Landscape Ecology

, Volume 32, Issue 4, pp 781–790 | Cite as

The effect of roads on edge permeability and movement patterns for small mammals: a case study with Montane Akodont

  • Fernando Ascensão
  • Priscila Silva Lucas
  • Aline Costa
  • Alex Bager
Research Article

Abstract

Context

Increased edge density is among the main negative effects of habitat loss and fragmentation. Roads are linear infrastructures that may promote barrier effects due to disturbance and mortality effects. We hypothesized that edges of habitat patches bordered by roads are less permeable than roadless edges.

Objectives

We tested whether edge permeability and avoidance are influenced by the presence of paved and dirt roads bordering habitat patches, relatively to roadless edges.

Methods

We translocated 55 montane akodonts (Akodon montensis) from the interior of vegetation remnants to their edges, and tracked fine-scale movements using spool-and-line devices. Edges were bordered by dirt roads (n = 12 mice), paved roads (n = 21) or were not bordered by roads (n = 22). We assessed edge permeability by comparing the number of tracks with crossings, and by comparing the empirical data to simulated correlated random walks. We also assessed edge avoidance by comparing the net direction travelled and net displacement from edge.

Results

No edge crossings were recorded in roaded edges, whereas 36% of tracks in roadless edges crossed the edge at least once. Simulations indicated a significantly lower permeability of roaded edges, while the observed number of crossings in roadless edges was within the expected range. We found no evidence of higher avoidance of roaded edges, as both net direction travelled and displacement were similar across edge types.

Conclusions

Roads decreased edge permeability for the montane akodont. This is likely to increase population isolation among vegetation remnants by reducing the structural connectivity in the already fragmented landscape.

Keywords

Brazil Cerrado Landscape connectivity Road barrier effect Spool-and-line device 

Notes

Acknowledgements

We are grateful for the financial support provided by FAPEMIG (Process CRA–PPM-00139-14/453 and CRA–APQ-03868-10), CNPq (Process 303509/2012-0), Fundação Grupo Boticário Process (0945-20122), and Tropical Forest Conservation Act – TFCA (through Fundo Brasileiro para Biodiversidade – FUNBIO). FA was partially funded by a postdoc grant from FAPEMIG/CAPES (CRA.BPD.00164/14) and a postdoc grant from Infraestruturas de Portugal Biodiversity Chair - CIBIO - Research Center in Biodiversity and Genetic Resources (BPD-REFER-NC). This study and its procedures were approved by the Instituto Brasileiro do Meio Ambiente e dos Recursos Naturais - IBAMA/SISBIO (license No. 33840-1). We would like to thank Ricardo Pita, Sasha Vasconcelos and two anonymous reviewers for suggestions on early versions of this manuscript. We are also grateful to Ramon Gomes de Carvalho and Cristiane Moreira Mesquita for logistical support.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors have no conflict of interest to declare.

Supplementary material

10980_2017_485_MOESM1_ESM.docx (5.3 mb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 5462 kb)

