Biodiversity & Conservation

, Volume 15, Issue 2, pp 555–585 | Cite as

Dung Beetle and Terrestrial Mammal Diversity in Forests, Indigenous Agroforestry Systems and Plantain Monocultures in Talamanca, Costa Rica

  • Celia A. Harvey
  • Jorge Gonzalez
  • Eduardo Somarriba
Article

Abstract

In order to explore the importance of indigenous agroforestry systems for biodiversity conservation, we compared the abundance, species richness and diversity of dung beetles and terrestrial mammals across a gradient of different land use types from agricultural monocultures (plantains) to agroforestry systems (cocoa and banana) and forests in the BriBri and Cabécar indigenous reserves in Talamanca, Costa Rica. A total of 132,460 dung beetles of 52 species and 913 tracks of 27 terrestrial mammal species were registered. Dung beetle species richness and diversity were greatest in the forests, intermediate in the agroforestry systems and lowest in the plantain monocultures, while dung beetle abundance was greatest in the plantain monocultures. The number of mammal tracks per plot was significantly higher in forests than in plantain monocultures, whereas mammal species richness was higher in forests than in either cocoa agroforestry systems or plantain monocultures. Species composition of both terrestrial mammals and dung beetles also varied across the different land use types. Our study indicates that indigenous cocoa and banana agroforestry systems maintain an intermediate level of biodiversity (which is less than that of the original forest but significantly greater than that of plantain monocultures) and provide suitable habitat for a number of forest-dependent species. Although the agroforestry systems appear to serve as favorable habitats for many terrestrial mammal species, their potential positive contribution to mammal conservation is being offset by heavy hunting pressure in the reserves. As in other agricultural landscapes, the conservation of biodiversity in Talamanca will depend not only on maintaining the existing forest patches and reducing the conversion of traditional agroforestry systems to monocultures, but also on reducing hunting pressure.

