Biodiversity loss from deforestation may be partly offset by the expansion of secondary forests and plantation forestry in the tropics. However, our current knowledge of the value of these habitats for biodiversity conservation is limited to very few taxa, and many studies are severely confounded by methodological shortcomings. We examined the conservation value of tropical primary, secondary, and plantation forests for 15 taxonomic groups using a robust and replicated sample design that minimized edge effects. Different taxa varied markedly in their response to patterns of land use in terms of species richness and the percentage of species restricted to primary forest (varying from 5% to 57%), yet almost all between-forest comparisons showed marked differences in community structure and composition. Cross-taxon congruence in response patterns was very weak when evaluated using abundance or species richness data, but much stronger when using metrics based upon community similarity. Our results show that, whereas the biodiversity indicator group concept may hold some validity for several taxa that are frequently sampled (such as birds and fruit-feeding butterflies), it fails for those exhibiting highly idiosyncratic responses to tropical land-use change (including highly vagile species groups such as bats and orchid bees), highlighting the problems associated with quantifying the biodiversity value of anthropogenic habitats. Finally, although we show that areas of native regeneration and exotic tree plantations can provide complementary conservation services, we also provide clear empirical evidence demonstrating the irreplaceable value of primary forests. biodiversity indicators ͉ congruence ͉ conservation ͉ tropical forests ͉ Amazon
The identification of high-performance indicator taxa that combine practical feasibility and ecological value requires an understanding of the costs and benefits of surveying different taxa. We present a generic and novel framework for identifying such taxa, and illustrate our approach using a large-scale assessment of 14 different higher taxa across three forest types in the Brazilian Amazon, estimating both the standardized survey cost and the ecological and biodiversity indicator value for each taxon. Survey costs varied by three orders of magnitude, and dung beetles and birds were identified as especially suitable for evaluating and monitoring the ecological consequences of habitat change in our study region. However, an exclusive focus on such taxa occurs at the expense of understanding patterns of diversity in other groups. To improve the cost-effectiveness of biodiversity research we encourage a combination of clearer research goals and the use of an objective evidence-based approach to selecting study taxa.
Um inventário da fauna de aranhas foi realizado na Serra do Cachimbo, no Campo de Provas Brigadeiro Velloso, município de Novo Progresso, Pará. As coletas ocorreram em duas expedições, uma na estação seca (agosto e setembro de 2003) e outra na chuvosa (março e abril de 2004). Cada expedição contou com a participação de três coletores. O esforço de amostragem foi de 240 amostras, sendo 96 através de guarda-chuva entomológico e rede de varredura, 96 através de coleta manual noturna e 48 por triagem manual e extratores de Winkler. Foi comparada a diversidade de aranhas de quatro tipos de vegetação, Floresta Ombrófila Aberta, mata de galeria, áreas de Cerrado (Savana Arbórea) e de Campina. As coletas resultaram em um total de 4.990 indivíduos, dos quais 2.750 adultos. Foram identificadas 427 morfoespécies em 37 famílias, sendo as mais abundantes Theridiidae, Salticidae e Araneidae e as mais ricas em espécies Araneidae, Salticidae e Theridiidae. As espécies representadas por apenas um indivíduo somaram 40% do total e apenas duas ultrapassaram cem indivíduos. A curva de riqueza específica estimada (ACE) atingiu 614 espécies. A maior diversidade alfa (índice de Shannon-Wiener) foi encontrada em Floresta Ombrófila, seguida pela mata de galeria, Campina e Cerrado. Tais diferenças entre as vegetações podem ser explicadas devido a variações na complexidade da vegetação e na disponibilidade de microhábitats em cada fitofisionomia.
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