Using a new computer modelling system, German scientists have concluded, such landscapes are a big problem for large predators such as lions and wolves. They're the ones who run out of food first as their prey diminishes. If these large predators disappear, entire wildlife "communities" suffer.
The study concludes, "Habitat isolation is the main driver causing species loss and diversity decline." This can include the collapse of entire, complex "food webs" and make these large "apex" predators the most vulnerable to outright extinctions.
The study was published yesterday in the proceedings of The Royal Society.