Effects of forest fragmentation on mortality and damage of selected trees in Central Amazonia

  • Ferreira L
  • Laurance W
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(Introduction:) Tropical forests are being cleared at a rate of over 150,000 km 2 per year (Whitmore 1997), causing exten- sive 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 continu- ous Amazonian rainforests. By assessing the relative im- portance of edge and area effects and fragment age, we can better understand the mechanisms of ecological change in recently fragmented forests.

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