Advertisement

Agroforestry Systems

, 68:15 | Cite as

Live fences and landscape connectivity in a neotropical agricultural landscape

  • Mario Chacón León
  • Celia A. Harvey
Article

Abstract

Live fences are common elements in neotropical agricultural landscapes and could play important roles in the conservation of biodiversity by enhancing landscape connectivity, however, little is known about their abundance and spatial arrangement. The objectives of this study were to characterize the abundance and spatial patterns of live fences in a fragmented landscape dominated by pastures in Río Frío, Costa Rica, to determine their contribution to landscape structure and connectivity and to examine their role as tools for landscape conservation planning. Live fences accounted for 45.4% of all fences in the landscape and occurred with a mean density of 50.5 linear meters per hectare. Although live fences covered only a small total area of the landscape (<2%), they had an important effect on landscape structure and connectivity, increasing total tree cover, dividing pastures into smaller areas, creating rectilinear networks that cross the landscape and providing direct physical connections to forest patches. Simulations showed that the conversion of all existing wooden fences to live fences would greatly enhance landscape connectivity by more than doubling the area, density and number of direct connections to forest habitats, and reducing the average distance between tree canopies. Our study demonstrates that live fences play key roles in defining the structure and composition of neotropical agricultural landscapes and merit consideration in both conservation efforts and agricultural policies designed to enhance landscape connectivity and promote biodiversity conservation.

Keywords

Agroecosystems Cattle production systems Costa Rica Fragmented landscapes Landscape structure Linear elements 

