Tree diversity in a tropical agricultural‑forest mosaic landscape in Honduras
Tropical forests hold high biodiversity values, but are also valued for agricultural land uses. Particularly in Central America, a region with particularly high biodiversity, intensive land management practices have reduced and continue to reduce forest and species abundance. There is a push to change land use practices in order to restore and promote biodiversity, though the potential for biodiversity on agricultural landscapes is an understudied subject.
Goals and Methods
The authors aim to evaluate the biodiversity of Catacamas, a human dominated landscape in Honduras. Data is collected from the field on tree taxonomy and coverage within intensive livestock and coffee agroforestry landscapes, as well as secondary forests. Using gamma, alpha, and beta diversity indices, the authors compare biodiversity values within and between landscapes and land uses.
Conclusions and Takeaways
Across the mosaic of landscapes in Catacamas, the authors find high levels of biodiversity in all forms. Land uses such as coffee agroforestry contain biodiversity levels equivalent to preserved secondary forest. These landscapes contain high numbers of species and specifically notable quantities of rare species. The authors determine that land uses such as agroforestry are successful combinations of both agricultural production and biodiversity conservation. They encourage the use of enrichment planting to promote better quality regeneration in more degraded landscapes.
Tree diversity in a tropical agricultural-forest mosaic landscape in Honduras. Scientific Reports. 2022;12(1). doi:10.1038/s41598-022-21280-7.