Assessing assemblage-wide mammal responses to different types of habitat modification in Amazonian forests

Paula C. R. Almeida-Maués, Anderson S. Bueno, Ana Filipa Palmeirim, Carlos A. Peres, Ana Cristina Mendes-Oliveira

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Tropical forests are being heavily modified by varying intensities of land use ranging from structural degradation to complete conversion. While ecological responses of vertebrate assemblages to habitat modification are variable, such understanding is critical to appropriate conservation planning of anthropogenic landscapes. We assessed the responses of medium/large-bodied mammal assemblages to the ecological impacts of reduced impact logging, secondary regrowth, and eucalyptus and oil palm plantations in Eastern Brazilian Amazonia. We used within-landscape paired baseline-treatment comparisons to examine the impact of different types of habitat modification in relation to adjacent primary forest. We examined assemblage-wide metrics including the total number of species, number of primary forest species retained in modified habitats, abundance, species composition, and community integrity. We ranked all types of habitat modification along a gradient of assemblage-wide impact intensity, with oil palm and eucalyptus plantations exerting the greatest impact, followed by secondary regrowth, and selectively logging. Selectively-logged and secondary forests did not experience discernible biodiversity loss, except for the total number of primary forest species retained. Secondary forests further experienced pronounced species turnover, with loss of community integrity. Considering the biodiversity retention capacity of anthropogenic habitats, this study reinforces the landscape-scale importance of setting aside large preserved areas.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1797
JournalScientific Reports
Publication statusPublished - 2 Feb 2022

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