Recovery of Faunal Communities During Tropical Forest Regeneration

2004 Conservation Biology  
As mature tropical forests are cleared, secondary forests may play an important role in the conservation of animal species, depending on how fast animal communities recover during forest regeneration. I reviewed published studies on the recovery of animal species richness and composition during tropical forest regeneration. In 38 of the 39 data sets I examined, conversion of forest to agriculture or pasture substantially reduced species richness. Given suitable conditions for forest recovery,
more » ... e species richness of the animal taxa considered can be predicted to resemble that of mature forests roughly 20-40 years after land abandonment. At least for ants and birds, however, recovery of species composition appears to take substantially longer than recovery of species richness. Because species richness for many taxa appears to recover relatively rapidly in secondary forests, conservation of secondary forests may be an effective investment in future diversity. The slower recovery of species composition indicates, however, that some species will require stands of mature forest to persist.
doi:10.1111/j.1523-1739.2004.00151.x fatcat:tcpuhfq6tvhy7f2ylpgcm27zle