Mammals in a fragmented savannah landscape in south-western Brazil

  • Cáceres N
  • Nápoli R
  • Casella J
 et al. 
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Abstract

Mammal abundance, richness, and community structure were examined in fragments of savannah and in gallery forests of south-western Brazil in order to assess the influence of fragment size and habitat on the communities. Five savannah fragments and two gallery forests were sampled. Within the savannah fragments, environmental parameters such as tree and shrub densities were measured. Live-traps and pitfalls were used for trapping small mammals; larger mammals were recorded from footprints and sightings. Seventeen species of small mammal and 15 species of large mammal were recorded. Small mammals were affected by fragment size and isolation, whereas larger mammals were not. Communities of small mammals were better structured in the largest fragments, and those in smaller fragments were subsets of the communities in larger fragments. Gallery forests revealed a rather different assemblage of mammals, but also contained species common to both gallery and large savannah remnants. Data are discussed relating mammal community structure to area size and vegetation structure, in an attempt to understand the present conservation status of this fragmented landscape.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Biogeography
  • Cerrado
  • Community structure
  • Conservation
  • Fragmentation
  • Isolation
  • Matrix
  • Nestedness subsets
  • Species richness

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