Protecting natural areas in fragmented landscapes
Document Type: Journal Article
Author(s): Reed F. Noss
Publication Year: 1987

Cataloging Information

  • Acer saccharum
  • age classes
  • Arkansas
  • community ecology
  • conservation
  • dead fuels
  • deciduous plants
  • diameter classes
  • distribution
  • disturbance
  • ecotones
  • evolution
  • Florida
  • forest fragmentation
  • forest management
  • hardwood forests
  • herbaceous vegetation
  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • introduced species
  • Iowa
  • Kentucky
  • land use
  • landscape ecology
  • mesic soils
  • Michigan
  • Minnesota
  • mortality
  • mosaic
  • mountains
  • national parks
  • Ohio
  • openings
  • overstory
  • plant communities
  • snags
  • species diversity
  • species diversity (animals)
  • species diversity (plants)
  • succession
  • Tennessee
  • vulnerable species or communities
Record Maintained By:
Record Last Modified: February 12, 2019
FRAMES Record Number: 33707
Tall Timbers Record Number: 7879
TTRS Location Status: In-file
TTRS Call Number: Journals-N
TTRS Abstract Status: Fair use, Okay, Reproduced by permission

This bibliographic record was either created or modified by the Tall Timbers Research Station and Land Conservancy and is provided without charge to promote research and education in Fire Ecology. The E.V. Komarek Fire Ecology Database is the intellectual property of the Tall Timbers Research Station and Land Conservancy.


Natural areas usually are selected for protection according to the elements contained within them. A focus on content alone, however, is incomplete because the structure and use of the surrounding landscape will determine whether a 'protected area' will be able to maintain the most threatened elements and allow for their continued evolution. In fragmented landscapes, few if any natural areas comprise intact ecosystems. A complementary focus on landscape context includes not only conideration of external threats (reviewed here), but also how each individual natural area combines with other oandscape elements to determine regional, and ultimately, global diversity. Although few remaining natural areas are large enough to contain natural disturbance regimes and natural community mosaics within their boundaries, or to meet the needs of wide-ranging animals, an integrated network ofprotected areas and buffer zones of low-intensity land use may approximate the natural pattern. Conservation networks can be designed on spatial scales ranging from townships to biomes. Restoration of wilderness ecosystems in human-dominated landscapes is aprticularly challenging task but must be attempted if natural diversity is to be maintained in the long term. Examples are presented of macro-reserves and networks proposed for Florida and Ohio.© Natural Areas Association. Abstract reproduced by permission. Further information Email:

Online Link(s):
Noss, R. F. 1987. Protecting natural areas in fragmented landscapes. Natural Areas Journal, v. 7, no. 1, p. 2-13.