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The importance of small gallery forest strips as biological corridors for forest species in a human-dominated landscape in southern Costa Rica

Thursday, 27 June 2013: 11:50
La Paz-A (Herradura San Jose)
Florian Hofhansl , Terrestrial Ecosystem Research, Universitaet Wien, AUSTRIA
Benjamin S. Seaman , University of Vienna, Austria
Hellena Binz , Department of Evolutionary Biology, University of Mainz, Germany
Isabell Riedl , Department of Tropical Ecology and Animal Biodiversity, University of Vienna, Austria
Stefan Schneeweihs , University of Vienna, Austria
Christian H. Schulze , Department of Tropical Ecology and Animal Biodiversity, University of Vienna, Austria
Small riparian tropical forest strips represent biological corridors besides protecting human-dominated landscapes against soil erosion. Using butterflies, dragonflies and birds, we studied the importance of such common structures for forest species in the Pacific lowlands of southern Costa Rica. All taxonomic groups were surveyed at primary forest sites as well as in gallery forests connected to remaining forest and isolated from closed old-growth forest. Butterflies and dragonflies were recorded along transects. Point counts and mist-netting were used to inventory bird assemblages. Our results indicate that, although primary forest sites represent the most diverse habitat type, substantial numbers of forest species can be found in gallery forests, particularly when connected to remnant forest fragments. Although these riparian forest strips may act as a filter for a major proportion of forest birds, dragonflies and butterflies, our studies emphasize their potential for contributing to an increase of the permeability of human-dominated landscapes for forest species.
  • Hofhansl+33-6+June27.pdf (1.9 MB)