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A remnant natural area, also known as remnant habitat, is an ecological
community A community is a social unit The term "level of analysis" is used in the social sciences to point to the location, size, or scale of a research target. "Level of analysis" is distinct from the term "unit of observation" in that the former refer ...
containing
native Native may refer to: People * Jus soli, citizenship by right of birth * Indigenous peoples, peoples with a set of specific rights based on their historical ties to a particular territory ** Native Americans (disambiguation) In arts and entertai ...
flora and fauna that has not been significantly disturbed by destructive activities such as
agriculture Agriculture is the science, art and practice of cultivating plants and livestock. Agriculture was the key development in the rise of sedentary Image:Family watching television 1958.jpg, Exercise trends, Increases in sedentary behaviors su ...

agriculture
,
logging Logging is the process of cutting, processing, and moving trees to a location for transport. It may include skidder, skidding, on-site processing, and loading of trees or trunk (botany), logs onto logging truck, trucks or flatcar#Skeleton car, s ...

logging
,
pollution Pollution is the introduction of contaminant Contamination is the presence of a constituent, impurity, or some other undesirable element that spoils, corrupts, infects, makes unfit, or makes inferior a material, physical body, natural en ...

pollution
,
development Development or developing may refer to: Arts *Development hell Development hell, development purgatory, development limbo, or production hell, is a media Media may refer to: Physical means Communication * Media (communication), tool ...
,
fire BBQ. Fire is the rapid oxidation of a material in the exothermic chemical process of combustion, releasing heat, light, and various reaction Product (chemistry), products. Fire is hot because the conversion of the weak double bond in molecula ...
suppression, or non-native species invasion. The more disturbed an area has been, the less characteristic it becomes of remnant habitat. Remnant areas are also described as " biologically intact" or "ecologically intact." Remnant natural areas are often used as reference ecosystems in
ecological restoration Restoration ecology is the scientific study supporting the practice of ecological restoration, which is the practice of renewing and restoring degraded, damaged, or destroyed ecosystem An ecosystem (or ecological system) consists of all ...
projects.


Ecology

A remnant natural area can be described in terms of its natural quality or
biological integrity Biological integrity is associated with how "pristine" an natural environment, environment is and its function relative to the potential or original state of an ecosystem before human alterations were imposed. Biological integrity is built on the as ...
, which is the extent to which it has the internal
biodiversity Biodiversity is the biological variety and Genetic variability, variability of life, life on Earth. Biodiversity is a measure of variation at the Genetics, genetic, species, and ecosystem level. Terrestrial biodiversity is usually greater near ...

biodiversity
and
abiotic
abiotic
elements to replicate itself over time. Another definition of biological integrity is "the capability of supporting and maintaining a balanced, integrated, adaptive community of organisms having a
species In biology, a species is the basic unit of biological classification, classification and a taxonomic rank of an organism, as well as a unit of biodiversity. A species is often defined as the largest group of organisms in which any two individu ...

species
composition,
diversity Diversity, diversify, or diverse may refer to: Business *Diversity (business) The business case for diversity stems from the progression of the models of diversity within the workplace since the 1960s. In the United States, the original model ...
, and functional organization comparable to that of the natural
habitat In ecology Ecology (from el, οἶκος, "house" and el, -λογία, label=none, "study of") is the study of the relationships between living organisms, including humans, and their physical environment. Ecology considers at the ...

habitat
of the region." Abiotic elements determining the quality of a natural area may include factors such as hydrologic connectivity or fire. In areas that have been
dredged Dredging is the Digging, excavation of material from a water environment. Possible reasons for dredging include improving existing water features; reshaping land and water features to alter drainage, navigability, and commercial use; construct ...
,
drained ''Drained'', (Portuguese language, Portuguese: ''O Cheiro do Ralo_'' is a 2006 Brazilian Black comedy, dark comedy film based on a novel by Lourenço Mutarelli. It was directed by Heitor Dhalia, and stars Selton Mello. The film was produced by Gera ...

drained
, or
dammed ''Dammed: The Politics of Loss and Survival in Anishinaabe Territory'' is a 2020 book by Brittany Luby, Associate Professor of History at the University of Guelph. The book charts the impacts of the damming of the Winnipeg River in the Lake of th ...

dammed
, the altered hydrology can
destroy Destroy may refer to: * ''Destroy'' (album), a 2004 album by Ektomorf * Destroy!, a Minneapolis Crust punk band * '' Destroy!!'', a comic book by Scott McCloud Scott McCloud (born Scott McLeod on June 10, 1960) is an American cartoonist A ca ...
a remnant natural area. Similarly, too much or too little
fire BBQ. Fire is the rapid oxidation of a material in the exothermic chemical process of combustion, releasing heat, light, and various reaction Product (chemistry), products. Fire is hot because the conversion of the weak double bond in molecula ...
can degrade or destroy a remnant natural area. Remnant natural areas are characterized by the presence of "
conservative Conservatism is an aesthetic Aesthetics, or esthetics (), is a branch of philosophy that deals with the nature of beauty and taste (sociology), taste, as well as the philosophy of art (its own area of philosophy that comes out of ae ...
" plants and animals—organisms that are restricted to or highly characteristic of areas that have not been disturbed by humans. Tools to measure aspects of natural areas quality in remnant areas include Floristic Quality Assessment and the Macroinvertebrate Community Index.


Examples

In the upper Midwestern United States, remnant natural areas date prior to European colonization of the Americas, European settlement, going back to the end of the Wisconsinian Glaciation approximately 15,000 years ago. Diverse remnant plant community examples in that region include tallgrass prairie, beech-maple forest, Eastern savannas of the United States, savannas, bogs, and fens. Remnant natural areas in Illinois have largely been classified by the Illinois Natural Areas Inventory as Category I "high quality terrestrial or wetland natural communities." In Australia, remnant habitats are sometimes called "bushland," and include communities such as forest, woodland, grasslands, Mallee_(biogeographic_region), mallee, coastal heathland, and rainforest.


References

{{Reflist Conservation biology Ecology terminology Habitats