References

  1. Barr, C.J., Gillespie, M.K. 2000Estimating hedgerow length and the pattern characteristics in Great Britain using Countryside Survey dataJ. Environ. Manage.602332CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Baudry, J., Bunce, R.G.H., Burel, F. 2000aHedgerows: an international perspective on their origin, function and managementJ. Environ. Manage.60722CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Baudry, J., Burel, F., Thenail, C., Le Couer, D. 2000bA holistic landscape ecological study of interactions between farming activities and ecological patterns in Brittany, FranceLandsc. Urban Plan.50119128CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Baudry, J., Zhenrong, Y. 1999Landscape patterns changes in two subtropical Chinese villages as related to farming policiesCrit. Rev. Plant Sci.18373380Google Scholar
  5. Bennett, A.F. 1999Linkages in the Landscape – The Role of Corridors and Connectivity in Wildlife ConservationIUCNGlandGoogle Scholar
  6. Bennett, A.F., Henein, K., Merriam, G. 1994Corridor use and the elements of corridor quality: chipmunks and fencerows in a farmland mosaicBiol. Conserv.68155165CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Budowski, G., Russo, R.O. 1993Live fence posts in Costa Rica: a compilation of farmer's beliefs and technologiesJ. Sustain. Agr.36587CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Budowski G. 1987. Living fences in tropical Americaa widespread agroforestry practice. In: Gholz H.L. (ed.) Agroforestry: Realities, Possibilities and Potentials. Martinus Nijhoff Publishers, pp. 169–178.Google Scholar
  9. Burel, F. 1992Effect of structure and dynamics on species diversity in hedgerow networksLandscape Ecol.6161174CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Burel, F. 1996Hedgerows and their role in agricultural landscapesCrit. Rev. Plant Sci.15169190Google Scholar
  11. Burel, A., Baudry, J. 2005Habitat quality and connectivity in agricultural landscapes: the role of land use systems at various scales in timeEcological Indicators5305313CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Capel, S.W. 1988Design of windbreaks for wildlife in the Great Plains of North AmericaAgric., Ecosyst. Environ.22/23337347CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Charrier, S., Petit, S., Burel, F. 1997Movements of Abax parallelepipedus (ColeopteraCarabidae) in woody habitats of a hedgerows network landscape: a radio-tracking studyAgric., Ecosyst. Environ.61133144CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Chacón, M. 2003Tree cover and live fences in a fragmented landscape in Río Frío, Costa RicaCATIETurrialba, Costa Rica107M.Sc. Thesis.Google Scholar
  15. Daily, G.C., Sanchez-Azofeifa, G.A., Ehrlich, P.R. 2001Countryside biogeography: use of human-dominated habitats by the avifauna of southern Costa RicaEcol. Appl.11113Google Scholar
  16. Deckers, B., Hermy, M., Muys, B. 2004Factors affecting plant species composition of hedgerows: relative importance and hierarchyActa Oecol.262337CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Deckers, B., Kerselaers, E., Gulinck, H., Muys, B., Hermy, M. 2005Long-term spatio-temporal dynamics of a hedgerow network landscape in Flanders, BelgiumEnviron. Conserv.322029CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Dover, J., Sparks, T. 2000A review of the ecology of butterflies in British hedgerowsJ. Environ. Manage.605163CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Dmowski, K., Koziakiewicz, M. 1990Influence of a shrub corridor on movements of passerine birds to a lake littoral zoneLandscape Ecol.498108CrossRefGoogle 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, MexicoEcography17229241CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 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, MexicoBiodivers. Conserv.913991416CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Estrada, A., Coates-Estrada, R. 2001Bat species richness in live fences and in corridors of residual rain forest vegetation at Los Tuxtlas, MexicoEcography2494102CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Estrada A., Sáenz J., Harvey C., Naranjo E., Muñoz D. and Rosales-Medina M. 2006. Primates in agroecosystems: conservation value of some agricultural practices in Mesoamerican landscapes. In: Estrada A., Garber P. and Pavelka M. (eds.) Study of Mesoamerican Primates: Distribution, Ecology, Behavior and Conservation. Kluwer Academic PublisherNew York, USA, pp. 437–470.Google Scholar
  24. Forman, R.T.T., Baudry, J. 1984Hedgerows and hedgerow networks in landscape ecologyEnviron. Manage.8495510CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Forman, R.T.T. 1995Landscape Mosaics-the Ecology of Landscape and RegionsCambridge University PressCambridge, Great Britain632Google Scholar
  26. Haas, C.A. 1995Dispersal and use of corridors by birds in wooded patches on an agricultural landscapeConserv. Biol.984554CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Harvey, C.A., Tucker, N., Estrada, A. 2004Live fences, isolated trees and windbreaks: tools for conserving biodiversity in fragmented tropical landscapes?Schroth, G.A.Fonseca, B.Harvey, C.A.Gascon, C.Vasconcelos, H.L.Izac, A.M.N. eds. Agroforestry and Biodiversity Conservation in Tropical LandscapesIsland PressWashington, D.C.261289Google Scholar
  28. Harvey C.A., Alpizar F., Chacón M. and Madrigal R. 2005a. Assessing linkages between Agriculture and Biodiversity in Central America: Historical overview and Future perspectives. Mesoamerican and Caribbean Region, Conservation Science Program. The Nature Conservancy (TNC), San Jose, Costa Rica, pp. 140Google Scholar
