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Quantifying the biodiversity value of tropical primary, secondary, and plantation forests.

Barlow, Jos and Gardner, Toby A. and Araujo, Ivanei S. and Ávila-Pires, Teresa Cristina and Bonaldo, Alexandre B. and Costa, Joana E. and Esposito, Maria Cristina and Ferreira, Leandro V. and Hawes, Joseph and Hernandez, Malva I. M. and Hoogmoed, Marinus S. and Leite, Rafael N. and Lo-Man-Hung, Nancy F. and Malcolm, Jay R. and Martins, Marlucia B. and Mestre, Luiz A. M. and Miranda-Santos, Ronildon and Nunes-Gutjahr, A. L. and Overal, William L. and Parry, Luke and Peters, Sandra L. and Ribeiro-Junior, Marco Antônio and da Silva, Maria N. F. and da Silva Motta, Catarina and Peres, Carlos A. (2007) Quantifying the biodiversity value of tropical primary, secondary, and plantation forests. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 104 (47). pp. 18555-18560. ISSN 0027-8424

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Abstract

Biodiversity loss from deforestation may be partly offset by the expansion of secondary forests and plantation forestry in the tropics. However, our current knowledge of the value of these habitats for biodiversity conservation is limited to very few taxa, and many studies are severely confounded by methodological shortcomings. We examined the conservation value of tropical primary, secondary, and plantation forests for 15 taxonomic groups using a robust and replicated sample design that minimized edge effects. Different taxa varied markedly in their response to patterns of land use in terms of species richness and the percentage of species restricted to primary forest (varying from 5% to 57%), yet almost all between-forest comparisons showed marked differences in community structure and composition. Cross-taxon congruence in response patterns was very weak when evaluated using abundance or species richness data, but much stronger when using metrics based upon community similarity. Our results show that, whereas the biodiversity indicator group concept may hold some validity for several taxa that are frequently sampled (such as birds and fruit-feeding butterflies), it fails for those exhibiting highly idiosyncratic responses to tropical land-use change (including highly vagile species groups such as bats and orchid bees), highlighting the problems associated with quantifying the biodiversity value of anthropogenic habitats. Finally, although we show that areas of native regeneration and exotic tree plantations can provide complementary conservation services, we also provide clear empirical evidence demonstrating the irreplaceable value of primary forests.

Item Type: Article
Journal or Publication Title: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
Subjects: Q Science > QH Natural history > QH301 Biology
Departments: Faculty of Science and Technology > Lancaster Environment Centre
ID Code: 10353
Deposited By: Dr Jos Barlow
Deposited On: 14 Jul 2008 08:52
Refereed?: Yes
Published?: Published
Last Modified: 01 Oct 2013 10:29
Identification Number:
URI: http://eprints.lancs.ac.uk/id/eprint/10353

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