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Is environmental legislation conserving tropical stream faunas ? A large-scale assessment of local, riparian and catchment-scale influences on Amazonian fish [Journal of Applied Ecology]

Keywords : Amazon, Brazilian Forest Code, functional guilds, human-modified landscapes, multiplicative diversity partitioning, physical habitat, species turnover, tropical landscapes, watershed management

par Frédéric Magné - publié le

1.Agricultural expansion and intensification are major threats to tropical biodiversity. In addition to the direct removal of native vegetation, agricultural expansion often elicits other human-induced disturbances, many of which are poorly addressed by existing environmental legislation and conservation programmes. This is particularly true for tropical freshwater systems, where there is considerable uncertainty about whether a legislative focus on protecting riparian vegetation is sufficient to conserve stream fauna.
2.To assess the extent to which stream fish are being effectively conserved in agricultural landscapes, we examined the spatial distribution of assemblages in river basins to identify the relative importance of human impacts at instream, riparian and catchment scales, in shaping observed patterns. We used an extensive dataset on the ecological condition of 83 low-order streams distributed in three river basins in the eastern Brazilian Amazon.(...)

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