Anthropogenic disturbance in tropical forests can double biodiversity loss from deforestation
The authors examined the impacts of anthropogenic disturbances within a forest on the ability of the forest to conserve biodiversity and provide ecosytem services. The research used large data sets of plants, birds, and dung beetles and used them as indicators of biodiversity change in the forest.
Conclusions & Takeaways
The study found that a 20% loss in primary forest, resulted in a 39 - 54 % loss in conservation value of that forest. Species distribution models from the data showed that both landscape and within forest disturbance contributed to biodiversity loss and that species with high conservation or functional value were the most adversely affected. Therefore, they recommend factoring in small scale anthropogenic disturbances in tropical forests when considering the conservation value of that forest
Anthropogenic disturbance in tropical forests can double biodiversity loss from deforestation. Nature. 2016;535:144–147. doi:10.1038/nature18326.
- Lancaster Environment Centre, Lancaster University, Lancaster, UK
- MCTI/Museu Paraense Emílio Goeldi, Belém, Pará, Brazil
- Universidade Federal de Lavras, Setor de Ecologia e Conservaçã, Lavras, Minas Gerais, Brazil.