The Ecological Value of Scattered Oaks
Conservationists often place the greatest value on protecting large contiguous habitat areas. However, as two new studies (here and here) in the journal Biological Conservation show, single, isolated trees on agricultural lands can give a big boost to bird and bat species. According to the second study,
"Our results suggest that oak savanna restoration in agricultural systems does not necessarily need to be an all-or-nothing proposition. Large savanna-form oak trees scattered in agricultural fields have wildlife value, particularly for many oak-associated birds. Moreover, individual trees have a relatively small physical footprint thus allowing minimal impact on agricultural production and contributing to biological diversity at a small cost to production."