Biogeographical and Taxonomic Biases in Tropical Forest Fragmentation Research

Deikumah, Justus P., Mcalpine, Clive A. and Maron, Martine (2014) Biogeographical and Taxonomic Biases in Tropical Forest Fragmentation Research. Conservation Biology, 28 6: 1522-1531. doi:10.1111/cobi.12348

Author Deikumah, Justus P.
Mcalpine, Clive A.
Maron, Martine
Title Biogeographical and Taxonomic Biases in Tropical Forest Fragmentation Research
Journal name Conservation Biology   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0888-8892
Publication date 2014-12
Year available 2014
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1111/cobi.12348
Open Access Status
Volume 28
Issue 6
Start page 1522
End page 1531
Total pages 10
Place of publication Hoboken, NJ United States
Publisher Blackwell Publishing
Collection year 2015
Language eng
Abstract Despite several decades of research on the effects of fragmentation and habitat change on biodiversity, there remain strong biases in the geographical regions and taxonomic species studied. The knowledge gaps resulting from these biases are of particular concern if the forests most threatened with modification are also those for which the effects of such change are most poorly understood. To quantify the nature and magnitude of such biases, we conducted a systematic review of the published literature on forest fragmentation in the tropics for the period 1980-2012. Studies included focused on any type of response of single species, communities, or assemblages of any taxonomic group to tropical forest fragmentation and on fragmentation-related changes to forests. Of the 853 studies we found in the SCOPUS database, 64% were conducted in the Neotropics, 13% in Asia, 10% in the Afrotropics, and 5% in Australasia. Thus, although the Afrotropics is subject to the highest rates of deforestation globally, it was the most disproportionately poorly studied biome. Significant taxonomic biases were identified. Of the taxonomic groups considered, herpetofauna was the least studied in the tropics, particularly in Africa. Research examining patterns of species distribution was by far the most common type (72%), and work focused on ecological processes (28%) was rare in all biomes, but particularly in the Afrotropics and for fauna. We suggest research efforts be directed toward less-studied biogeographic regions, particularly where the threat of forest fragmentation continues to be high. Increased research investment in the Afrotropics will be important to build knowledge of threats and inform responses in a region where almost no efforts to restore its fragmented landscapes have yet begun and forest protection is arguably most tenuous.
Keyword Afrotropics
Biogeographic bias
Fauna population decline
Taxonomic bias
Tropical forest biomes
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: School of Geography, Planning and Environmental Management Publications
Official 2015 Collection
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 3 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 3 times in Scopus Article | Citations
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