Diversity of small land mammals in a subtropical Atlantic forest in the western region of the state of Santa Catarina, southern Brazil
Keywords:Richness, species composition, Uruguay River, Rodentia, Didelphimorphia
AbstractSmall land mammals possess features that significantly influence the dynamics of ecosystems and participate in various levels of the food web. In the Brazilian Atlantic Forest the richness of these animals is high, which makes them even more ecologically and numerically relevant in this environment. In this context, we investigated the species composition of small mammals in an unexplored area of southern Brazil, and compared the species composition of this area with other Atlantic Forest regions in order to understand how this community is related to others. The study area was located in an interior Atlantic forest formation, at a transition region between deciduous and Araucaria forests. Small mammals were captured at five collection points using pitfall traps. We compared the species composition found in our studied area with the composition of other 11 studies in different regions by a cluster analysis, and we investigated the presence of spatial autocorrelation between communities with a Mantel test. We recorded 779 individuals from 21 species of small rodents (15 species) and marsupials (six species) during the 13 months of the collection period. This richness was high compared to other studies conducted in the Atlantic Forest formations near to coastline and in interior forest formations. This may be a result of the conditions provided by this transition area (deciduous and Araucaria forests), where could be found elements of the both forests formations, which probably allows the establishment of small mammal species from both forest types. Despite differences in sampling effort of the studies, our results suggest that the interior forest formations may harbor a number of species comparable to the formations near the coast. The species composition of this area was similar to those found in other interior forest formations with the same phytophysiognomy characteristics and at nearby regions, and it was less similar to the distant formations located in southeastern and northeastern Brazil and nearby to the coastline. This can be a result of both the spatial autocorrelation (i.e. more nearby communities tend to have more similar species composition) and the differences of forest characteristics among regions.
How to Cite
Maestri, R., Galiano, D., Kubiak, B. B., & Marinho, J. R. (2014). Diversity of small land mammals in a subtropical Atlantic forest in the western region of the state of Santa Catarina, southern Brazil. Biota Neotropica, 14(4). Retrieved from //www.biotaneotropica.org.br/BN/article/view/1150