Resource Details

Live fences and landscape connectivity in a neotropical agricultural landscape

Literature: Journal Articles

Chaco´n, C.L., Harvey C.A., 2006, Live fences and landscape connectivity in a neotropical agricultural landscape, Costa Rica, Agroforestry Systems vol. 68, pp. 15-26.

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Department of Agriculture and Agroforestry, Costa Rica



  • The article highlights and characterizes the role and importance of live fences in the tropical regions of Central America and supporting its conclusions with results from a study site in Costa Rica. The study site covered an area of 4483ha and is located in the Province of Heredia a wet tropical forest zone. The current landscape there is dominated by agricultural primarily cattle and forms a small fragmented, homogenous structure with small patches of forests.
  • Five randomly selected blocks of 100ha were inventoried on length, composition, density and intersections live fences to other fences and other types of habitat. Within every defined life fence 5 trees were chosen and DBH and crown radius taken. With this data the contribution of live fences was measured and different simulation executed and compared. One of the two simulations calculated the change in connectivity in a landscape without live fences and the other the change of a conversion of all fences to live fences. 
  • Although live fences occupy an area less than 2 percent, a disproportionately large effect on landscape structure and composition is being shown. Summarized the main findings are:
  •     - The connectivity and biodiversity of the landscape and remaining habitats can be easily increased by converting the existing wooden fences by live fences-.
  •     - The nature of connectivity are highly dependent on the specific ecological characteristics of an animal species as well on the quality of the live fence-.
  •     - There is a seasonal and annual change to the degree of landscape connectivity, depending on the presence of deciduous trees and foremost on the pollard activities of the farm-.


  • Tropical Wet Forest
  • Country

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