Experiment

Hypothesis: Even small barriers to dispersal may reduce the number of species in a habitat patch.

METHOD Moss growing on rocks was trimmed to form distinct habitat patches. The number of small organisms (mostly arthropods) living in the patches was observed over time.

Control Experiment 1 Experiment 2 patches patch

Moss patches

Experiment 1

METHOD Moss growing on rocks was trimmed to form distinct habitat patches. The number of small organisms (mostly arthropods) living in the patches was observed over time.

Control Experiment 1 Experiment 2 patches patch

50 cm

Fragments, each 20 cm2

RESULTS In fragments, 40% of species became extinct after 1 year.

Experiment 2

50 cm

10-mm gaps

Experiment 2

50 cm

Fragments connected by 7-cm corridors

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