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Monday, April 9 • 10:45am - 11:00am
SYMPOSIA-04: Fine-Scale Elements of the Matrix and the Success of Inter-Patch Movements in Fragmented Landscapes

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AUTHORS: Marcus Vieira*, Manoel Muanis, Jayme Prevedello – Universidade do Estado do Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

ABSTRACT: Inter-patch movements are essential for population dynamics and persistence in fragmented landscapes, and the type of matrix is a strong determinant of inter-patch movements. Less known and explored are the effects of fine-scale elements within a matrix, such as scattered trees, cattle trails, hedgerows, and plantation rows, which may affect movement behavior and orientation of individuals. We reviewed the type of behavioral responses of individuals to fine-scale elements, and investigated how scattered trees and cattle trails affect movement tortuosity - a key attribute determining the success of inter-patch movements – in a Neotropical marsupial, Philander frenatus. Using translocation experiments and VHF telemetry, we compared path tortuosity before and after individuals used scattered trees or cattle trails, and how the amount of cattle trails and scattered trees affected tortuosity of the entire path. We also determined step-by-step habitat selection of individuals along their radio-tracked trajectories at fine scale (pastureland), which included pasture areas with and without scattered trees. Paths were on average 44.8 % more tortuous before than after individuals used individual scattered trees, but tortuosity of the entire path increased as more scattered trees were used, and decreased as more cattle trails were used. Individuals selected areas with scattered trees, which were 3 to 6 times more favored than areas without scattered trees. Areas with cattle trails were selected positively, but with a lower strength of selection compared to areas without trees and without cattle trails. The results demonstrate how fine-scale matrix elements affect the tortuosity of inter-patch movements, and how they may enhance functional connectivity in heterogeneous landscapes. Scattered trees in particular should be studied as potential strategies to increase functional connectivity in fragmented landscapes.

Monday April 9, 2018 10:45am - 11:00am CDT
Adams Room