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Open AccessArticle

Effect of Site Attributes and Matrix Composition on Neotropical Primate Species Richness and Functional Traits: A Comparison Among Regions

1
Programa de Pós-Graduação em Biodiversidade Tropical, Universidade Federal do Amapá, Rod. JK Km02, Macapá 68903-419, Brazil
2
Laboratório de Ecologia, Universidade Federal do Amapá, Rod. JK km02, Macapá 68903-419, Brazil
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Diversity 2019, 11(5), 83; https://doi.org/10.3390/d11050083
Received: 11 April 2019 / Revised: 22 May 2019 / Accepted: 23 May 2019 / Published: 25 May 2019
Fragmentation threatens biodiversity and forest-dwelling animals can be especially vulnerable. Neotropical primates inhabit forests and play ecological roles in maintaining forest biodiversity. Currently, many primate communities are restricted to forest fragments. We (1) evaluated the influence of environmental, matrix, and site attributes on species richness and functional traits of primates in the Neotropics; and (2) evaluated the effect of the sub-region on the relationships between primates and environmental, matrix, and site attributes. We conducted literature searches to find published data on primate communities in forest fragments throughout the Neotropics. Each fragment was assigned to 1 of 11 sub-regions: Mesoamerica, Tumbes-Chocó-Magdalena, Caribbean, Orinoco, Amazon, Atlantic Forest, Cerrado, Chaco, Andes, Caatinga, and Pampa. Based on actual and expected species occurrences, we calculated the proportion of primate species retained in the fragments, the mass retained, and dietary items retained considering reproductive and vegetative plant parts and prey. We used linear mixed models to correlate primate variables with environmental, matrix, and site attributes. Fragment area was more important for primate retention than environmental, matrix, and site attributes, with primate retention being higher in larger fragments. Fragment size was positively correlated with all primate variables, except for retention of prey consumption, whose retention decreased as water bodies and density of buildings in the matrix increased. Fragments within protected areas retained larger species than unprotected fragments. The proportion of extant mass retained and vegetative plant parts in the diet were highest in Mesoamerica and lowest in the Atlantic Forest. Conservation planning of Neotropical primates should consider both the differences among sub-regions, forest restoration to increase fragment size, and the creation of new protected areas, even in fragmented landscapes. View Full-Text
Keywords: habitat loss; human presence; matrix; Neotropical sub-regions; primate conservation habitat loss; human presence; matrix; Neotropical sub-regions; primate conservation
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MDPI and ACS Style

Calle-Rendón, B.R.; Hilário, R.R.; de Toledo, J.J. Effect of Site Attributes and Matrix Composition on Neotropical Primate Species Richness and Functional Traits: A Comparison Among Regions. Diversity 2019, 11, 83.

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