Multi-scale assessment of human-induced changes to Amazonian instream habitats

Cecilia Leal, Paulo Pompeu, Toby Gardner, Rafael Leitão, Robert Hughes, Phil Kaufmann, Jansen Zuanon, Felipe de Paula, Silvio Ferraz, Ralph MAC NALLY, Joice Ferreira, Jos Barlow

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    41 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Context: Land use change and forest degradation have myriad effects on tropical ecosystems. Yet their consequences for low-order streams remain very poorly understood, including in the world´s largest freshwater basin, the Amazon. Objectives: Determine the degree to which physical and chemical characteristics of the instream habitat of low-order Amazonian streams change in response to past local- and catchment-level anthropogenic disturbances. Methods: To do so, we collected field instream habitat (i.e., physical habitat and water quality) and landscape data from 99 stream sites in two eastern Brazilian Amazon regions. We used random forest regression trees to assess the relative importance of different predictor variables in determining changes in instream habitat response variables. Results: Multiple drivers, operating at multiple spatial scales, were important in determining changes in the physical habitat and water quality of the sites. Although we found few similarities in modelled relationships between the two regions, we observed non-linear responses of specific instream characteristics to landscape change; for example 20 % of catchment deforestation resulted in consistently warmer streams. Conclusions: Our results highlight the importance of local riparian and catchment-scale forest cover in shaping instream physical environments, but also underscore the importance of other land use changes and activities, such as road crossings and upstream agriculture intensification. In contrast to the property-scale focus of the Brazilian Forest code, which governs environmental regulations on private land, our results reinforce the importance of catchment-wide management strategies to protect stream ecosystem integrity.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1725-1745
    Number of pages21
    JournalLandscape Ecology
    Volume31
    Issue number8
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2016

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    habitat
    catchment
    habitat quality
    land use change
    land use
    Amazon region
    water quality
    water
    private land
    landscape change
    forest cover
    deforestation
    integrity
    driver
    agriculture
    road
    disturbance
    regulation
    regression
    degradation

    Cite this

    Leal, C., Pompeu, P., Gardner, T., Leitão, R., Hughes, R., Kaufmann, P., ... Barlow, J. (2016). Multi-scale assessment of human-induced changes to Amazonian instream habitats. Landscape Ecology, 31(8), 1725-1745. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10980-016-0358-x
    Leal, Cecilia ; Pompeu, Paulo ; Gardner, Toby ; Leitão, Rafael ; Hughes, Robert ; Kaufmann, Phil ; Zuanon, Jansen ; de Paula, Felipe ; Ferraz, Silvio ; MAC NALLY, Ralph ; Ferreira, Joice ; Barlow, Jos. / Multi-scale assessment of human-induced changes to Amazonian instream habitats. In: Landscape Ecology. 2016 ; Vol. 31, No. 8. pp. 1725-1745.
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    abstract = "Context: Land use change and forest degradation have myriad effects on tropical ecosystems. Yet their consequences for low-order streams remain very poorly understood, including in the world´s largest freshwater basin, the Amazon. Objectives: Determine the degree to which physical and chemical characteristics of the instream habitat of low-order Amazonian streams change in response to past local- and catchment-level anthropogenic disturbances. Methods: To do so, we collected field instream habitat (i.e., physical habitat and water quality) and landscape data from 99 stream sites in two eastern Brazilian Amazon regions. We used random forest regression trees to assess the relative importance of different predictor variables in determining changes in instream habitat response variables. Results: Multiple drivers, operating at multiple spatial scales, were important in determining changes in the physical habitat and water quality of the sites. Although we found few similarities in modelled relationships between the two regions, we observed non-linear responses of specific instream characteristics to landscape change; for example 20 {\%} of catchment deforestation resulted in consistently warmer streams. Conclusions: Our results highlight the importance of local riparian and catchment-scale forest cover in shaping instream physical environments, but also underscore the importance of other land use changes and activities, such as road crossings and upstream agriculture intensification. In contrast to the property-scale focus of the Brazilian Forest code, which governs environmental regulations on private land, our results reinforce the importance of catchment-wide management strategies to protect stream ecosystem integrity.",
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    author = "Cecilia Leal and Paulo Pompeu and Toby Gardner and Rafael Leit{\~a}o and Robert Hughes and Phil Kaufmann and Jansen Zuanon and {de Paula}, Felipe and Silvio Ferraz and {MAC NALLY}, Ralph and Joice Ferreira and Jos Barlow",
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    Leal, C, Pompeu, P, Gardner, T, Leitão, R, Hughes, R, Kaufmann, P, Zuanon, J, de Paula, F, Ferraz, S, MAC NALLY, R, Ferreira, J & Barlow, J 2016, 'Multi-scale assessment of human-induced changes to Amazonian instream habitats', Landscape Ecology, vol. 31, no. 8, pp. 1725-1745. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10980-016-0358-x

    Multi-scale assessment of human-induced changes to Amazonian instream habitats. / Leal, Cecilia; Pompeu, Paulo; Gardner, Toby; Leitão, Rafael; Hughes, Robert; Kaufmann, Phil; Zuanon, Jansen; de Paula, Felipe; Ferraz, Silvio; MAC NALLY, Ralph; Ferreira, Joice; Barlow, Jos.

