Habitat alteration is a broad term that includes many kinds of changes to habitats. In this context, alteration is defined as any change in the biological characteristics of a habitat that supports a particular assemblage of species. Alteration can have beneficial, adverse, or no impact on a particular species. Examples of habitat alteration resulting from wind energy projects include changes in plant communities from invasion by weeds, increased wildfires, habitat conversion, increased human disturbance due to changes in access, and fragmentation. Habitat fragmentation occurs when large, continuous blocks of habitat are converted into smaller patches separated by project roads and features. The scale of the fragmentation and the tolerance of the species (or even local resident individuals) determine the severity of the effect. The effects of alteration and fragmentation could range from no effect on some species, to reductions in local populations, to loss of a species from the site during one or more seasons.
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