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Contributed Paper Value of Small Patches in the Conservation of
 

Summary: Contributed Paper
Value of Small Patches in the Conservation of
Plant-Species Diversity in Highly Fragmented
Rainforest
V´ICTOR ARROYO-RODR´IGUEZ,
EDUARDO PINEDA,
FEDERICO ESCOBAR,
AND JULIETA BEN´ITEZ-MALVIDO

Departamento de Biodiversidad y Ecolog´ia Animal, Instituto de Ecolog´ia A.C., Xalapa, Veracruz, M´exico
Centro de Investigaciones en Ecosistemas, Universidad Nacional Aut´onoma de M´exico, Morelia, Michoac´an, M´exico
Abstract: We evaluated the importance of small (<5 ha) forest patches for the conservation of regional plant
diversity in the tropical rainforest of Los Tuxtlas, Mexico. We analyzed the density of plant species (number of
species per 0.1 ha) in 45 forest patches of different sizes (1­700 ha) in 3 landscapes with different deforestation
levels (4, 11, and 24% forest cover). Most of the 364 species sampled (360 species, 99%) were native to the
region, and only 4 (1%) were human-introduced species. Species density in the smallest patches was high
and variable; the highest (84 species) and lowest (23 species) number of species were recorded in patches
of up to 1.8 ha. Despite the small size of these patches, they contained diverse communities of native plants,
including endangered and economically important species. The relationship between species density and area
was significantly different among the landscapes, with a significant positive slope only in the landscape with

  

Source: Arroyo Rodríguez, Víctor - Centro de Investigaciones en Ecosistemas, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México

 

Collections: Biology and Medicine; Environmental Sciences and Ecology