Effects of oil palm plantations on anuran diversity in the eastern Amazon

in Animal Biology
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The extent of land use for oil palm plantations has grown considerably in the tropics due to climate, appropriate soil conditions for cultivation and its profitability. However, oil palm plantations may endanger biodiversity through reduction and fragmentation of forest areas. Herein we analyzed the effects on anuran species richness, composition and total abundance in oil palm plantations and surrounding forests in eastern Amazon. We installed seven plots in oil palm plantations and seven plots in surrounding forests, which we surveyed for the presence of anurans through active visual and acoustic surveys during periods of high and low rainfall levels. Anuran assemblages found in forests and oil palm plantations differed in species richness and composition, with a loss of 54% of species in oil palm plantations. No difference was observed in total abundance of anurans between both environments. While conversion of forests to oil palm plantations may result in less negative impacts on anuran diversity than other types of monocultures, such loss is nevertheless high, making the maintenance of relatively greater forested areas around oil palm plantations necessary in order to conserve anuran diversity.

Effects of oil palm plantations on anuran diversity in the eastern Amazon

in Animal Biology

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Figures

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    Map of study site within the property of AGROPALMA Company, in eastern Amazon, showing forested areas (shaded areas) and disturbed areas, where oil palm plantations are located (unshaded areas).

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    Anuran species abundance observed in forest and oil palm plantation areas within the property of AGROPALMA Company, in eastern Amazon. Black bars indicate abundance in forest; gray bars indicate abundance in oil palm plantation.

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    Non-metric multidimensional scale showing the difference in species composition between forest and oil-palm plantation areas within the property of AGROPALMA Company in eastern Amazon (filled circles = forest; empty circles = oil-palm plantation).

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