  29. Harvey, C.A., Villanueva, C., Villacís, J., Chacón, M., Muñoz, D., López, M., Ibrahim, M., Taylor, R., Martínez, J.L., Navas, A., Sáenz, J., Sánchez, D., Medina, A., Vilchez, S., Hernández, B., Pérez, A., Ruiz, F., López, F., Lang, I., Kunth, S., Sinclair, F.L. 2005bContribution of live fences to the ecological integrity of agricultural landscapesAgric., Ecosyst. Environ.111200230CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Harvey C.A., Medina A., Sanchez D., Vilchez S., Hernandez B., Saenz J., Maes J.M., Casanoves F. and Sinclair F.L. Patterns of animal diversity associated with different forms of tree cover retained in agricultural landscapes. Ecol. Appl. (in review).Google Scholar
  31. Hinsley, S.A., Bellamy, P.E. 2000The influence of hedge structuremanagement and landscape context on the value of hedgerows to birds: a reviewJ. Environ. Manage.603349CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Holdridge, L.R. 1967Life Zone EcologyCentro Científico TropicalCosta Rica206Google Scholar
  33. Joyce, K.A., Holland, J.M., Doncaster, C.P. 1999Influences of hedgerow intersections and gaps on the movement of carabid beetlesBull. Entomol. Res.89523531Google Scholar
  34. Kantelhardt, J., Osinski, E., Heissenhuber, A. 2003Is there a reliable correlation between hedgerow density and agricultural site conditions?Agric., Ecosyst. Environ.98517527CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Kristensen, S.P., Caspersen, O.H. 2002Analysis of changes in a shelterbelt network landscape in central JutlandDenmarkJ. Environ. Manage.66171183PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Lack, P.C. 1988Hedge intersections and breeding bird distribution in farmlandBird Study35133136CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Lang, I., Gormley, L., Harvey, C.A., Sinclair, F.L. 2003Composición de la comunidad de aves en cercas vivas de Río Frío, Costa RicaAgroforestería en las Américas108692Google Scholar
  38. Marshall, E.J.P., Moonen, A.C. 2002Field margins in northern Europe: their functions and interactions with agricultureAgric., Ecosyst. Environ.89521CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. McNeely, J.A., Scherr, S.J. 2003Ecoagriculture: Strategies to Feed the World and Save Wild BiodiversityIsland PressWashington D.C323Google Scholar
  40. Millán de la Peña, N., Butet, A., Delettre, T., Morant, P., Burel, F. 2003Landscape context and carabid (Coleoptera: Carabidae) communities of hedgerows in western FranceAgric., Ecosyst. Environ.945972CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Miranda, J.M. 1991Evaluación de gramíneas y leguminosas: establecimiento y producción en época máxima y mínima de precipitación en la zona de Río FríoTesis Ing. Agr. San JoséCosta Rica95Google Scholar
  42. Osborne, P. 1983Bird numbers and habitat characteristics in farmland hedgerowsJ. Appl. Ecol.216382Google Scholar
  43. Pagiola, S., Agostini, P., Gobbi, J., Haan, C., Ibrahim, M., Murgueito, E., Ramirez, E., Rosales, M., Ruiz, J.P. 2005Paying for biodiversity conservation servicesMt. Res. Dev.25206211CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Petit, S., Burel, F. 1993Movement of Abax ater (Col. Carabidae): do forest species survive in hedgerow networks?Vie Mileiu43119124Google Scholar
  45. Petit, L.J., Petit, D.R. 2003Evaluating the importance of human-modified lands for neotropical bird conservationConserv. Biol.17687694CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. 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 systemsBioscience42354362CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Ricketts, T.H., Fay, J.P., Ehrlich, P.R., Daily, G.C. 2001Countryside biogeography of moths in a fragmented landscape: biodiversity in native and agricultural habitatsConserv. Biol.15387388CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Santivañez J.L. 2005. Efecto de la estructura, composición y conectividad de las cercas vivas en la comunidad de aves de Río Frío, Costa Rica. Tesis Mag. Sc. Turrialba. CATIE, Costa Rica, pp. 136.Google Scholar
  49. Sauer, J.D. 1979Living fences in Costa Rican agricultureTurrialba (IICA)29225261Google Scholar
  50. Schmucki, R., Blois, S., Bouchard, A., Domon, G. 2002Spatial and temporal dynamics of hedgerows in three agricultural landscapes of Southern Quebec, CanadaEnviron. Manage.30651664PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Schroth, G., Fonseca, G.A.B., Harvey, C.A., Gascon, C., Vasconcelos, H.L., Izac, A.M.N. 2004Agroforestry and Biodiversity Conservation in Tropical LandscapesIsland PressWashington, D.C.523Google Scholar
  52. Sokal R.R. and Rohlf F.J. 1994. Biometry: The Principles and Practice of Statistics in Biological Research. W. H. Freeman, pp. 880Google Scholar
  53. Thenail, C., Baudry, J. 2004Variation of farm spatial land use pattern according to the structure of the hedgerow network (bocage) landscape: a case study in northeast BrittanyAgric., Ecosyst. Environ.1015372CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Turner, M.G., Gardner, R.H., O’Neill, R.V. 2001Landscape Ecology in Theory and Practice. Pattern and processSpringer VerlagNew York, Inc. USA401Google Scholar
  55. Verboom, B., Huitema, H. 1997The importance of linear landscape elements for the pipstrelle Pipistrellus pipistrellus the serotine bat Eptesicus serotinus Landscape Ecol.12117125Google Scholar
  56. Villacís, J., Harvey, C.A., Ibrahim, M., Villanueva, C. 2003Relaciones entre la cobertura arbórea y el nivel de intensificación de las fincas ganaderas en Río Frío, Costa RicaAgroforestería en las Américas101723Google Scholar
  57. Yahner, R.H. 1982aAvian use of vertical strata and planting in farmstead shelterbeltsJ. Wildl. Manage.465060Google Scholar
  58. Yahner, R.H. 1982bAvian nest densities and nest site selection in farmstead shelterbeltsWilson Bull.94156175Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Agriculture and AgroforestryApdo. 7170, Centro Agrónomico Tropical de Investigación y Ensenañza (CATIE)TurrialbaCosta Rica

Personalised recommendations