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Effective Conservation ScienceData Not Dogma$
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Peter Kareiva, Michelle Marvier, and Brian Silliman

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780198808978

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: December 2017

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198808978.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 06 May 2021

Forty years of bias in habitat fragmentation research

Forty years of bias in habitat fragmentation research

(p.32) Chapter 5 Forty years of bias in habitat fragmentation research
Effective Conservation Science

Lenore Fahrig

Oxford University Press

This chapter evaluates biases that contribute to the common misrepresentation of fragmentation as a major threat to biodiversity. The idea that habitat fragmentation seriously threatens biodiversity is so widespread that it might be considered a “conservation biology principle.” However, effects attributed to habitat fragmentation are usually confounded with effects of habitat loss. A recent review of the effects of habitat fragmentation per se (effects independent of habitat loss) indicated that 76% of significant effects of fragmentation were positive, and in no situation were most effects negative. Comparing the abstracts of papers with the actual results reported in the body of each paper revealed that fewer than half of the authors who found only positive fragmentation effects actually discuss these positive effects in their abstracts. Thus, authors themselves reinforce the misrepresentation of the fragmentation literature, potentially because authors fear that their results could be incorrectly used to justify habitat destruction.

Keywords:   habitat fragmentation, habitat loss, biodiversity, confirmation bias, confounded variables

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