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The distributional ecology of the maned sloth: environmental influences on its distribution and gaps in knowledge.

Moreira Dde O, Leite GR, Ferreira de Siqueira M, Coutinho BR, Zanon MS, Mendes SL - PLoS ONE (2014)

Bottom Line: Our results suggest that the species distribution could be strongly influenced by environmental factors, mainly temperature seasonality.The modeled distribution of the maned sloth included known areas of occurrence in the Atlantic Forest (Sergipe, Bahia, Espírito Santo, and Rio de Janeiro), but did not match the observed distributional gaps in northern Rio de Janeiro, northern Espírito Santo or southern Bahia.Our results can be applied for novel surveys and discovery of unknown populations, and help the selection of priority areas for management and conservation planning, especially of rare and relatively cryptic species directed associated with forested habitats.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Programa de Pós-graduação em Ciências Biológicas (Biologia Animal), Departamento de Ciências Biológicas, Universidade Federal do Espírito Santo, Vitória, Espírito Santo, Brazil.

ABSTRACT
The maned sloth Bradypus torquatus (Pilosa, Bradypodidae) is endemic to a small area in the Atlantic Forest of coastal Brazil. It has been listed as a threatened species because of its restricted geographic range, habitat loss and fragmentation, and declining populations. The major objectives of this study were to estimate its potential geographic distribution, the climatic conditions across its distributional range, and to identify suitable areas and potential species strongholds. We developed a model of habitat suitability for the maned sloth using two methods, Maxent and Mahalanobis Distance, based on 42 occurrence points. We evaluated environmental variable importance and the predictive ability of the generated distribution models. Our results suggest that the species distribution could be strongly influenced by environmental factors, mainly temperature seasonality. The modeled distribution of the maned sloth included known areas of occurrence in the Atlantic Forest (Sergipe, Bahia, Espírito Santo, and Rio de Janeiro), but did not match the observed distributional gaps in northern Rio de Janeiro, northern Espírito Santo or southern Bahia. Rather, the model showed that these areas are climatically suitable for the maned sloth, and thus suggests that factors other than climate might be responsible for the absence of species. Suitable areas for maned sloth were located mainly in the mountainous region of central Rio de Janeiro throughout Espírito Santo and to the coastal region of southern Bahia. We indicate 17 stronghold areas and recommended survey areas for the maned sloth. In addition, we highlight specific areas for conservation, including the current network protected areas. Our results can be applied for novel surveys and discovery of unknown populations, and help the selection of priority areas for management and conservation planning, especially of rare and relatively cryptic species directed associated with forested habitats.

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Potential geographic distribution of the maned sloth (Bradypus torquatus) in the Atlantic Forest.The potential geographic distribution of the maned sloth in the Atlantic Forest based on the binary ensemble model of Maxent and Mahalanobis Distance algorithm. The occurrence points used in the modeling are also shown in the map. Cartographic base: [79], Geographic Projection: Datum WGS 1984.
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pone-0110929-g002: Potential geographic distribution of the maned sloth (Bradypus torquatus) in the Atlantic Forest.The potential geographic distribution of the maned sloth in the Atlantic Forest based on the binary ensemble model of Maxent and Mahalanobis Distance algorithm. The occurrence points used in the modeling are also shown in the map. Cartographic base: [79], Geographic Projection: Datum WGS 1984.

Mentions: In general, the ensemble predictions showed that suitable habitat for maned sloth is restricted to the coastline of Brazil. The states of Sergipe, Bahia, Espírito Santo, and Rio de Janeiro were well-predicted by the intersection of the two models (Figure 2 and Figure 3). In Espírito Santo and southern Bahia the model reached more inland vegetation zones. The two areas considered as a distributional gap, between Mucuri and Doce Rivers, and in northern Rio de Janeiro, were predicted to be suitable by the model.


The distributional ecology of the maned sloth: environmental influences on its distribution and gaps in knowledge.

Moreira Dde O, Leite GR, Ferreira de Siqueira M, Coutinho BR, Zanon MS, Mendes SL - PLoS ONE (2014)

Potential geographic distribution of the maned sloth (Bradypus torquatus) in the Atlantic Forest.The potential geographic distribution of the maned sloth in the Atlantic Forest based on the binary ensemble model of Maxent and Mahalanobis Distance algorithm. The occurrence points used in the modeling are also shown in the map. Cartographic base: [79], Geographic Projection: Datum WGS 1984.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4206454&req=5

pone-0110929-g002: Potential geographic distribution of the maned sloth (Bradypus torquatus) in the Atlantic Forest.The potential geographic distribution of the maned sloth in the Atlantic Forest based on the binary ensemble model of Maxent and Mahalanobis Distance algorithm. The occurrence points used in the modeling are also shown in the map. Cartographic base: [79], Geographic Projection: Datum WGS 1984.
Mentions: In general, the ensemble predictions showed that suitable habitat for maned sloth is restricted to the coastline of Brazil. The states of Sergipe, Bahia, Espírito Santo, and Rio de Janeiro were well-predicted by the intersection of the two models (Figure 2 and Figure 3). In Espírito Santo and southern Bahia the model reached more inland vegetation zones. The two areas considered as a distributional gap, between Mucuri and Doce Rivers, and in northern Rio de Janeiro, were predicted to be suitable by the model.

Bottom Line: Our results suggest that the species distribution could be strongly influenced by environmental factors, mainly temperature seasonality.The modeled distribution of the maned sloth included known areas of occurrence in the Atlantic Forest (Sergipe, Bahia, Espírito Santo, and Rio de Janeiro), but did not match the observed distributional gaps in northern Rio de Janeiro, northern Espírito Santo or southern Bahia.Our results can be applied for novel surveys and discovery of unknown populations, and help the selection of priority areas for management and conservation planning, especially of rare and relatively cryptic species directed associated with forested habitats.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Programa de Pós-graduação em Ciências Biológicas (Biologia Animal), Departamento de Ciências Biológicas, Universidade Federal do Espírito Santo, Vitória, Espírito Santo, Brazil.

ABSTRACT
The maned sloth Bradypus torquatus (Pilosa, Bradypodidae) is endemic to a small area in the Atlantic Forest of coastal Brazil. It has been listed as a threatened species because of its restricted geographic range, habitat loss and fragmentation, and declining populations. The major objectives of this study were to estimate its potential geographic distribution, the climatic conditions across its distributional range, and to identify suitable areas and potential species strongholds. We developed a model of habitat suitability for the maned sloth using two methods, Maxent and Mahalanobis Distance, based on 42 occurrence points. We evaluated environmental variable importance and the predictive ability of the generated distribution models. Our results suggest that the species distribution could be strongly influenced by environmental factors, mainly temperature seasonality. The modeled distribution of the maned sloth included known areas of occurrence in the Atlantic Forest (Sergipe, Bahia, Espírito Santo, and Rio de Janeiro), but did not match the observed distributional gaps in northern Rio de Janeiro, northern Espírito Santo or southern Bahia. Rather, the model showed that these areas are climatically suitable for the maned sloth, and thus suggests that factors other than climate might be responsible for the absence of species. Suitable areas for maned sloth were located mainly in the mountainous region of central Rio de Janeiro throughout Espírito Santo and to the coastal region of southern Bahia. We indicate 17 stronghold areas and recommended survey areas for the maned sloth. In addition, we highlight specific areas for conservation, including the current network protected areas. Our results can be applied for novel surveys and discovery of unknown populations, and help the selection of priority areas for management and conservation planning, especially of rare and relatively cryptic species directed associated with forested habitats.

Show MeSH
Related in: MedlinePlus