Ecosystem disturbances and diversity increase: implications for invertebrate conservation

Publication Type:Journal Article
Year of Publication:2006
Authors:R. Dias Loyola, Brito, S. - L., Ferreira, R. Lopes
Journal:Biodiversity and Conservation
Keywords:conservation, diversity, Ecosystem disturbances, Management, Neotropics, pantanal, Soil Arthropods

Abstract. The Pantanal is one of the faunistic provinces considered as a priority area for inverte- brate conservation. However, it is one of the areas in Brazil where the local fauna is less assessed, thus needing more scientific information that could allow political decisions to be made regarding conservation. The continuous pressure for new pasture areas leads to improper habitat occupation and destruction, like fragmentation of forest areas in the region. Such alterations can cause different impacts on the local fauna, including the soil arthropods. The main objective of this work was to compare the morphospecies composition, diversity and density of the soil arthropod fauna between a secondary single species forest (Cambarazal) and a cultivated pasture with exotic and native grass species, using only pitfall traps as sampling method. We found a great variation on the vegetal cover among environments. A higher humidity in the forest soil was observed, as well as a greater com- paction of the soil in the cultivated pasture. A total of 3635 individuals were collected, belonging to 214 different morphospecies. 139 morphospecies were collected in the forest (37% exclusive to this environment), while 134 morphospecies were collected in the cultivated pasture (35% exclusive). The diversity was higher in the forest (H¢ = 1.634) than in the cultivated pasture (H¢ = 1.253). How- ever, considering the area as a whole (forest and pasture) the global diversity was increased. In this paper we discuss about the effects of environmental changes on soil arthropod diversity and propose a hypothetical model for invertebrate management in mosaic ecosystems.

Scratchpads developed and conceived by (alphabetical): Ed Baker, Katherine Bouton Alice Heaton Dimitris Koureas, Laurence Livermore, Dave Roberts, Simon Rycroft, Ben Scott, Vince Smith