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Nature ; 620(7975): 807-812, 2023 Aug.
Artículo en Inglés | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-37612395


The United Nations recently agreed to major expansions of global protected areas (PAs) to slow biodiversity declines1. However, although reserves often reduce habitat loss, their efficacy at preserving animal diversity and their influence on biodiversity in surrounding unprotected areas remain unclear2-5. Unregulated hunting can empty PAs of large animals6, illegal tree felling can degrade habitat quality7, and parks can simply displace disturbances such as logging and hunting to unprotected areas of the landscape8 (a phenomenon called leakage). Alternatively, well-functioning PAs could enhance animal diversity within reserves as well as in nearby unprotected sites9 (an effect called spillover). Here we test whether PAs across mega-diverse Southeast Asia contribute to vertebrate conservation inside and outside their boundaries. Reserves increased all facets of bird diversity. Large reserves were also associated with substantially enhanced mammal diversity in the adjacent unprotected landscape. Rather than PAs generating leakage that deteriorated ecological conditions elsewhere, our results are consistent with PAs inducing spillover that benefits biodiversity in surrounding areas. These findings support the United Nations goal of achieving 30% PA coverage by 2030 by demonstrating that PAs are associated with higher vertebrate diversity both inside their boundaries and in the broader landscape.

Biodiversidad , Conservación de los Recursos Naturales , Objetivos , Clima Tropical , Naciones Unidas , Animales , Conservación de los Recursos Naturales/legislación & jurisprudencia , Conservación de los Recursos Naturales/métodos , Conservación de los Recursos Naturales/tendencias , Mamíferos , Agricultura Forestal/legislación & jurisprudencia , Agricultura Forestal/métodos , Agricultura Forestal/tendencias
J Anim Ecol ; 91(3): 604-617, 2022 03.
Artículo en Inglés | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-34954816


Conservation outcomes could be greatly enhanced if strategies addressing anthropogenic land-use change considered the impacts of these changes on entire communities as well as on individual species. Examining how species interactions change across gradients of habitat disturbance allows us to predict the cascading consequences of species extinctions and the response of ecological networks to environmental change. We conducted the first detailed study of changes in a commensalist network of mammals and dung beetles across an environmental disturbance gradient, from primary tropical forest to plantations, which varied in above-ground carbon density (ACD) and mammal communities. Mammal diversity changed only slightly across the gradient, remaining high even in oil palm plantations and fragmented forest. Dung beetle species richness, however, declined in response to lower ACD and was particularly low in plantations and the most disturbed forest sites. Three of the five network metrics (nestedness, network specialization and functionality) were significantly affected by changes in dung beetle species richness and ACD, but mammal diversity was not an important predictor of network structure. Overall, the interaction networks remained structurally and functionally similar across the gradient, only becoming simplified (i.e. with fewer dung beetle species and fewer interactions) in the most disturbed sites. We suggest that the high diversity of mammals, even in disturbed forests, combined with the generalist feeding patterns of dung beetles, confer resilience to the commensalist dung beetle-mammal networks. This study highlights the importance of protecting logged and fragmented forests to maintain interaction networks and potentially prevent extinction cascades in human-modified systems.

Escarabajos , Animales , Biodiversidad , Escarabajos/fisiología , Ecosistema , Bosques , Mamíferos