One strategy for animal conservation is to create strips of habitat that allow individuals from isolated populations to travel long distances and so meet. Damschen et al. report in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences that habitat corridors can also affect seed dispersal by wind (E. I. Damschen et al. Proc. Natl Acad. Sci. USA; 2014).

Credit: Larry Miller/SPL

From models and studies of open areas in a forest, the authors find that prevailing winds veer towards the long axis of each corridor, accelerating within corridors and strengthening at the downwind ends, and that increased turbulence creates 'hotspots' of seed uplift.

These combined effects aid seed dispersal, especially in areas connected by corridors that align with prevailing winds. The researchers argue that their findings should be considered when planning conservation efforts for plants that depend on open habitats.