Why we must save rainforest fragments

You might think small fragments of rainforest don't have much biological value.  But new research by van Breugel et al. (2013) in PLoS One shows just how important such fragments are.

Working in Panama, they showed that forests regenerating on formerly cleared lands gain plant species only slowly as they age--that is, unless fragments of old-growth rainforest are nearby.  If they are, then these fragments act as crucial sources of seeds for the regenerating forests, and they recover their plant diversity far faster.

The take-home lesson: all rainforests are important, even tiny patches!