The dividing of an area of habitat into a number of smaller areas separated by stretches supporting a radically different community of organisms. This occurs naturally, when geologic processes alter the environment, and when human activity changes the use of the land. Fragmentation tends to increase the amount of habitat edge while decreasing the amount of interior habitat, and to convert a contiguous area into a number of ‘islands’. Animals that are unable to cross the intervening areas between these ‘islands’ risk isolation.
Subjects: Zoology and Animal Sciences.