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Proc Biol Sci ; 286(1913): 20191724, 2019 Oct 23.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-31640506


Species' traits influence how populations respond to land-use change. However, even in well-characterized groups such as birds, widely studied traits explain only a modest proportion of the variance in response across species. Here, we show that associations with particular forest types strongly predict the sensitivity of forest-dwelling Amazonian birds to agriculture. Incorporating these fine-scale habitat associations into models of population response dramatically improves predictive performance and markedly outperforms the functional traits that commonly appear in similar analyses. Moreover, by identifying habitat features that support assemblages of unusually sensitive habitat-specialist species, our model furnishes straightforward conservation recommendations. In Amazonia, species that specialize on forests along a soil-nutrient gradient (i.e. both rich-soil specialists and poor-soil specialists) are exceptionally sensitive to agriculture, whereas species that specialize on floodplain forests are unusually insensitive. Thus, habitat specialization per se does not predict disturbance sensitivity, but particular habitat associations do. A focus on conserving specific habitats that harbour highly sensitive avifaunas (e.g. poor-soil forest) would protect a critically threatened component of regional biodiversity. We present a conceptual model to explain the divergent responses of habitat specialists in the different habitats, and we suggest that similar patterns and conservation opportunities probably exist for other taxa and regions.

Curr Biol ; 29(19): R1008-R1020, 2019 Oct 07.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-31593660


If current trends continue, the tropical forests of the Anthropocene will be much smaller, simpler, steeper and emptier than they are today. They will be more diminished in size and heavily fragmented (especially in lowland wet forests), have reduced structural and species complexity, be increasingly restricted to steeper, less accessible areas, and be missing many heavily hunted species. These changes, in turn, will greatly reduce the quality and quantity of ecosystem services that tropical forests can provide. Driving these changes will be continued clearance for farming and monoculture forest plantations, unsustainable selective logging, overhunting, and, increasingly, climate change. Concerted action by local and indigenous communities, environmental groups, governments, and corporations can reverse these trends and, if successful, provide future generations with a tropical forest estate that includes a network of primary forest reserves robustly defended from threats, recovering logged and secondary forests, and resilient community forests managed for the needs of local people. Realizing this better future for tropical forests and people will require formalisation of land tenure for local and indigenous communities, better-enforced environmental laws, the widescale roll-out of payments for ecosystem service schemes, and sustainable intensification of under-yielding farmland, as well as global-scale societal changes, including reduced consumerism, meat consumption, fossil fuel reliance, and population growth. But the time to act is now, while the opportunity remains to protect a semblance of intact, hyperdiverse tropical forests.

Conserv Biol ; 33(6): 1338-1349, 2019 12.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-31069849


Smallholder agriculture is the main driver of deforestation in the western Amazon, where terrestrial biodiversity reaches its global maximum. Understanding the biodiversity value of the resulting mosaics of cultivated and secondary forest is therefore crucial for conservation planning. However, Amazonian communities are organized across multiple forest types that support distinct species assemblages, and little is known about smallholder impacts across the range of forest types that are essential for sustaining biodiversity. We addressed this issue with a large-scale field inventory of birds (point counts) and trees (transects) in primary forest and smallholder agriculture in northern Peru across 3 forest types that are key for Amazonian biodiversity. For birds smallholder agriculture supported species richness comparable to primary forest within each forest type, but biotic homogenization across forest types resulted in substantial losses of biodiversity overall. These overall losses are invisible to studies that focus solely on upland (terra firma) forest. For trees biodiversity losses in upland forests dominated the signal across all habitats combined and homogenization across habitats did not exacerbate biodiversity loss. Proximity to forest strongly predicted the persistence of forest-associated bird and tree species in the smallholder mosaic, and because intact forest is ubiquitous in our study area, our results probably represent a best-case scenario for biodiversity in Amazonian agriculture. Land-use planning inside and outside protected areas should recognize that tropical smallholder agriculture has pervasive biodiversity impacts that are not apparent in typical studies that cover a single forest type. The full range of forest types must be surveyed to accurately assess biodiversity losses, and primary forests must be protected to prevent landscape-scale biodiversity loss.

