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The impacts of tropical forest disturbance on species vital rates.

08:00 EDT 4th July 2018 | BioPortfolio

Summary of "The impacts of tropical forest disturbance on species vital rates."

Tropical forests are experiencing enormous threats from deforestation and habitat degradation. Much of our knowledge on the impacts of these land-use changes on tropical species comes from studies examining patterns of richness and abundance. Demographic vital rates (survival, reproduction and movement) can also be impacted by land-use change in a way that increases species vulnerability to local extinction, but in many cases these impacts may not be manifested in short-term changes in abundance or species richness. We assessed current knowledge and research effort concerning how land-use change affects species vital rates in tropical forest vertebrates. We find a general paucity of empirical research on demography across taxa and regions, with some biases towards mammals and birds, and land-use transitions including fragmentation and agriculture. There is also considerable between-species variation in demographic responses to land-use change, which could reflect trait-based differences in species sensitivity, complex context-dependencies (e.g. between-region variation) or inconsistency in methods used in studies. Efforts to improve our understanding of anthropogenic impacts on species demography are underway, but there is a need for increased research effort to fill knowledge-gaps in under-studied tropical regions and taxa. The lack of information on demographic impacts of anthropogenic disturbance makes it difficult to draw definite conclusions about the magnitude of threats to tropical ecosystems under anthropogenic pressures. Thus, determining conservation priorities and improving conservation effectiveness remains a challenge. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

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This article was published in the following journal.

Name: Conservation biology : the journal of the Society for Conservation Biology
ISSN: 1523-1739
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