    In: Landscape Ecology, Vol. 31, No. 8, 2016, p. 1725-1745.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    TY - JOUR

    T1 - Multi-scale assessment of human-induced changes to Amazonian instream habitats

    AU - Leal, Cecilia

    AU - Pompeu, Paulo

    AU - Gardner, Toby

    AU - Leitão, Rafael

    AU - Hughes, Robert

    AU - Kaufmann, Phil

    AU - Zuanon, Jansen

    AU - de Paula, Felipe

    AU - Ferraz, Silvio

    AU - MAC NALLY, Ralph

    AU - Ferreira, Joice

    AU - Barlow, Jos

    PY - 2016

    Y1 - 2016

    N2 - Context: Land use change and forest degradation have myriad effects on tropical ecosystems. Yet their consequences for low-order streams remain very poorly understood, including in the world´s largest freshwater basin, the Amazon. Objectives: Determine the degree to which physical and chemical characteristics of the instream habitat of low-order Amazonian streams change in response to past local- and catchment-level anthropogenic disturbances. Methods: To do so, we collected field instream habitat (i.e., physical habitat and water quality) and landscape data from 99 stream sites in two eastern Brazilian Amazon regions. We used random forest regression trees to assess the relative importance of different predictor variables in determining changes in instream habitat response variables. Results: Multiple drivers, operating at multiple spatial scales, were important in determining changes in the physical habitat and water quality of the sites. Although we found few similarities in modelled relationships between the two regions, we observed non-linear responses of specific instream characteristics to landscape change; for example 20 % of catchment deforestation resulted in consistently warmer streams. Conclusions: Our results highlight the importance of local riparian and catchment-scale forest cover in shaping instream physical environments, but also underscore the importance of other land use changes and activities, such as road crossings and upstream agriculture intensification. In contrast to the property-scale focus of the Brazilian Forest code, which governs environmental regulations on private land, our results reinforce the importance of catchment-wide management strategies to protect stream ecosystem integrity.

    AB - Context: Land use change and forest degradation have myriad effects on tropical ecosystems. Yet their consequences for low-order streams remain very poorly understood, including in the world´s largest freshwater basin, the Amazon. Objectives: Determine the degree to which physical and chemical characteristics of the instream habitat of low-order Amazonian streams change in response to past local- and catchment-level anthropogenic disturbances. Methods: To do so, we collected field instream habitat (i.e., physical habitat and water quality) and landscape data from 99 stream sites in two eastern Brazilian Amazon regions. We used random forest regression trees to assess the relative importance of different predictor variables in determining changes in instream habitat response variables. Results: Multiple drivers, operating at multiple spatial scales, were important in determining changes in the physical habitat and water quality of the sites. Although we found few similarities in modelled relationships between the two regions, we observed non-linear responses of specific instream characteristics to landscape change; for example 20 % of catchment deforestation resulted in consistently warmer streams. Conclusions: Our results highlight the importance of local riparian and catchment-scale forest cover in shaping instream physical environments, but also underscore the importance of other land use changes and activities, such as road crossings and upstream agriculture intensification. In contrast to the property-scale focus of the Brazilian Forest code, which governs environmental regulations on private land, our results reinforce the importance of catchment-wide management strategies to protect stream ecosystem integrity.

    KW - Amazon basin

    KW - Anthropogenic impacts

    KW - Deforestation

    KW - Freshwater

    KW - Land use change

    KW - Physical and chemical habitat

    KW - Random forest models

    KW - Tropical forest

    KW - Watershed management

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    DO - 10.1007/s10980-016-0358-x

    M3 - Article

    VL - 31

    SP - 1725

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    JO - Landscape Ecology

    JF - Landscape Ecology

    SN - 0921-2973

    IS - 8

    ER -

    Leal C, Pompeu P, Gardner T, Leitão R, Hughes R, Kaufmann P et al. Multi-scale assessment of human-induced changes to Amazonian instream habitats. Landscape Ecology. 2016;31(8):1725-1745. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10980-016-0358-x