Por Fernando Ascensão (Post-Doc Researcher, CIBIO-InBIO).
Road ecology is a rapidly developing branch of ecology, accompanying the growing need to perceive and mitigate the negative effects of linear infrastructures on biodiversity. However, despite the large amount of studies published annually, there are key questions that remain without the proper dedication by researchers. On the other hand, some themes are extensively explored and perhaps it is time to synthesize the accumulated knowledge. Finally, Road ecology is linked to several other areas of research, such as animal behavior or economics, but these relationships are rarely exploited, restricting our understanding of the real impact of roads on biodiversity and ecosystem services. In this presentation I address these questions looking for ways and future directions for Road ecology.
The area where I develop my research is Landscape Ecology, particularly in Road Ecology. The impact of roads on wildlife is an emerging and one of the most challenging research fields in ecology, not only by the urgency of finding solutions that enable a sustainable coexistence between the road and wildlife, but also for the opportunity it provides to investigate the biology, population dynamics, genetic isolation and the behaviour of various wildlife species and groups. It is a field that allows the study of anthropogenic influences on the landscape and fauna, including the effects of fragmentation and destruction of habitats, important factors of threat to biodiversity.