Emergent properties of species-habitat networks in an insular forest landscape

Ana Filipa Palmeirim, Carine Emer, Maíra Benchimol, Danielle Storck-Tonon, Anderson S. Bueno, Carlos A. Peres

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Deforestation and fragmentation are pervasive drivers of biodiversity loss, but how they scale up to entire landscapes remains poorly understood. Here, we apply species-habitat networks based on species co-occurrences to test the effects of insular fragmentation on multiple taxa-medium-large mammals, small nonvolant mammals, lizards, understory birds, frogs, dung beetles, orchid bees, and trees-across 22 forest islands and three continuous forest sites within a river-damming quasi-experimental landscape in Central Amazonia. Widespread, nonrandom local species extinctions were translated into highly nested networks of low connectance and modularity. Networks' robustness considering the sequential removal of large-to-small sites was generally low; between 5% (dung beetles) and 50% (orchid bees) of species persisted when retaining only <10 ha of islands. In turn, larger sites and body size were the main attributes structuring the networks. Our results raise the prospects that insular forest fragmentation results in simplified species-habitat networks, with distinct taxa persistence to habitat loss.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbereabm0397
JournalScience Advances
Issue number34
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2022

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