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By Richard Garratt

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Birds had long been building nests, including ones for roosting rather than breeding, and some of these can have elaborate constructions with roof canopies to protect them from sun and rain. Many primates also build such nests, as do invertebrates like ants and termites. All of these animals are seeking to modify their own microclimate to suit their own needs. Humans have the advantage of a high brain capacity and the ability to innovate in their constructions of dwellings, depending on the local circumstances.

By developing this analogy, biogeographers have developed a series of rules that can generally be applied to fragmented habitats: 1. The larger the island or fragment, the more species it will contain. Large fragments are generally rich in species and smaller fragments increasingly poor. 2. The rate of extinction is greater in small islands. Small islands will have longer edges in relation to their area, so the chances of predation are greater, as in the case of the spotted owl. 3. The greater the distance between islands, the lower are the chances of an animal reestablishing itself if it should become extinct at a site.

Particles suspended in the air strike the windward side of the hedge and become trapped there. If such particles are carried over the hedge, then the lower wind speed in the eddies behind the hedge can lead to their becoming deposited on the sheltered lee side. An example that shows just how effective a filter a hedge can be is shown in the figure on this page. In this example, a hedge close to the ocean has been analyzed to check how much of the airborne salt-rich particles and rainfall being blown from GEOGRAPHY OF FARMS AND CITIES the sea has accumulated on the leaves and twigs.

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