Samways, M.J., C.S. Bazelet and J.S. Pryke
Large scale landscape transformation and contingent habitat loss are among the greatest threats to ecological integrity and ecosystem health. One of the mitigation approaches used to deal with these pressures is to leave interconnected corridors and nodes as remnant ecological networks (ENs) within the transformed landscape. The South African forestry industry has already allocated 500,000 ha, one-third of the plantation holdings, consisting predominantly of natural grassland, as ENs among and within timber plantations. These ENs are intended to maintain structural, compositional and functional biodiversity. However, little scientific research is available on the effectiveness of these huge ENs for biodiversity conservation and maintenance of natural ecosystem function, although initial findings are encouraging.