Geographic trends and information deficits in Amazonian conservation research

  • Articles in SCI Journals
  • Oct, 2015
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Guedes dos Santos, J., Malhado, A.C.M., Ladle, R.J., Correia, R.A. & Costa, M.H. (2015) Geographic trends and information deficits in Amazonian conservation research.

Biodiversity and Conservation, 24(11), 2853-2863. DOI:10.​1007/​s10531-015-0981-x (IF2015 2,258; Ecology)
Amazonia has an iconic status in global conservation due to its enormous area and vast stores of biodiversity. Nevertheless, much of its biodiversity remains unknown, and many of the region’s forests are under threat of habitat loss due to deforestation and climatic instability. Based on the assumption that effective management and conservation of forest resources should be supported by geographically localized scientific knowledge, we mapped the spatial and temporal distribution of Amazonian conservation research and compared it to areas under threat from deforestation or with a high probability of climate change induced savannization/transition to seasonal forest. Specifically, we created a database of 4019 spatial coordinates of research sites collated from 857 conservation science research articles retrieved from Scopus. Research sites tend to cluster along major rivers and urban areas and new research sites tend to be located near existing sites. Information deficits are particularly acute in the south and southeast regions within the so called ‘arc of deforestation’. Areas at risk of ecosystem transition due to climate instability are generally well studied with the exception of a large area of southwest Amazonia that has a high risk of savannization. Our results suggest that a more systematic approach to Amazonian conservation research is required, specifically targeting those areas most under threat from anthropogenic environmental change.