Key words

Bananas Cocoa Hunting Indigenous agroecosystems Mammal tracks Musa spp. Plantain Terrestrial mammals Theobroma cacao 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Acuña K. 2002. Producción y comercialización de cacao en Alta Talamanca: una propuesta de periodización socio-productiva. Tesis Lic.Escuela de Antropología y SociologíaUCR San Jose Costa Rica.Google Scholar
  2. Alves M.C. 1990. The role of cocoa plantations in the conservation of the Atlantic Forest of Southern BahiaBrazil. Ms. Thesis, University of FloridaGainesville, Florida.Google Scholar
  3. Bodmer, R.E. 1995Managing Amazonian wildlife: biological correlates of game choice by detribalized huntersEcol. Appl.5872877Google Scholar
  4. Borge, C., Castillo, R. 1997Cultura y conservación en la Talamanca indígenaEditorial Universidad Estatal a Distancia (UNED)San José, Costa Rica261Google Scholar
  5. Carrillo, E., Wong, G., Cuarón, A.D. 2000Monitoring mammal populations in Costa Rican protected areas under different hunting restrictionsConserv. Biol.1415801591CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Chiarello, G. 1999Effects of fragmentation of the Atlantic forest in mammals communities in South-Eastern BrazilBiol. Conserv.877182Google Scholar
  7. Chiarello, G. 2000Density and population size of mammals in remnants of Brazilian Atlantic ForestConserv. Biol.1416491657CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Clay J. 2004. World Agriculture and Environment: A Commodity-by-Commodity Guide to Impacts and Practices. Island Press, pp. 570Google Scholar
  9. Colchester, M. 2004Conservation policy and indigenous peoplesEnviron. Sci. policy7145153Google Scholar
  10. Conroy, M., Nichols, D. 1996Designing a study to assess mammalian diversityWilson, D.Cole, R.Nichols, J.Rudran, R.Foster, M. eds. Measuring and Monitoring Biological Diversity. Standard Methods for MammalsSmithsonian Institution PressUnited Kingdom4149Google Scholar
  11. Daily, G.C., Ehrlich, P.R., Sanchez-Azofeifa, G.A. 2001Countryside biogeography: use of human dominated habitats by the avifauna of southern Costa RicaEcol. Appl.11113Google Scholar
  12. Daily, G.C., Ceballos, G., Pacheco, J., Suzan, G., Sanchez-Azofeifa, A. 2003Countryside biogeography of neotropical mammals: conservation opportunities in agricultural landscapes of Costa RicaConserv. Biol.1718141826CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Davis, A.J., Holloway, J.D., Huijbregts, H., Krikken, J., Kirk-Spriggs, A.H., Sutton, S.L. 2001Dung beetles as indicators of change in the forests of northern BorneoJ. Appl. Ecol.38593616CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Davis, A.J., Sutton, S.L. 1998The effects of rainforest canopy loss on arboreal dung beetles in Borneo: implications for the measurement of biodiversity in derived tropical ecosystemsDiver. Distrib.4167173Google Scholar
  15. Donald, P.F. 2004Biodiversity impacts of some agricultural commodity production systemsConserv. Biol.181737CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. EPYPSA and INCLAM 2003a. Estrategia regional de desarrollo sostenible de la cuenca binacional del Rio Sixaola. IIP/BID/Ministerio de Economía y Finanzas de Panamá. Aspectos biofísicos Vol. 1, pp.272Google Scholar
  17. EPYPSA and INCLAM 2003b. Estrategia regional de desarrollo sostenible de la cuenca binacional del Rio Sixaola. IIP/BID/Ministerio de Economía y Finanzas de Panamá. Información análisis y diagnósticos: aspectos socioeconómicos Vol. 1, pp. 292Google Scholar
  18. Escamilla, A., Sanvincente, M., Sosa, M., Galindo Leal, C. 2000Habitat mosaic, wildlife availability and hunting in the Tropical Forest of Calakmul, MéxicoConserv. Biol.1415921601CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Estrada, A., Coates-Estrada, R., Meritt, D.,Jr., Montiel, S., Curiel, D. 1993Patterns of frugivore species richness and abundance in forest islands and in agricultural habitats at Los Tuxtlas, MexicoVegetatio107245257Google Scholar
  20. Estrada, A., Coates-Estrada, R., Merritt, D.A. 1994Non-flying mammals and landscape changes in the tropical rain forest region of Los Tuxtlas, MexicoEcography17229241Google Scholar
  21. Estrada, A., Coates-Estrada, R., Merritt, D.A. 1997Anthropogenic landscape changes and avian diversity at Los Tuxtlas, MexicoBiodiv. Conserv.61942Google Scholar
  22. Estrada, A., Coates-Estrada, R., Anzures, A., Cammarano, P.L. 1998Dung and carrion beetles in tropical rain forest fragments and agricultural habitats at Los Tuxtlas, MexicoJ. Trop. Ecol.14577593CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Estrada, A., Cammarano, P.L., Coates-Estrada, R. 2000Bird species richness in vegetation fences and in strips of residual rain forest vegetation at Los Tuxtlas, MexicoBiodiv. Conserv.913991416Google Scholar
