In an effort to test the effectiveness of landscape corridors, scientists down in South Carolina have been surveying forest plots either connected by greenways or not. The result, reported in the current issue of Science as well as in today’s Science Times, was a 20% increase in species biodiversity in the connected patches.

Not too astounding, except when you consider that the survey has been going for just six years. Said Dr. Ellen Damschen, lead author of the study:

It is surprising that we would see such a dramatic change over a short time scale … plants can change relatively quickly through their interactions with the landscape and the animals that interact with them.

Biodiversity, it appears, thrives with connectivity. Just another reason for neighborhoods to have sidewalks. That is, unless your neighbors happen to be the human equivalent of praying mantises — then you best watch your back, uh, head.

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