Targeted reforestation could reverse declines in connectivity for understory birds in a tropical habitat corridor
This study looks at how conservation efforts over the last 25 years have impacted functional connectivity of forest habitat in northeastern Costa Rica’s San Juan-La Selva Biological Corridor. The study focuses on insectivorous understory forest birds.
research goals & Methods
The study measures movement behavior of adult forest birds at forest edges, assessing bird willingness to cross forest boundaries and enter matrix habitat. The study then uses this species movement to assess habitat viability. Finally, the study performed a connectivity analysis using 30m resolution land-use maps and linked this analysis to the bird movement data to model functional connectivity.
conclusions & takeaways
The study finds that connectivity declines by 14% to 21% between 1986 and 2011, despite small losses in forest cover and expansion of tree plantations in the study area. The study finds that the locations of tree plantations did not always serve to increase habitat connectivity. Finally, the study mapped connectivity bottlenecks and identified priority areas for reforestation.
Targeted reforestation could reverse declines in connectivity for understory birds in a tropical habitat corridor. Ecological Applications. 2016;26:1456–1474. doi:10.1890/14-2188..
- Biospheric Sciences, Goddard Space Flight Center, NASA, Greenbelt, Maryland, USA
- Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Environmental Biology, Columbia University, New York, New York, USA
- U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA
- Department of Geography, McGill University, West Montreal, Quebec, Canada
- Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Connecticut, Storrs, Connecticut, USA