Geomatics and Landscape Ecology Research Laboratory Wednesday, 20 September 2017 5:08 am  
Felix Eigenbrod
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Felix Eigenbrod

 

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I started my PhD in the GLEL supervised by Lenore Fahrig, with external co-supervision by Steve Hecnar (Lakehead University) in January 2004, and will be defending my PhD in September 2008. In my dissertation, I addressed four major questions:

  1. What is the effect of experimental design on landscape-scale inference?
  2. What are the relative effects of road traffic and deforestation on anuran populations?
  3. What are the combined effects of a major highway and the forest cover near it on anuran populations?
  4. What is the road effect zone of a major intercity highway for anurans?

I showed that that sub-optimal study design at the landscape scale particularly incomplete sampling across the possible range of values in a predictor variable and correlations between landscape-scale predictors - is likely to have a major impact on landscape-scale inference (Eigenbrod, Hecnar and Fahrig, in review). I then showed that the negative effect of road traffic is three times as great as the landscape-scale effect of deforestation on anuran species richness in eastern Ontario when these two predictor variables are considered independently (Eigenbrod et al. 2008. The relative effects of road traffic and forest cover on anuran populations. Biological Conservation. 141: 35-46). Having established that road traffic has an important negative effect on anurans, I then focused on better understanding how roads affect wildlife. First, I showed that a novel measure of the combined effects of roads and habitat loss on wildlife - accessible habitat - was a better predictor of anuran species richness near a major highway (Highway 401) than considering distance to the highway and habitat amount alone (Eigenbrod et al. 2008. Accessible habitat: an improved measure of the effects of habitat loss and roads on wildlife populations. Landscape Ecology . 23: 159-168; also see here to download a free GIS tool to calculate accessible habitat).


Secondly, I showed that the negative effect of Highway 401 on anuran populations extends at least 500 m into the landscape (Eigenbrod, Hecnar and Fahrig, in review). Overall, my results suggest that sub-optimal study design has likely led to an underestimate of the true effect of roads on wildlife. More generally, careful study design is necessary for landscape-scale studies to continue to provide meaningful guidelines for conservation.


Please note that I am no longer based at Carleton, but am now working as postdoc at the University of Sheffield in England with Kevin Gaston. A description of my current work can be found http://www.biome.group.shef.ac.uk/Eigenbrod.htm. Please do not hesitate to contact me at felix.eigenbrod@gmail.com for questions, reprint requests or a .pdf version of my PhD dissertation (the latter only after I finish any post-defence corrections!).


Publications


C.D.L. Orme, R.G. Davies, M. Burgess, F. Eigenbrod, N. Pickup, V.A. Olson, A.J. Webster, T.S. Ding, P.C. Rasmussen, R.S. Ridgely, A.J. Stattersfield, P.M. Bennett, T.M. Blackburn, K.J. Gaston & I.P.F. Owens. 2005. Global hotspots of species richness are not congruent with endemism or threat. Nature. 436, 1016-1019.


Eigenbrod, F., S. J. Hecnar, and L. Fahrig. 2008. Accessible habitat: an improved measure of the effects of habitat loss and roads on wildlife populations. Landscape Ecology 23: 159-168. [PDF]


Eigenbrod, F., S. J. Hecnarb, and L. Fahrig. 2008. The relative effects of road traffic and forest cover on anuran populations. Biological Conservation. 141: 35-46 [PDF]


Duguay, S., F. Eigenbrod, and L. Fahrig. 2007. Effects of surrounding urbanization on non-native flora in small forest patches. Landscape Ecology 22: 589-599. [PDF]


 
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