Editorial - Road Ecology

Alex Bager, Clara Grilo


In recent decades the natural landscape has undergone rapid large scale changes mainly due to human activities. Such changes are due to different economic and social activities, citing conversion of land use (e.g. agriculture and forestry), expansion of urban areas and construction of means of travel and freight transport, whether by road or rail. The expansion of road projects, associated with the increased number of vehicles in circulation has intensified the negative effects of roads on biodiversity.Road Ecology is a new line of research which comprises environmental, social and economic actions aiming to minimize the negative effects of road projects. This line emerged 20 years ago, and it is still under widespread development, especially in emerging countries.One of the biggest concerns on conservation today is the loss of ecological processes at the population, community and ecosystem levels. Highways and railroads can act on all these levels, generating impacts over the short, medium and long term on different geographic scales and intensities.This present issue of Oecologia Australis is an initiative of the Brazilian Center for Research on Road Ecology (Federal University of Lavras) together with the postgraduate program in ecology (Federal University of Rio de Janeiro), and summarizes the degree of development of Road Ecology in different regions of the world (Figure 1), contributing to the direction of future actions in the scientific and public policies for biodiversity conservation.


Road ecology, editorial


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