References

  1. Antunes PC, Campos MAA, Oliveira-Santos LGR, Graipel ME (2010) Population dynamics of Akodon montensis (Rodentia, Cricetidae) in the Atlantic forest of Southern Brazil. Mamm Biol 75:186–190CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Ascensão F, LaPoint S, van der Ree R (2015) Roads, traffic and verges: big problems and big opportunities for small mammals. In: van der Ree R, Smith D, Grilo C (eds) Handbook of road ecology. Wiley, New York, pp 325–333Google Scholar
  3. Baguette M, Dyck H (2007) Landscape connectivity and animal behavior: functional grain as a key determinant for dispersal. Landscape Ecol 22:1117–1129CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Balkenhol N, Waits LP (2009) Molecular road ecology: exploring the potential of genetics for investigating transportation impacts on wildlife. Mol Ecol 18:4151–4164CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. Brehme CS, Tracey JA, McClenaghan LR, Fisher RN (2013) Permeability of roads to movement of scrubland lizards and small mammals. Conserv Biol 27:710–720CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. Brodie JF, Giordano AJ, Ambu L (2015) Differential responses of large mammals to logging and edge effects. Mamm Biol 80:7–13CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Brooks TM, Mittermeier RA, Mittermeier CG, Da Fonseca GA, Rylands AB, Konstant WR, Flick P, Pilgrim J, Oldfield S, Magin G, Hilton-Taylor C (2002) Habitat loss and extinction in the hotspots of biodiversity. Conserv Biol 16:909–923CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Clark RW, Brown WS, Stechert R, Zamudio KR (2010) Roads, interrupted dispersal, and genetic diversity in timber rattlesnakes. Conserv Biol 24:1059–1069CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  9. Collinge SK, Palmer TM (2002) The influences of patch shape and boundary contrast on insect response to fragmentation in California grasslands. Landscape Ecol 17:647–656CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Cordeiro GM, Paula GA, Botter DA (1994) Improved likelihood ratio tests for dispersion models. Int Stat Rev 62:257CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Costa LP, Leite YLR, Mendes SL, Ditchfield AD (2005) Mammal conservation in Brazil. Conserv Biol 19:672–679CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Dantas AAA, de Carvalho LG, Ferreira E (2007) Climatic classification and tendencies in Lavras region, MG. Ciênc Agrotecnol 31:1862–1866CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Ewers RM, Thorpe S, Didham RK (2007) Synergistic interactions between edge and area effects in a heavily fragmented landscape. Ecology 88:96–106CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  14. Fahrig L (2003) Effects of habitat fragmentation on biodiversity. Annu Rev Ecol Evol Syst 34:487–515CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Fischer J, Lindenmayer DB, Fahrig L (2003) Landscape modification and habitat fragmentation: a synthesis. Glob Ecol Biogeogr 34:487–515Google Scholar
  16. Ford AT, Fahrig L (2008) Movement patterns of eastern chipmunks (Tamias striatus) near roads. J Mammal 89:895–903CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Forman RTT, Deblinger RD (2000) The ecological road-effect zone of a Massachusetts (U.S.A.) suburban highway. Conserv Biol 14:36–46CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Forman RTT, Sperling D, Bissonette JA, Clevenger AP, Cutshall CD, Dale VH, Fahrig L, France R, Goldman CR, Heanue K, Jones JA, Swanson FJ, Turrentine T, Winter TC (2003) Road ecology: science and solutions. Island Press, Washington, DCGoogle Scholar
  19. Fuentes-Montemayor E, Cuaron AD, Vazquez-Dominguez E, Benítez-Malvido J, Valenzuela-Galván D, Andresen E (2009) Living on the edge: roads and edge effects on small mammal populations. J Anim Ecol 78:857–865CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  20. Galiano D, Kubiak BB, Marinho JR, de Freitas TRO (2013) Population dynamics of Akodon montensis and Oligoryzomys nigripes in an Araucaria forest of southern Brazil. Mammalia 77:173–179CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Gerlach G, Musolf K (2000) Fragmentation of landscape as a cause for genetic subdivision in bank voles. Conserv Biol 14:1066–1074CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Goodin DG, Paige R, Owen RD, Ghimire K, Koch DE, Chu YK, Jonsson CB (2009) Microhabitat characteristics of Akodon montensis, a reservoir for hantavirus, and hantaviral seroprevalence in an Atlantic forest site in eastern Paraguay. J Vector Ecol 34:104–113CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  23. Goosem M (2002) Effects of tropical rainforest roads on small mammals: fragmentation, edge effects and traffic disturbance. Wildl Res 29:277–302CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Graipel ME, Miller PRM, Glock L (2003) Padrão de atividade de Akodon montensis e Oryzomys russatus na reserva volta velha, santa catarina, sul do brasil. Mastozool Neotrop 10:255–260Google Scholar
