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Coherence and Conservation

David J. D. Earn, Simon A. Levin and Pejman Rohani
Science
New Series, Vol. 290, No. 5495 (Nov. 17, 2000), pp. 1360-1364
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3078248
Page Count: 5
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Coherence and Conservation
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Abstract

A principal aim of current conservation policy is to reduce the impact of habitat fragmentation. Conservation corridors may achieve this goal by facilitating movement among isolated patches, but there is a risk that increased connectivity could synchronize local population fluctuations (causing coherent oscillations) and thereby increase the danger of global extinction. We identify general conditions under which populations can or cannot undergo coherent oscillations, and we relate these conditions to local and global extinction probabilities. We suggest a simple method to explore the potential success of conservation corridors and, more generally, any manipulations of dispersal patterns that aim to protect threatened species or control pests.

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