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Diversity of terrestrial mammal seed dispersers along a lowland Amazon forest regrowth gradient.

08:00 EDT 16th March 2018 | BioPortfolio

Summary of "Diversity of terrestrial mammal seed dispersers along a lowland Amazon forest regrowth gradient."

There is increasing interest in the restoration/regeneration of degraded tropical habitats yet the potential role of natural regenerators remains unclear. We test the hypothesis that the richness and functional diversity of terrestrial mammals differs between forest regrowth stages. We quantified the richness and functional diversity of eight terrestrial mammal seed-disperser species across a forest regrowth gradient in the eastern Brazilian Amazon. We installed camera-traps in 15 sites within small-holder properties with forest regrowth stage classified into three groups, with five sites each of: late second-regrowth forest, early second-regrowth forest and abandoned pasture. Species richness and functional dispersion from the regrowth sites were compared with 15 paired forest control sites. Multi model selection showed that regrowth class was more important for explaining patterns in richness and functional diversity than other variables from three non-mutually exclusive hypotheses: hunting (distance to house, distance to river, distance to town, small holder residence), land cover (% forest cover within 50 meters, 1 kilometer and 5 kilometers) and land use (regrowth class, time since last use). Differences in functional diversity were most strongly explained by a loss of body mass. We found that diversity in regrowth sites could be similar to control sites even in some early-second regrowth areas. This finding suggests that when surrounded by large intact forest areas the richness and functional diversity close to human small-holdings can return to pre-degradation values. Yet we also found a significant reduction in richness and functional diversity in more intensely degraded pasture sites. This reduction in richness and functional diversity may limit the potential for regeneration and increase costs for ecological regeneration and restoration actions around more intense regrowth areas.

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This article was published in the following journal.

Name: PloS one
ISSN: 1932-6203
Pages: e0193752

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