  25. Holderegger R, Di Giulio M (2010) The genetic effects of roads: a review of empirical evidence. Basic Appl Ecol 11:522–531CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Jammalamadaka SR, Sarma YR (1993) Circular regression. In: Matusita K, Puri ML, Hayakawa Y (eds) Statistical sciences and data analysis. VSP, Utrecht, pp 109–128Google Scholar
  27. Klink CA, Machado RB (2005) Conservation of the Brazilian Cerrado. Conserv Biol 19:707–713CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Laurance WF, Balmford A (2013) A global map for road building. Nature 495:308–309CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  29. Laurance WF, Camargo JLC, Luizão RCC, Laurance SG, Pimm SL, Bruna EM, Stouffer PC, Williamson GB, Benítez-Malvido J, Vasconcelos HL, Van Houtan KS (2011) The fate of Amazonian forest fragments: a 32-year investigation. Biol Conserv 144:56–67CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Laurance WF, Clements GR, Sloan S, O’Connell CS, Mueller ND, Goosem M, Venter O, Edwards DP, Phalan B, Balmford A, Van Der Ree R (2014) A global strategy for road building. Nature 513:229–232CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  31. Laurance WF, Didham RK, Power ME (2001) Ecological boundaries: a search for synthesis. Trends Ecol Evol 16:70–71CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Lesbarreres D, Fahrig L (2012) Measures to reduce population fragmentation by roads: what has worked and how do we know? Trends Ecol Evol 27:374–380CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  33. Maciel GA, Lutscher F (2013) How individual movement response to habitat edges affects population persistence and spatial spread. Am Nat 182:42–52CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  34. Manel S, Schwartz MK, Luikart G, Taberlet P (2003) Landscape genetics: combining landscape ecology and population genetics. Trends Ecol Evol 18:189–197CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Manson RH, Ostfeld RS, Canham CD (1999) Responses of a small mammal community to heterogeneity along forest-old-field edges. Landscape Ecol 14:355–367CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Martin PS, Gheler-Costa C, Lopes PC, Rosalino LM, Verdade LM (2012) Terrestrial non-volant small mammals in agro-silvicultural landscapes of southeastern Brazil. For Ecol Manag 282:185–195CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. McCall SC, McCarthy MA, van der Ree R, Harper MJ, Cesarini S, Soanes K (2010) Evidence that a highway reduces apparent survival rates of squirrel gliders. Ecol Soc 15(3):27CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. McDonald WR, Clair CCS (2004) The effects of artificial and natural barriers on the movement of small mammals in Banff National Park, Canada. Oikos 105:397–407CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. McGregor RL, Bender DJ, Fahrig L (2008) Do small mammals avoid roads because of the traffic? J Appl Ecol 45:117–123CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. McLaren AAD, Fahrig L, Waltho N (2011) Movement of small mammals across divided highways with vegetated medians. Can J Zool 89:1214–1222CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Mendez M, Tella JL, Godoy JA (2011) Restricted gene flow and genetic drift in recently fragmented populations of an endangered steppe bird. Biol Conserv 144:2615–2622CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Mimet A, Houet T, Julliard R, Simon L (2013) Assessing functional connectivity: a landscape approach for handling multiple ecological requirements. Methods Ecol Evol 4:453–463CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Mittermeier RA, Myers N, Thomsen JB, Da Fonseca GA, Olivieri S (1998) Biodiversity hotspots and major tropical wilderness areas: approaches to setting conservation priorities. Conserv Biol 12:516–520CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Murcia C (1995) Edge effects in fragmented forests: implications for conservation. Trends Ecol Evol 10:58–62CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  45. Owen RD, Goodin DG, Koch DE, Chu YK, Jonsson CB (2010) Spatiotemporal variation in Akodon montensis (Cricetidae: Sigmodontinae) and hantaviral seroprevalence in a subtropical forest ecosystem. J Mammal 91:467–481CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Oxley DJ, Fenton MB, Carmody GR (1974) The effects of roads on populations of small mammals. J Appl Ecol 11:51–59CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Porto FP, Molina-vacas G, Rodriguez J, Grilo C (2013) Effects of roads on spatial behaviour and abundance of small mammals: gaps in knowledge. Oecol Aust 17:63–76CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Prevedello JA, Vieira MV (2010) Does the type of matrix matter? A quantitative review of the evidence. Biodivers Conserv 19:1205–1223CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Puttker T, Pardini R, Meyer-Lucht Y, Sommer S (2008) Responses of five small mammal species to micro-scale variations in vegetation structure in secondary Atlantic Forest remnants, Brazil. BMC Ecol 8:9CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  50. Rico A, Kindlmann P, Sedlacek F (2007) Barrier effects of roads on movements of small mammals. Folia Zool 56:1–12Google Scholar
