How pervasive is biotic homogenization in human-modified tropical forest landscapes?

R de Castro Solar, Jos Barlow, Joice Ferreira, Erika Berenguer, Alexander Lees, James R. Thomson, Julio Louzada, M Maues, Nargila Moura, Victor Oliveira, Julio Chaul, J Schoereder, Ima Vieira, Ralph MAC NALLY, Toby Gardner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

221 Citations (Scopus)


Land-cover change and ecosystem degradation may lead to biotic homogenization, yet our understanding of this phenomenon over large spatial scales and different biotic groups remains weak. We used a multi-taxa dataset from 335 sites and 36 heterogeneous landscapes in the Brazilian Amazon to examine the potential for landscape-scale processes to modulate the cumulative effects of local disturbances. Biotic homogenization was high in production areas but much less in disturbed and regenerating forests, where high levels of among-site and among-landscape ß-diversity appeared to attenuate species loss at larger scales. We found consistently high levels of ß-diversity among landscapes for all land cover classes, providing support for landscape-scale divergence in species composition. Our findings support concerns that ß-diversity has been underestimated as a driver of biodiversity change and underscore the importance of maintaining a distributed network of reserves, including remaining areas of undisturbed primary forest, but also disturbed and regenerating forests, to conserve regional biota.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1108-1118
Number of pages11
JournalEcology Letters
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2015


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