2.10 Edge Effects of Corridors

Corridors established in woodlands or grasslands can create negative edge effects that extend into the woodland or grassland. Examples include open corridors cleared for roads in woodlands and hedgerows established in grasslands.

Negative edge effects include increased risk of parasitism or disease, increased risk of predation, adverse microclimate conditions, and competition from invasive species. These factors should be considered when designing corridors.

Key Considerations for Reducing Negative Edge Effects

  • Locate corridors along existing edges and avoid fragmenting habitat patches.
  • Consolidate corridor uses to minimize fragmentation (e.g., combine road and utility corridors).
  • In woodlands, create a dense, feathered edge with vegetation to reduce penetration of edge effects.
  • Narrower corridors will generally have less edge effects into adjacent habitat.
  • If the landscape already consists of patches dominated by edge, a corridor will probably not contribute additional negative impacts.

These graphs provide a summary of documented edge effects. These distances can be used for estimating the zone of impact and for designing ways to reduce these impacts.

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