  51. Ries L, Robert J, Fletcher J, Battin J, Sisk TD (2004) Ecological responses to habitat edges: mechanisms, models, and variability explained. Annu Rev Ecol Evol Syst 35:491–522CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Riley SPD, Pollinger JP, Sauvajot RM, York EC, Bromley C, Fuller TK, Wayne RK (2006) A southern California freeway is a physical and social barrier to gene flow in carnivores. Mol Ecol 15:1733–1741CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  53. Rohner C, Krebs C (1996) Owl predation on snowshoe hares: consequences of antipredator behaviour. Oecologia 108:303–310CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Rondinini C, Doncaster CP (2002) Roads as barriers to movement for hedgehogs. Funct Ecol 16:504–509CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Rytwinski T, Soanes K, Jaeger JAG, Fahrig L, Findlay CS, Houlahan J, Van Der Ree R, van der Grift EA (2016) How effective is road mitigation at reducing road-kill? A meta-analysis. PLoS ONE 11:e0166941CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  56. Silva JF, Farinas MR, Felfili JM, Klink CA (2006) Spatial heterogeneity, land use and conservation in the cerrado region of Brazil. J Biogeogr 33:536–548CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Silva-Pereira JE, Moro-Rios RF, Bilski DR, Passos FC (2011) Diets of three sympatric Neotropical small cats: food niche overlap and interspecies differences in prey consumption. Mamm Biol 76:308–312CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Smith JE, Batzli GO (2006) Dispersal and mortality of prairie voles (Microtus ochrogaster) in fragmented landscapes: a field experiment. Oikos 112:209–217CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Stamps JA, Buechner M, Krishnan VV (1987) The effects of edge permeability and habitat geometry on emigration from patches of habitat. Am Nat 129:533–552CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Stevens SM, Husband TP (1998) The influence of edge on small mammals: evidence from Brazilian Atlantic forest fragments. Biol Conserv 85:1–8CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Strassburg BBN, Latawiec A, Balmford A (2016) Brazil: urgent action on Cerrado extinctions. Nature 540:199CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  62. Swihart RK, Slade NA (1984) Road crossing in Sigmodon hispidus and Microtus ochrogaster. J Mammal 65:357–360CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. Uezu A, Metzger JP, Vielliard JME (2005) Effects of structural and functional connectivity and patch size on the abundance of seven Atlantic forest bird species. Biol Conserv 123:507–519CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  64. Umetsu F, Pardini R (2007) Small mammals in a mosaic of forest remnants and anthropogenic habitats—evaluating matrix quality in an Atlantic forest landscape. Landscape Ecol 22:517–530CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  65. van der Ree R, Grilo C, Smith DJ (2015) Handbook of road ecology. Wiley, ChichesterGoogle Scholar
  66. Vieira EM, Paise G, Machado PHD (2006) Feeding of small rodents on seeds and fruits: a comparative analysis of three species of rodents of theAraucaria forest, southern Brazil. Acta Theriol (Warsz) 51:311–318CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  67. Youngquist MB, Boone MD (2014) Movement of amphibians through agricultural landscapes: the role of habitat on edge permeability. Biol Conserv 175:148–155CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  68. Zurita G, Pe’er G, Bellocq MI, Hansbauer MM (2012) Edge effects and their influence on habitat suitability calculations: a continuous approach applied to birds of the Atlantic forest. J Appl Ecol 49:503–512CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centro Brasileiro de Estudos em Ecologia de EstradasUniversidade Federal de LavrasLavrasBrazil
  2. 2.Infraestruturas de Portugal Biodiversity Chair. CIBIO/InBio, Centro de Investigação em Biodiversidade e Recursos GenéticosUniversidade do PortoVairãoPortugal
  3. 3.CEABN/InBio, Centro de Ecologia Aplicada “Professor Baeta Neves”, Instituto Superior de AgronomiaUniversidade de LisboaLisbonPortugal

Personalised recommendations