Lizard diversity and agricultural disturbance in a Caribbean forest landscape

Citation
Re. Glor et al., Lizard diversity and agricultural disturbance in a Caribbean forest landscape, BIODIVERS C, 10(5), 2001, pp. 711-723
Citations number
37
Language
INGLESE
art.tipo
Article
Categorie Soggetti
Environment/Ecology
Journal title
BIODIVERSITY AND CONSERVATION
ISSN journal
0960-3115 → ACNP
Volume
10
Issue
5
Year of publication
2001
Pages
711 - 723
Database
ISI
SICI code
0960-3115(200105)10:5<711:LDAADI>2.0.ZU;2-U
Abstract
Understanding the impact of agriculture on biodiversity is critical for eff ective conservation management. Our goal was to determine the impact of agr icultural disturbance on the lizard fauna of Los Haitises National Park and the surrounding region in the Dominican Republic. This region has a histor y of extensive agricultural disturbance followed by abrupt abandonment. Abu ndance and diversity were surveyed in six habitats: relatively undisturbed hilltop (mogote), four habitats disturbed by agriculture (pasture, oil palm plantation, cacao plantation, conuco or home garden), and one forested hab itat. Three of these habitats (pasture, cacao plantation, conuco) were also examined at different stages of activity or abandonment. Glue-trap grids w ere used to sample each habitat. In general, species richness was lower in more heavily or recently disturbed habitats. Richness was lowest in active agricultural habitats where only 54% of the region's lizard species were de tected. Notably, agricultural systems differed considerably in their abilit y to support a diverse lizard assemblage. Abandoned agricultural habitats h ad slightly higher richness than their active counterparts, but still conta ined only 69% of the region's species. By contrast, nearly every native spe cies, including several never observed in agriculturally disturbed habitats , were detected on the undisturbed hilltops (mogotes). These mogotes may ha ve served as refugees for species that could not tolerate disturbance when the region was being heavily exploited for agriculture. Overall, our result s suggest that the continued protection of the park, and its mogotes in par ticular, will be required to maintain the region's lizard diversity.