Chapter 7 Study Questions

  1. Imagine that you are working for the planning office of a large county. You notice that you could connect many of the isolated forest patches in the county by a combination of riparian forest buffers and road parkways. Argue the pros and cons of making these connections.
  2. The longleaf pine–wiregrass ecosystem was once the dominant vegetation of the Southeastern Coastal Plain of the U.S., but has declined by 98% since European settlement. The dominant plants of this ecosystem depend on frequent (2–5-year intervals) low-intensity ground fires that control invading hardwoods and other competitors, and maintain the characteristic open structure of the ecosystem. Fire suppression, in addition to logging, has been a major reason for the decline of this ecosystem. How might habitat isolation by roads, agriculture, and urbanization contribute to this decline?
  3. Much of southern California was once covered by coastal sage-scrub, a vegetation type dominated by California sagebrush, buckwheat, and herbaceous sages of the genus Salvia. A number of species endemic to this vegetation type, including the California Gnatcatcher (Polioptila californica) (federally listed as threatened) and many plant species, have been proposed for listing. Development, mostly residential, has destroyed nearly 90% of this habitat. How might future developments or other land uses be controlled spatially to protect biodiversity in coastal sage-scrub?