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Tree diversity of small forest fragments in ecotonal regions: why must these fragments be preserved?

Machado, Felipe Santana, Fontes, Marco Aurélio Leite, dos Santos, Rubens Manoel, Garcia, Paulo Oswaldo, Farrapo, Camila Lais
Biodiversity and conservation 2016 v.25 no.3 pp. 525-537
anthropogenic activities, ecosystems, environmental factors, fauna, functional diversity, habitat fragmentation, humans, inventories, laws and regulations, species diversity
Descriptions of biodiversity from ecotonal regions are lacking. This knowledge gap results from the difficulty of identifying elements from both biomes/domains and the advancement of human activities that generate small forest fragments. Here it is shown that small forest fragments in an ecotonal region have species richness and abundance in line with other inventories in preserved and non-preserved areas as well as composition and structure differentiated by the presence of species from both domains. The beta diversity among fragments reflects a high turnover supported by the formation of centers of dominance among the most abundant species. Finally, functional diversity favors the group that is tolerant of a wide range of environmental variables and is associated with faunal components. The results indicate that these fragments are important from a conservation standpoint because of the intersection of elements from threatened biomes, which must be managed coherently. However, Brazilian legislation is constantly modified and still allows anthropogenic changes that prevent the persistence of species.