Record Details

Chiarello, A. G.
Effects of fragmentation of the Atlantic forest on mammal communities in south-eastern Brazil
Biological Conservation
Journal Article
atlantic forest brazil forest fragmentation mammal community density diet Tapir Bibliography
Six Atlantic forest reserves, two large (c. 20,000 ha each), two medium-sized (c. 2,000 ha each) and two small (c. 200 ha each), located in northern Espirito Santo, south-eastern Brazil were censused for mammals from October 1994 to April 1996. Diurnal and nocturnal line-transect sampling was used for censusing mammals > 1 kg body weight, and the relative abundance of species in the six fragments was compared. The number of mammal species recorded in the reserves was strongly related to the forest area, the richest community being recorded in the two large reserves and the poorest in the two small reserves. The large reserves had a structurally more complex community, with top predators, large, terrestrial frugivores and large myrmecophages. The mammal community of the small and the medium-sized reserves was impoverished and less complex. Frugivores were numerically predominant in both large and medium-sized reserves, whereas herbivores dominated the mammal community of the small reserves, mainly through the absence of agoutis Dasyprocta leporina and the high density of maned sloth Bradypus torquatus in the two small reserves. The lack of predators and the proliferation of secondary vegetation and lianas throughout the small reserves are probably the main causes for the success of arboreal folivores there. Illegal hunting was found to reduce the encounter rates of mostly large, terrestrial frugivores such as agoutis, paces Agouti paca, peccaries Pecari tajacu and Tayassu pecari and deer Mazama spp., and is contributing to keep the population of the surviving species low. (C) 1999 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.
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