Estimation of the loss and fragmentation of Scelorchilus rubecula: regional and local patterns

Carvajal, Mario A; Alaniz, Alberto J; Smith-Ramírez, Cecilia; Kathryn, Sieving E,


The habitat loss and fragmentation represents major threats to biodiversity worldwide, mainly to the land use and cover change. The native forest has been seriously affected by these dynamics, threatening all the specialist biodiversity. One of this forest ecosystems is the South American Temperate Rainforest (SATR), considered as a biodiversity hotspot. The aim of our study is to estimate the habitat loss and fragmentation of a focal and endemic species specialist of SATR (Scelorchilus rubecula). We present a novel method to estimate the species habitat, combining species distribution models (SDMs) and life story traits of the species, through MaxEnt and Geographic information systems (GIS). We generated a SDM of the species, and then a series of constrains based on life story traits were applied, related to habitat and behavioral requirements. Following, we analyze the historical loss of habitat, and the loss and fragmentation between 2000 and 2014 at regional scale, applying landscape metrics on Fragstats software. Finally, three representative sites were selected to evaluate population dynamics between 2000 and 2014. S. rubecula occurs mainly between 36° to 42°S, occupying the Andean and coastal native forest. At regional scale, the historic habitat loss was 46.6%, while between 2000 and 2014 the loss was 3.03%, with clear evidences of habitat fragmentation, especially in coastal zone. All the selected sites were seriously affected by fragmentation and habitat loss, which reduce the number of viable population and change the structure of source and sink populations in the study period. Our approach could be useful as a tool for conservation, improving the prediction of distribution and habitat of SDM, which allows to conservation biologist and decision makers to evaluate population dynamic in spatially explicit way.

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Fecha de publicación: 2017
Año de Inicio/Término: July 23-27
Idioma: English
URL: 10.7490/f1000research.1115357.1