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Title: The effect of roads on spider monkeys’ home range and mobility in a heterogeneous regenerating forest
Authors: Norberto Asensio
Evin Murillo-Chacon
Colleen M. Schaffner
Filippo Aureli
Faculty of Environment and Resource Studies, Mahidol University
Sector Santa Rosa
Universidad Veracruzana
Liverpool John Moores University
Keywords: Agricultural and Biological Sciences
Issue Date: 1-Jul-2017
Citation: Biotropica. Vol.49, No.4 (2017), 546-554
Abstract: © 2017 The Association for Tropical Biology and Conservation Arboreal fauna living in tropical ecosystems may be particularly affected by roads given their dependency on forest cover and the high vulnerability of such ecosystems to changes. Over a period of 4 yr, we followed subgroups of spider monkeys living in a regenerating dry tropical forest with 8.2 km of roads within their home range. We aimed to understand whether roads shaped the home range of spider monkeys and which road features affected their movement. Only 18 percent (3 km) of the spider monkeys’ home range perimeter bordered with roads; these roads had greater habitat disparity between road sides than roads inside the home range. Although monkeys were reluctant to be close to roads, and roadside habitat contained low proportions of mature forest, spider monkeys crossed roads at 69 locations (7.5 crossings per kilometer). The main road characteristic affecting crossings was canopy opening size, with greater probability of crossing where canopy openings were smaller. Our findings support the importance of canopy opening size for road crossing of arboreal taxa, but they also indicate the relevant role roadside forest structure may have. Minimizing canopy opening size and forest disturbance along roads can facilitate the movement of arboreal fauna and preserve the important role of spider monkeys and other arboreal taxa in seed dispersal and thus the maintenance and regeneration of forest diversity.
ISSN: 17447429
Appears in Collections:Scopus 2016-2017

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