Conceptual domain of the matrix in fragmented landscapes

Don A. Driscoll, Sam C. Banks, Philip S. Barton, David B. Lindenmayer, Annabel L. Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


In extensively modified landscapes, how the matrix is managed determines many conservation outcomes. Recent publications revise popular conceptions of a homogeneous and static matrix, yet we still lack an adequate conceptual model of the matrix. Here, we identify three core effects that influence patch-dependent species, through impacts associated with movement and dispersal, resource availability, and the abiotic environment. These core effects are modified by five 'dimensions': spatial and temporal variation in matrix quality; spatial scale; temporal scale of matrix variation; and adaptation. The conceptual domain of the matrix, defined as three core effects and their interaction with these five dimensions, provides a much-needed framework to underpin management of fragmented landscapes and highlights new research priorities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)605-613
Number of pages9
JournalTrends in Ecology and Evolution
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2013
Externally publishedYes


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