Cover image for Vol. 48 Issue 5

Edited By: Emilio Bruna

Impact Factor: 1.944

ISI Journal Citation Reports © Ranking: 2015: 71/149 (Ecology)

Online ISSN: 1744-7429

Virtual Issue: Brazil

Brazil always fascinated early naturalists and continues to be an inspiration to contemporary biologists, resulting in a sophisticated literature advancing our understanding of the ecological and evolutionary factors structuring tropical ecosystems, documenting threats to their persistence, and describing innovative strategies for their conservation. With the eyes of the world on Brazil it prepares to host the world’s most widely viewed sporting event – the 2014 FIFA World Cup – we present this collection of articles published in Biotropica that highlights Brazil’s unique ecosystems and biodiversity, the myriad research approaches used to understand and conserve them, and the diversity of scholars engaged in this critical research.

Football and biodiversity conservation: FIFA and Brazil can still hit a green goal (Felipe P. Melo et al)
Read it because . . . The three-banded armadillo and mascot of the 2014 FIFA World Cup is endangered. The authors urge FIFA and the Brazilian government to up their efforts for the species, and incorporate conservation actions into the promised legacy of the Cup.

Deforestation trends of tropical dry forests in Central Brazil (Carlos A. Bianchi and Susan M. Haig)
Read it because . . . Using satellite imagery and fragmentation analysis the authors show that tropical dry forests of the Brazilian Cerrado have decreased more than 66% over the past 31 years and are likely to disappear within less than two decades if no effective protection is adopted.

Jaguar and puma activity patterns and predator-prey interactions in four Brazilian biomes (Vania C. Foster et al)
Read it because . . . The authors present a thorough analysis of the temporal behavior of jaguars and pumas in four Brazilian biomes and investigate how the sympatry of these two top carnivores, as well as the activity of their main prey, shapes their circadian activity patterns.

Assessing extinction risk in small metapopulations of Golden-headed Lion Tamarins (Leontopithecus chrysomelas) in Bahia State, Brazil (Sara L. Zeigler, Kristel M. De Vleeschouwer and Becky E. Raboy)
Read it because . . . The golden-headed lion tamarin is a flagship symbol of Brazil’s wealth of biodiversity. The authors provide a guide to help prioritize conservation actions for this declining species.

Amazon forest structure from IKONOS satellite data and the automated characterization of forest canopy properties (Michael Palace et al)
Read it because . . . The authors show that lasers can be used to accurately measure the three-dimensional structure of Amazon rain forests.

Frugivory, post-feeding flights of frugivorous birds and the movement of seeds in a Brazilian fragmented landscape (Marco A. Pizo and Bruno T. P. dos Santos)
Read it because . . . A few frugivorous bird species can move widely in the landscapes dominated by agriculture typical of southern Brazil. The authors show how these birds are connecting isolated patches of Atlantic Forest through seed dispersal.

Fruit removal and natural seed dispersal of the Brazil Nut tree (Bertholletia excelsa) in Central Amazonia, Brazil (Joanne M. Tuck Haugaasen et al)
Read it because . . . The authors provide a new method to realistically quantify seed dispersal of Brazil-nut trees, and suggest that previous experiments often underestimate the distances rodents disperse the seeds of this tree.

Amphibian declines in Brazil: an overview (Paula Cabral Eterovick et al)
Read it because . . . Little is known about amphibian population declines in Brazil. The authors offer a comprehensive review of declines and possible causes. They also pinpoint the problems associated with lack of quality information and recommend directions to improve amphibian conservation in Brazil.

Within flood season variation in fruit consumption and seed dispersal by two characin fishes of the Amazon (Christine M. Lucas)
Read it because . . . The consumption of fruits produced by trees by fish in tropical floodplains and the subsequent dispersal of their seeds is a fascinating example of tropical plant-animal interactions. The author shows that the diversity and species composition of fruits and seeds consumed by characin fishes varies within the flood season in the Lower Amazon.

Pollen dispersal between isolated trees in the Brazilian savannah: a case study of the Neotropical tree Hymenaea stigonocarpa (Mário Luiz Teixeira de Moraes and Alexandre Magno Sebbenn)
Read it because . . . The authors show that isolated trees in Brazilian pastures may not reproductively isolated, although they do exhibit a higher ‘selfing’ rate than trees occurring in groups.

Conservation of an ant–plant mutualism in native forests and ecologically-managed tree monocultures (Mônica F. Kersch-Becker, Sandra R. Buss and Carlos R. Fonseca)
Read it because . . . Brazil’s Atlantic rain forests are being replaced with tree plantations that significantly alter biodiversity. The authors demonstrate how sustainable forest management helps to maintain species interactions—a key to ecosystem functioning.

Edge Structure Determines the Magnitude of Changes in Microclimate and Vegetation Structure in Tropical Forest Fragments (Raphael K. Didham and John H. Lawton)
Read it because . . . Fire-encroachment from agricultural land is an increasing threat to tropical rain forests. This was the first study to show that fire alters vegetation structure at forest edges, compromising the effectiveness of Nature Reserve design in modified landscapes.