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Trends Ecol Evol. 2012 Jul;27(7):374-80. doi: 10.1016/j.tree.2012.01.015. Epub 2012 Feb 20.

Measures to reduce population fragmentation by roads: what has worked and how do we know?

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  • 1Genetics and Ecology of Amphibians Research Group (GEARG), Biology Department, Laurentian University, Sudbury, Ont., P3E 2C6, Canada.


Roads impede animal movement, which decreases habitat accessibility and reduces gene flow. Ecopassages have been built to mitigate this but there is little research with which to evaluate their effectiveness, owing to the difficulty in accessing results of existing research; the lack of scientific rigor in these studies; and the low priority of connectivity planning in road projects. In this article, we suggest that the imperative for improving studies of ecopassage effectiveness is that road ecology research should be included from the earliest stages of road projects onwards. This would enable before-after-control-impact (BACI) design research, producing useful information for the particular road project as well as rigorous results for use in future road mitigation. Well-designed studies on ecopassage effectiveness could help improve landscape connectivity even with the increasing number and use by traffic of roads.

Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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