Effects of habitat fragmentation on a stream-dwelling species, the flattened musk turtle Sternotherus depressus
The flattened musk turtle Sternotherus depressus has disappeared from more than half of its former range because of habitat modifications to stream and river channels in the Warrior River Basin, Alabama. Only 6·9% of its probable historic range contains relatively healthy populations, and most populations are fragmented by extensive areas of unsuitable habitat. Turtles in the best remaining habitats continue to be vulnerable to disease and human-related disturbance, collecting and habitat modification. These factors lead to population declines and abnormal population structure. Habitat fragmentation, especially in small populations, increases vulnerability to human-caused catastrophes and demographic accidents, and could lead to eventual extinction. The threats facing fragmented populations of this turtle probably parallel those affecting many other stream-dwelling species throughout the southeastern United States.
|Effects of habitat fragmentation on a stream-dwelling species, the flattened musk turtle Sternotherus depressus
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