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Copyright © 2000 by The Resilience Alliance

The following is the established format for referencing this article:
Robinson, G. 2000. Getting the"policy implications" into policy. Conservation Ecology 4(2): r7. [online] URL: http://www.consecol.org/vol4/iss2/resp7/

Response to Riitters et al. 2000. "Global-Scale Patterns of Forest Fragmentation"

Getting the "Policy Implications" into Policy

George Robinson

University at Albany, State University of New York

Published: November 21, 2000

I am very impressed with the performance of both the fragmentation index and the multiple-scale analyses in the fragmentation paper of Riitters et al. (2000) in Conservation Ecology. The results seem highly informative and somewhat surprising. For example, the 9 x 9 km portrait of the Amazon contains more perforation than I would have expected, whereas northeastern North America shows relatively more interior than I would have guessed (relative to my understanding of patterns of land use and reforestation in each case). This paper will serve as an excellent educational tool for my graduate courses. I am less certain of its potential impact on policy. Although I agree that it can be very useful to demonstrate nonlinear, critical threshold effects of piecemeal deforestation, I wonder whether decision makers will get the message. I would like to see a follow-up article aimed more at policy makers. I also hope that the authors will find the time and resources to repeat some of the analyses with more recent imagery, to compare results with other estimates of deforestation rates and patterns.


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Riitters, K., J. Wickham, R. O'Neill, B. Jones, and E. Smith. 2000. Global-scale patterns of forest fragmentation. Conservation Ecology 4(2): 3. [online] URL: http://www.consecol.org/Journal/vol4/iss2/art3

Address of Correspondent:
George Robinson
Program in Biodiversity, Conservation and Policy
1400 Washington Ave.
Albany, NY 12222 USA
Phone: (518) 442-4302
Fax: (518) 442-4767

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