats to biodiversity and wildlife. Fragmented habitats are surrounded by landscapes that vary in structure and species composition. These surrounding landscapes, the matrix, has effects on movement, dispersal and patch use of patch-dependent species. Our research aims to understand how matrix effects alter population dynamics of patch-dependent species in fragmented landscapes. We created a model system using prickly pear cactus (Opuntia humifusa) as habitat patches and two cactus bug species (Chelinidia vittiger and Narnia femorata) as patch-dependent species, whose movement across the matrix is tracked using mark-recapture techniques. This experiment can help us understand the complexity of larger scale landscape processes in the light of the present threats of habitat fragmentation, loss and alteration of the matrix.

Contact Info

Thomas Smith


Phone: (808) 382-2943