Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Rainforest Wildlife Surprisingly Sensitive To Landscape Changes; Long-Term Study Reveals Dramatic Impact Of Fragmentation

Date:
June 3, 2002
Source:
Smithsonian Institution
Summary:
The slightest clearing in the vast rainforests of the Amazon can wreak havoc with the inhabitants, impeding the movement of species and disrupting their communities, according to the results of a 22-year investigation published in the June issue of Conservation Biology.

The slightest clearing in the vast rainforests of the Amazon can wreak havoc with the inhabitants, impeding the movement of species and disrupting their communities, according to the results of a 22-year investigation published in the June issue of Conservation Biology.

A team of researchers led by William F. Laurance of the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute reviewed more than 340 articles and papers generated by the Biological Dynamics of Forest Fragments Project (BDFFP), the world’s largest and longest-running study of habitat fragmentation, since its inception in 1979.

They found that the effect of habitat fragmentation on the structure, composition and function of rainforests is far-reaching and widely felt. It increases local extinction rates for many plant and animal species; drastically alters species richness and abundance; and disrupts ecological processes, as well as creating opportunities for non-native species invasions, altering forest carbon storage and increasing vulnerability to fire.

“A surprising number of wildlife species are extremely sensitive to very small clearings,” said Laurance. “Even a 30-meter-wide road alters the community composition of understory birds and other wildlife, and creates a complete barrier to the movements of some species.”

Laurance believes the results of the analysis indicate clearly that Amazonian nature reserves will have to be very large in order to maintain their diversity and dynamics, and to withstand external threats from such human disturbances as burning, logging and hunting.

The Biological Dynamics of Forest Fragment Project, a joint effort of the National Institute for Amazonian Research (INPA) in Brazil and the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, seeks to answer questions about plant and animal relations, the biology of extinction, the process of forest regeneration, and the effects of forest edge and fragmentation on the genetic structure of tropical species.

The Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, headquartered in Panama City, Republic of Panama, is one of the world’s leading centers for research on the ecology, evolution and conservation of tropical organisms.

More information is available at http://www.stri.org.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Smithsonian Institution. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Smithsonian Institution. "Rainforest Wildlife Surprisingly Sensitive To Landscape Changes; Long-Term Study Reveals Dramatic Impact Of Fragmentation." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 3 June 2002. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2002/06/020603071227.htm>.
Smithsonian Institution. (2002, June 3). Rainforest Wildlife Surprisingly Sensitive To Landscape Changes; Long-Term Study Reveals Dramatic Impact Of Fragmentation. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2002/06/020603071227.htm
Smithsonian Institution. "Rainforest Wildlife Surprisingly Sensitive To Landscape Changes; Long-Term Study Reveals Dramatic Impact Of Fragmentation." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2002/06/020603071227.htm (accessed October 22, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Cadaver Dogs Aid Search for More Victims of Suspected Indiana Serial Killer

Cadaver Dogs Aid Search for More Victims of Suspected Indiana Serial Killer

Reuters - US Online Video (Oct. 21, 2014) Police in Gary, Indiana are using cadaver dogs to search for more victims after a suspected serial killer confessed to killing at least seven women. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
White Lion Cubs Unveiled to the Public

White Lion Cubs Unveiled to the Public

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Oct. 21, 2014) Visitors to Belgrade zoo meet a pair of three-week-old lion cubs for the first time. Tara Cleary reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
'Cadaver Dog' Sniffs out Human Remains

'Cadaver Dog' Sniffs out Human Remains

AP (Oct. 21, 2014) Where's a body buried? Buster's nose can often tell you. He's a cadaver dog, specially trained to find human remains and increasingly being used by law enforcement and accepted in courts. These dogs are helping solve even decades-old mysteries. (Oct. 21) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
White Lion Cubs Born in Belgrade Zoo

White Lion Cubs Born in Belgrade Zoo

AFP (Oct. 20, 2014) Two white lion cubs, an extremely rare subspecies of the African lion, were recently born at Belgrade Zoo. They are being bottle fed by zoo keepers after they were rejected by their mother after birth. Duration: 00:42 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins