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The effect of roads on spider monkeys' home range and mobility in a heterogeneous regenerating forest

Asensio, N and Murillo-Chacon, E and Schaffner, CM and Aureli, F (2017) The effect of roads on spider monkeys' home range and mobility in a heterogeneous regenerating forest. Biotropica. ISSN 0006-3606

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Abstract

Arboreal fauna living in tropical ecosystems may be particularly affected by roads given their dependency on forest cover and the high vulnerability of such ecosystems to changes. Over a period of 4 yr, we followed subgroups of spider monkeys living in a regenerating dry tropical forest with 8.2 km of roads within their home range. We aimed to understand whether roads shaped the home range of spider monkeys and which road features affected their movement. Only 18 percent (3 km) of the spider monkeys' home range perimeter bordered with roads; these roads had greater habitat disparity between road sides than roads inside the home range. Although monkeys were reluctant to be close to roads, and roadside habitat contained low proportions of mature forest, spider monkeys crossed roads at 69 locations (7.5 crossings per kilometer). The main road characteristic affecting crossings was canopy opening size, with greater probability of crossing where canopy openings were smaller. Our findings support the importance of canopy opening size for road crossing of arboreal taxa, but they also indicate the relevant role roadside forest structure may have. Minimizing canopy opening size and forest disturbance along roads can facilitate the movement of arboreal fauna and preserve the important role of spider monkeys and other arboreal taxa in seed dispersal and thus the maintenance and regeneration of forest diversity. © 2017 The Association for Tropical Biology and Conservation.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This is the accepted version of the following article: Asensio, N., Murillo-Chacon, E., Schaffner, C. M. and Aureli, F. (2017), The effect of roads on spider monkeys’ home range and mobility in a heterogeneous regenerating forest. Biotropica. doi:10.1111/btp.12441, which has been published in final form at http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/btp.12441
Uncontrolled Keywords: 06 Biological Sciences, 05 Environmental Sciences, 07 Agricultural And Veterinary Sciences
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences
Q Science > QH Natural history
Q Science > QK Botany
Q Science > QL Zoology
Divisions: Natural Sciences and Psychology
Publisher: Wiley
Date Deposited: 28 Apr 2017 10:04
Last Modified: 28 Apr 2017 10:04
DOI or Identification number: 10.1111/btp.12441
URI: http://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/6317

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