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Disturbance impacts on large rain-forest vertebrates differ with edge type and regional context in Sulawesi, Indonesia

  • Graden Z.L. Froese (a1) (a2), Adrienne L. Contasti (a1) (a2), Abdul Haris Mustari (a3) and Jedediah F. Brodie (a1) (a2) (a4)

Anthropogenic edge effects, whereby disturbance strength increases in proximity to ecotone boundaries, are known to strongly affect individual species but we lack a general understanding of how they vary by species, disturbance type and regional context. We deployed 46 camera-trap stations for a total of 3545 trap-days at two sites in Sulawesi, Indonesia, obtaining 937 detections of five vertebrate species. Anoa (Bubalus spp.) were more abundant near edges, booted macaque (Macaca ochreata) and red jungle fowl (Gallus gallus) were less abundant near edges, and edges did not impact Sulawesi warty pig (Sus celebensis) or Malay civet (Viverra tangalunga). But the relative importance of habitat disturbance from agriculture, roads and villages differed for each species, and edge-induced disturbances varied not only in magnitude but also in direction between the study areas. In the strongest instance, macaque local abundance was 3.5 times higher near villages than it was 3 km into the forest in one reserve, but 2.8 times higher 3 km into the forest than near villages in the other reserve. Our results suggest that responses to habitat edges among species and edge types are idiosyncratic, and that landscape-level context can strongly alter the influence of local disturbance on biodiversity.

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