Habitats become regimented when development breaks up solid stretches of land. Examples include roads which may cut through forests or even trails which wind through prairies. While it may not sound all bad on the surface, there are serious consequences. The largest of these consequences are initially felt by specific plant and animal communities, most of which are specialized for their foreign or require large areas of land to retain a healthy genetic heritage. Area Sensitive Animals Some wildlife species require large stretches of land in order to meet all of their needs for food, habitat, and other resources.
These animals are called area sensitive. When the environment is fragmented, the large patches of habitat no longer exist. It becomes more difficult for the wildlife to get the resources they to survive, possibly becoming threatened or endangered. The environment suffers without the animals that play their role in the food web. Aggressive Plant Life A more critical result of habitat fragmentation is land disturbance. Many weedy plant species, such as garlic mustard and purple loosestrife, are both opportunistic and invasive. A breach in the habitat gives them an opportunity o take hold.These aggressive plants can take over an environment, displacing the native flora.
The result is habitat with a single dominant plant which doesn’t provide adequate food resources for all the wildlife. Entire ecosystems are threatened with extinction, according to the National Resources Defense Council.