Biodiversity loss in deforestation frontiers: Linking occupancy modelling and physiological stress indicators to understand local extinctions

Semper Pascual, Asunción; Decarre, Julieta; Baumann, Matthias; Busso, Juan M.; Camino, Micaela; Gómez Valencia, Bibiana; Kuemmerle, Tobias
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Tropical deforestation is a main driver of the global biodiversity crisis. Impact assessments typically focus on species' presence, which means impacts are detected when local extinctions have occurred – and thus when it is too late. Here, we pioneer the combined use of two approaches that can detect deforestation impacts earlier, at the level of populations (using occupancy modelling) and at the level of individuals (using stress hormonal indicators). We tested this approach for the collared peccary (Pecari tajacu) in the Argentine Chaco, a global deforestation hotspot. We used camera-trap data to model peccary occupancy in relation to woodland cover and loss, and measured glucocorticoid metabolites in peccary feces to assess individuals' stress level in deforestation areas. We found that peccary occupancy was highest in remote areas with high woodland cover, but low otherwise. Peccaries were typically absent from areas where deforestation had been widespread recently. Where peccaries were present, physiological stress was correlated with the extent of edge between cropland and forest (a proxy for food availability), and not with deforestation. This, and the observation that peccaries disappear quickly as deforestation progresses, suggests that peccaries do not adapt well to the new conditions in deforestation frontiers. Interms of conservation management, our results under pin the importance of protecting large, contiguous woodland blocks to prevent large mammals from going extinct in deforestation frontiers. More broadly, weshow how combining stress hormonal indicators and occupancy modelling can provide deepins ights into processes underlying local extinctions in dynamic landscapes.
Fil: Semper Pascual, Asunción. Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin. Geography Department; Alemania
Fil: Decarre, Julieta. Instituto Nacional de Tecnología Agropecuaria (INTA). Instituto de Recursos Biológicos; Argentina
Fil: Baumann, Matthias. Humboldt-University Berlin. Geography Department; Alemania
Fil: Busso, Juan M. Universidad Nacional de Córdoba. Facultad de Ciencias Exactas, Físicas y Naturales. Instituto de Investigaciones Biológicas y Tecnológicas; Argentina. Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas; Argentina
Fil: Camino, Micaela. Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas. Centro de Ecología del Litoral. Laboratorio de Biología de la Conservación; Argentina
Fil: Gomez Valencia, Bibiana. Universidad de Buenos Aires. Facultad de Ciencias Exactas y Naturales. Grupo de Estudios de Sistemas Ecológicos en Ambientes Agrícolas; Argentina. Instituto de Investigaciones de Recursos Biológicos Alexander von Humboldt; Colombia
Fil: Kuemmerle, Tobias. Humboldt-University Berlin. Geography Department; Alemania. Humboldt-University Berlin. Integrative Research Institute for Transformations in Human Environment Systems; Alemania
Biological Conservation 236 : 281-288 (August 2019)
Fecal Cortisol Metabolites
Land-use Changes
Occupancy Modelling
Metabolitos Fecales de Cortisol
Gran Chaco
Cambio de Uso del Suelo
Modelado de Ocupación
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INTA Digital (INTA)
Instituto Nacional de Tecnología Agropecuaria
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