  24. Estrada, A., Coates-Estrada, R. 2001Bat species richness in live fences and in corridors of residual rain forest vegetation at Los Tuxtlas, MexicoEcography2494102CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Estrada, A., Coates-Estrada, R. 2002Dung beetles in continuous forestforest fragments and in an agricultural mosaic habitat island at Los Tuxtlas, MexicoBiodiv. Conserv.1119031918Google Scholar
  26. Faria D., Laps R.R., Baumgarten J. and Cetra M. 2005. Bat and bird assemblages from forests and shade cacao plantations in two contrasting landscapes in the Atlantic Forest of southern BahiaBrazil. Biodiv. Conserv. 15: 587–612.Google Scholar
  27. Fueller, R., Gregory, R., Gibbons, D., Marchant, J., Wilson, J., Ballie, S., Carter, N. 1998Population declines and range contractions among lowland farmland birds in BritainConserv. Biol.1214251441Google Scholar
  28. Gallina, S., Mandujano, S., Gonzalez-Romero, A. 1996Conservation of mammalian biodiversity in coffee plantations of Central Veracruz, MexicoAgroforestry Syst.331327Google Scholar
  29. Gaudrain, C., Harvey, C.A. 2003Caza y diversidad faunística en paisajes fragmentados del territorio indígena BriBri de TalamancaCosta RicaAgroforestería en las Américas84651Google Scholar
  30. Gill, B.D. 1991Dung beetles in tropical American forestsHanski, I.Cambefort, Y. eds. Dung Beetle EcologyPrinceton University PressNew Jersey211229Google Scholar
  31. Greenberg, R., Bichier, P., Cruz Angon, A., Reitsma, R. 1997Bird populations in shade and sun coffee plantations in Central GuatemalaConserv. Biol.11448459CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Guiracochoa, G., Harvey, C., Somarriba, E., Krauss, U., Carrillo, E. 2001Conservación de la biodiversidad en sistemas agroforestales con cacao y banano en TalamancaCosta RicaAgroforestería en las Américas8711Google Scholar
  33. Halffter, G., Favila, M.E. 1993The Scarabaeinae (Insecta: Coleoptera), an animal group for analyzing, inventorying and monitoring biodiversity in tropical rain forest and modified landscapesBiol. Int.36317Google Scholar
  34. Hanski, I., Cambefort, Y. 1991Dung Beetle EcologyPrinceton University PressPrincenton, New JerseyGoogle Scholar
  35. Herlihy, P.H. 1997Central American Indian peoples and lands todayCoates, A.G. eds. Central America: A Natural and Cultural HistoryYale University PressNew Haven215240Google Scholar
  36. Herrera, W. 1985Vegetación y clima de Costa RicaEUNEDSan Jose118Google Scholar
  37. InfoStat 2004. InfoStat versión1.4.. Grupo InfoStatFCAUniversidad Nacional de Córdoba, Argentina.Google Scholar
  38. Johns, N.D. 1999Conservation in Brazil's chocolate forest: the unlikely persistence of the traditional cocoa agroecosystemEnviron. Manage.233147CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  39. Klein, B.C. 1989Effects of forest fragmentation on dung and carrion beetle communities in central AmazoniaEcology7017151725Google Scholar
  40. Laidlaw, R.K. 2000Effects of habitat disturbance and protected areas on mammals of peninsular MalaysiaConserv. Biol.1416391648CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Laurance W. and Bierregaard R.O. 1997. Tropical Forest Remnants: Ecology, Management and Conservation of Fragmented Communities. University of Chicago Press, pp. 616Google Scholar
  42. Lopes, M.A., Ferrari, S.F. 2000Effects of human colonization on the abundance and diversity of mammals in eastern Brazilian AmazoniaConserv. Biol.1416581665CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Magurran, A.E. 1988Ecological Diversity and its MeasurementPrinceton University PressPrinceton New Jersey179Google Scholar
  44. Matlock, R.B.,Jr., Rogers, D., Edwards, P.J., Martin, S.G. 2002Avian communities in forests fragments and reforestation areas associated with banana plantations in Costa RicaAgric. Ecosyst. Environ.91199215Google Scholar
  45. Medellin, R.A. 1994Mammal diversity and conservation in the Selva LacandonaChiapas, MexicoConserv. Biol.8788799CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Medellin, R.A., Equihua, M. 1998Mammal species richness and habitat use in rainforest and abandoned agricultural fields in Chiapas, MexicoJ. Appl. Ecol.351323CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. McNeely J.A. and Scherr S.J. 2003. Agriculture and wild biodiversity. In: McNeely J.A. and Scherr S.J. (eds), Ecoagriculture Strategies to Feed the World and Save Wild Biodiversity. Island Press, pp. 51–85.Google Scholar
  48. Moguel, P., Toledo, V.M. 1999Biodiversity conservation in traditional coffee systems of MexicoConserv. Biol.131121CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Newmark, W.D. 1991Tropical forest fragmentation and the local extinction of understory birds in the eastern Usambara Mountains, TanzaniaConserv. Biol.56778CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Olson, D.M., Dinerstein, E. 2002The global 200: priority ecoregions for global conservationAnnuals of the Missouri Botanical Garden89199224Google Scholar
