Brown Bag Seminar: Matthew Fagan

NPP Fellow - NASA Goddard

In the last two decades, export-oriented crops and tree plantations have joined small-scale cultivation and pasture as important causes of global forest loss. Widespread conversion of forest to agriculture threatens to isolate protected areas, raising the profile of efforts to maintain biodiversity and environmental services outside protected areas. Relatively few such “landscape conservation” efforts have been assessed for their effects on forest loss or degradation, but advances in remote sensing now permit detailed characterization of forest habitats, including monitoring of tree crops and plantations. In this talk, I explore the causes and consequences of the fragmentation of natural habitat, building on lessons from landscape conservation in Costa Rica and the southeastern U.S. These research efforts draw on both ecological and geospatial approaches, highlighting how the integration of high-resolution remote sensing with ecological theory can provide new insights into the conservation and connectivity of fragmented landscapes.