Using landscape history to predict biodiversity patterns in fragmented landscapes.
Bottom Line: The model predicts that community similarity declines with terragenetic distance, and that local endemics are more likely to be found in terragenetically distinctive fragments than in large fragments.We derive equations to quantify the variance around predictions, and show that ignoring the spatial structure of fragmented landscapes leads to over-estimates of local extinction rates at the landscape scale.We argue that ignoring the shared history of habitat fragments limits our ability to understand biodiversity changes in human-modified landscapes.
Affiliation: Department of Life Sciences, Imperial College London, Silwood Park Campus, Buckhurst Road, Ascot, SL5 7PY, UK.Show MeSH
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Mentions: We constructed terragenies for a 1254 km2 landscape in each of the municipalities of Machadinho d'Oeste and Manaus, both in the Brazilian Amazon (Figs2, 3 and S1). The two landscapes were of the same spatial extent (33 × 38 km) and resolution (grid size 150 × 150 m), and, in both, more than 99% of the landscape was covered by forest prior to human encroachment. In both landscapes, we used land cover maps derived from time series of Landsat sensor data following the methods of Prates-Clark. (2009), with maps showing observed forest cover at 23 points in time between 1973 and 2011 in Manaus and at 21 points in time between 1984 and 2011 in Machadinho d'Oeste. While we recognise the role of regrowth in retaining biodiversity, such forests were not included in this analysis and instead we assumed all deforested areas to have remained as such for the duration of the time series.
Affiliation: Department of Life Sciences, Imperial College London, Silwood Park Campus, Buckhurst Road, Ascot, SL5 7PY, UK.