Introduction Tropical forests are being cleared at a rate of over 150,000 km2 per year (Whitmore 1997), causing extensive loss and fragmentation of existing wildlife habitats. Fragmentation has myriad impacts on the dynamics of tropical ecosystems (e.g., Laurance & Bierregaard 1997) but its effects on plant communities have received only limited attention (e.g., Williams-Linera 1990; Laurance 1991, 1997; Malcolm 1994; Turner et al. 1996). We describe the frequency of mortality and damage in trees of the family Myrtaceae in fragmented and continuous Amazonian rainforests. By assessing the relative importance of edge and area effects and fragment age, we can better understand the mechanisms of ecological change in recently fragmented forests. cattle pastures. Reserves ranging from 1â1000 ha in area were delineated in nearby continuous forest to serve as experimental controls. Study Design From 1980 to 1986 floristic inventories of all trees ( 10 cm diameter at breast height) were conducted in 66 square, 1-ha plots in the study area (Rankin-de Merona et al. 1992). Trees in each plot were marked with numbered aluminum tags and mapped, with leaves, fruits, and/or flowers collected for every individual. From February to May 1987, one of the authors (LVF) revisited 56 of
Conservation Biology – Wiley
Published: Jun 9, 1997
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