Biodiversidade , Conservação dos Recursos Naturais , Agricultura , Animais , Florestas , Peru , Árvores
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A ; 114(49): 12976-12981, 2017 12 05.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-29133415


Species respond to climate change in two dominant ways: range shifts in latitude or elevation and phenological shifts of life-history events. Range shifts are widely viewed as the principal mechanism for thermal niche tracking, and phenological shifts in birds and other consumers are widely understood as the principal mechanism for tracking temporal peaks in biotic resources. However, phenological and range shifts each present simultaneous opportunities for temperature and resource tracking, although the possible role for phenological shifts in thermal niche tracking has been widely overlooked. Using a canonical dataset of Californian bird surveys and a detectability-based approach for quantifying phenological signal, we show that Californian bird communities advanced their breeding phenology by 5-12 d over the last century. This phenological shift might track shifting resource peaks, but it also reduces average temperatures during nesting by over 1 °C, approximately the same magnitude that average temperatures have warmed over the same period. We further show that early-summer temperature anomalies are correlated with nest success in a continental-scale database of bird nests, suggesting avian thermal niches might be broadly limited by temperatures during nesting. These findings outline an adaptation surface where geographic range and breeding phenology respond jointly to constraints imposed by temperature and resource phenology. By stabilizing temperatures during nesting, phenological shifts might mitigate the need for range shifts. Global change ecology will benefit from further exploring phenological adjustment as a potential mechanism for thermal niche tracking and vice versa.

Aves/fisiologia , Aclimatação , Migração Animal , Animais , California , Mudança Climática , Comportamento de Nidação , Estações do Ano , Temperatura Ambiente , Estados Unidos
Glob Chang Biol ; 22(10): 3373-82, 2016 10.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-26919289


Incentivizing carbon storage can be a win-win pathway to conserving biodiversity and mitigating climate change. In savannas, however, the situation is more complex. Promoting carbon storage through woody encroachment may reduce plant diversity of savanna endemics, even as the diversity of encroaching forest species increases. This trade-off has important implications for the management of biodiversity and carbon in savanna habitats, but has rarely been evaluated empirically. We quantified the nature of carbon-diversity relationships in the Brazilian Cerrado by analyzing how woody plant species richness changed with carbon storage in 206 sites across the 2.2 million km(2) region at two spatial scales. We show that total woody plant species diversity increases with carbon storage, as expected, but that the richness of endemic savanna woody plant species declines with carbon storage both at the local scale, as woody biomass accumulates within plots, and at the landscape scale, as forest replaces savanna. The sharpest trade-offs between carbon storage and savanna diversity occurred at the early stages of carbon accumulation at the local scale but the final stages of forest encroachment at the landscape scale. Furthermore, the loss of savanna species quickens in the final stages of forest encroachment, and beyond a point, savanna species losses outpace forest species gains with increasing carbon accumulation. Our results suggest that although woody encroachment in savanna ecosystems may provide substantial carbon benefits, it comes at the rapidly accruing cost of woody plant species adapted to the open savanna environment. Moreover, the dependence of carbon-diversity trade-offs on the amount of savanna area remaining requires land managers to carefully consider local conditions. Widespread woody encroachment in both Australian and African savannas and grasslands may present similar threats to biodiversity.

Mudança Climática , Austrália , Biodiversidade , Brasil , Carbono , Ecossistema , Pradaria , Árvores
Trends Ecol Evol ; 31(1): 67-80, 2016 Jan.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-26701706


To design robust protected area networks, accurately measure species losses, or understand the processes that maintain species diversity, conservation science must consider the organization of biodiversity in space. Central is beta-diversity--the component of regional diversity that accumulates from compositional differences between local species assemblages. We review how beta-diversity is impacted by human activities, including farming, selective logging, urbanization, species invasions, overhunting, and climate change. Beta-diversity increases, decreases, or remains unchanged by these impacts, depending on the balance of processes that cause species composition to become more different (biotic heterogenization) or more similar (biotic homogenization) between sites. While maintaining high beta-diversity is not always a desirable conservation outcome, understanding beta-diversity is essential for protecting regional diversity and can directly assist conservation planning.

Biodiversidade , Conservação dos Recursos Naturais , Agricultura/métodos , Mudança Climática , Agricultura Florestal/métodos , Espécies Introduzidas , Análise Espacial , Urbanização