  51. Palminteri, S., Powell, G., Fernandez, G., Tovar, D. 1999Talamanca Montane-Isthmian Pacific Ecoregion-based Conservation Plan: Preliminary Reconnaissance PhaseTropical Science CenterSan JoseCosta RicaGoogle Scholar
  52. Parrish J., Reitsma R. and Greenberg R. 1999. Cocoa as crop and conservation tool: lessons from the Talamanca region of Costa Rica. http://nationalzoo.si.edu/ConservationAndScience/MigratoryBirds/Research/Cocoa/parrish.cfm.Google Scholar
  53. Petit, D., Petit, L. 2003Evaluating the importance of human-modified lands for neotropical bird conservationConserv. Biol.17687694CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Pfiffner, L., Niggli, U. 1996Effects of bio-dynamic, organic and conventional farming on ground beetles and other epigeic arthropods in winter wheatBiol. Agric. Hortic.12353364Google Scholar
  55. Pimentel, D., Stachow, F., Takacs, D., Brubaker, H., Dumas, A., Meaney, J., O’Neil, J., Onsi, D., Corzilius, D. 1992Conserving biological diversity in agricultural/forestry systemsBioscience42354362Google Scholar
  56. Redford, K.H. 1992The empty forestBioScience42412422Google Scholar
  57. Reitsma, R., Parrish, J.D., McLarney, W. 2001The role of cocoa plantations in maintaining forest avian diversity in southeastern Costa RicaAgroforestry Syst.53185193Google Scholar
  58. Rice, A., Greenberg, R. 2000Cocoa cultivation and the conservation of biological diversityAmbio29167173Google Scholar
  59. Ricketts, T.H., Daily, G.C., Ehrlich, P.R., Fay, J.P. 2001Countryside biogeography of moths in a fragmented landscape: biodiversity in native and agricultural habitatsConserv. Biol.15378388CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Robinson J.G. and Bennett E.L. 2000. Hunting for Sustainability in Tropical Forests. Columbia University Press, pp. 582Google Scholar
  61. Schelhas, J., Greenberg, R. 1996Forest Patches in Tropical LandscapesIsland PressWashington, DC426Google Scholar
  62. Schroth, G., Fonseca, G.A.B., Harvey, C.A., Gascon, C., Vasconcelos, H.L., Izac, A.M.N. 2004aBiodiversity Conservation in Tropical Landscapes – What Role for Agroforestry?Schroth, G.Fonseca, G.A.B.Harvey, C.A.Gascon, C.Vasconcelos, H.L.Izac, A.M.N. eds. Agroforestry and Biodiversity Conservation in Tropical LandscapesIsland PressWashington, DC114Google Scholar
  63. Schroth G., da Fonseca G.A.B., Harvey C.A., Gascon C., Vasoncelos H.L., Izac A.M.N., Angelsen R., Finegan B., Kaimowitz D., Krauss U., Laurance S.G.W., Laurance W.F., Nasi R., Naughton-Treves L., Niesten E., Richardson D.M., Somarriba E., Tucker N.I.J., Vincent G. and Wilkie D.S. 2004b. In: Schroth G., Fonseca G.A.B., Harvey C.A., Gascon C., Vasconcelos H.L. and Izac A.M.N. (eds), Agroforestry and Biodiversity Conservation in Tropical Landscapes. Island Press, Washington, DC, pp. 487–502.Google Scholar
  64. Schroth, G., da Fonseca, B.A., Harvey, C.A., Gascon, C., Vasoncelos, H.L., Izac, R.A.M.N., Angelsen, R., Finegan, B., Kaimowitz, D., Krauss, U., Laurance, S.G.W., Laurance, W.F., Nasi, R., Naughton-Treves, L., Niesten, E., Richardson, D.M., Somarriba, E., Tucker, N.I.J., Vincent, G., Wilkie, D.S. 2004cAgroforestry and biodiversity conservation in tropical landscapesSchroth, G.Fonseca, G.A.B.Harvey, C.A.Gascon, C.Vasconcelos, H.L.Izac, A.M.N. eds. Agroforestry and Biodiversity Conservation in Tropical LandscapesIsland PressWashington, DC487502Google Scholar
  65. Somarriba, E., Trivelato, M., Villalobos, M., Suárez, A., Benavides, P., Morán, K., Orozco, L., López, A. 2003Diagnóstico agroforestal de pequeñas fincas cacoteras orgánicas de indígenas Bri-Bri y Cabécar de TalamancaCosta RicaAgroforestería en las Américas102430Google Scholar
  66. Terborgh, J., Peres, C.A. 2002The problem of people in parksTerborgh, J.Schaik, C.Davenport, L.Rao, M. eds. Making Parks Work: Strategies for Preserving Tropical NatureIsland PressWashington307319Google Scholar
  67. Tosi, J.A. 1969Republica de Costa Rica: mapa ecológico según la clasificación de zonas de vida de L.R. HoldridgeCentro Científico TropicalSan José, Costa RicaGoogle Scholar
  68. Young, A.M. 1994A Chocolate Tree: A Natural History of CocoaSmithsonian Institution PressWashington, DC200Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Celia A. Harvey
    • 1
  • Jorge Gonzalez
    • 2
  • Eduardo Somarriba
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Agriculture and AgroforestryCATIETurrialbaCosta Rica
  2. 2.Programa Regional de Vida SilvestreUNAHerediaCosta Rica

Personalised recommendations