Fragmented urban forest in the Chicago metropolitan region

Landscape fragmentation and conservation management alter arthropod communities

Date : January 18, 2018 By Dr Matthew A McCary

As the world is becoming increasingly urbanized, natural habitats are being displaced with large buildings and concrete structures. Consequently, restoration practitioners and conservation biologists have put together comprehensive management programs to preserve and protect the remaining biodiversity in metropolitan regions. Habitat fragmentation and conservation management both impose significant changes to natural communities; however, our understanding of how these two disturbances influence arthropod communities is still limited. This research sought to address how landscape fragmentation and comprehensive vegetation management affect ground-active arthropods in the Chicago metropolitan region. My collaborators and I found that conservation management dramatically altered the community composition of ground-active arthropods, with degraded sites being numerically dominated by invasive isopods and reference sites having fewer invasive isopods. We also found that invasive plants were the main driver for arthropod community changes, which was also correlated with increased rates of landscape fragmentation.



McCary, M.A., E. Minor, and D.H. Wise. 2017. Covariation between local and landscape factors influences the structure of ground-active arthropod communities in fragmented metropolitan woodlands. Landscape EcologyDOI: 10.1007/s10980-017-0593-9.

McCary, M.A., J.C. Martinez, L. Umek, L. Heneghan, and D.H. Wise. 2015. Effects of woodland restoration and management on the community of surface-active arthropods in the metropolitan Chicago region. Biological Conservation 190: 154-166.