Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Amazon Corridors Far Too Narrow, Warn Scientists

Date:
February 24, 2008
Source:
University of East Anglia
Summary:
Protected forest strips buffering rivers and streams of the Amazon rainforest should be significantly wider than the current legal requirement, according to new research. Brazilian forestry legislation currently requires that all forest strips alongside rivers and streams on private land be maintained as permanent reserves and it sets a minimum legal width of 60m. But after investigating the effects of corridor width on the number of bird and mammal species, researchers say a minimum critical width of 400m is necessary.

Protected forest strips buffering rivers and streams of the Amazon rainforest should be significantly wider than the current legal requirement, according to pioneering new research by scientists at the University of East Anglia. This is the first wildlife study on remnant riparian tropical forest corridors.

Related Articles


Brazilian forestry legislation currently requires that all forest strips alongside rivers and streams on private land be maintained as permanent reserves and it sets a minimum legal width of 60m.

But after investigating the effects of corridor width on the number of bird and mammal species, Alexander Lees and Dr Carlos Peres of UEA's School of Environmental Sciences say a minimum critical width of 400m is necessary.

The findings come as the existing legislation protecting remnant forest corridors is being actively debated in the Brazilian Congress. "There are proposals on the table to actually weaken the minimum legal requirements, when they need to be strengthened," said Dr Peres.

"This is a huge wildlife conservation issue locally - with global implications in terms of biodiversity and climate change - and we would urge policy-makers to act on this important new research before it is too late."

The 7 million km2 Amazon rainforest contains around a quarter of the world's terrestrial species, yet is being cleared at a rate of 25,000 km2 per year. Eighty per cent of this deforestation has been in Brazil and 70 per cent of that can be directly attributed to cattle ranching.

Wildlife corridors are often proposed as solutions to the problems of habitat fragmentation -- the process of isolation of communities of animals and plants in increasingly smaller remaining habitat patches.

These forest corridors act as strips of habitat connecting wildlife populations that are otherwise widely separated by hostile cattle pastures and permit an exchange of individuals between populations. This helps to prevent inbreeding within populations and facilitates re-establishment of populations that may have already become locally extinct.

The UEA research team surveyed 37 remnant and intact riparian forest sites in the State of Mato Grosso, southern Brazilian Amazon, around the town of Alta Floresta, a 30-year-old deforestation frontier.

The wider and better-preserved the corridors were, the greater the number of species found using them.

Along with proposing a new minimum width threshold, the study also recommends fencing off large areas to allow regeneration following heavy browsing by livestock.

This research is to be published in the journal Conservation Biology on March 21, 2008.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of East Anglia. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of East Anglia. "Amazon Corridors Far Too Narrow, Warn Scientists." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 24 February 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/02/080218134554.htm>.
University of East Anglia. (2008, February 24). Amazon Corridors Far Too Narrow, Warn Scientists. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 27, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/02/080218134554.htm
University of East Anglia. "Amazon Corridors Far Too Narrow, Warn Scientists." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/02/080218134554.htm (accessed November 27, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Earth & Climate News

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Bolivian Recycling Initiative Turns Plastic Waste Into School Furniture

Bolivian Recycling Initiative Turns Plastic Waste Into School Furniture

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Nov. 26, 2014) — Innovative recycling project in La Paz separates city waste and converts plastic garbage into school furniture made from 'plastiwood'. Tara Cleary reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Blu-Ray Discs Getting Second Run As Solar Panels

Blu-Ray Discs Getting Second Run As Solar Panels

Newsy (Nov. 26, 2014) — Researchers at Northwestern University are repurposing Blu-ray movies for better solar panel technology thanks to the discs' internal structures. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Antarctic Sea Ice Mystery Thickens... Literally

Antarctic Sea Ice Mystery Thickens... Literally

Newsy (Nov. 25, 2014) — Antarctic sea ice isn't only expanding, it's thicker than previously thought, and scientists aren't sure exactly why. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
3D Map of Antarctic Sea Ice to Shed Light on Climate Change

3D Map of Antarctic Sea Ice to Shed Light on Climate Change

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Nov. 24, 2014) — A multinational group of scientists have released the first ever detailed, high-resolution 3-D maps of Antarctic sea ice. Using an underwater robot equipped with sonar, the researchers mapped the underside of a massive area of sea ice to gauge the impact of climate change. Ben Gruber reports. Video provided by Reuters
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