SIMONCINI Melina Soledad
capítulos de libros
Forests and Brazilian reptiles: Challenges for the conservation
Forest Conservation: Methods, Management and Challenges
Nova Science Publishers
Lugar: Nueva York; Año: 2019; p. 1 - 304
Biodiversitysupports life on Earth, and human beings frequently depend on biodiversity tosatisfy basic needs like food, refuge, medicine, combustibles, and industrialproducts (Dirzo et al. 2003, Urbina-Cardona 2008). However, often we comeacross in our studies and we question ourselves: what is the proportion of therisk that the forests and its species encounter at this critical point in theirevolution? What is the speed of extinction for the threatened species that weare studying, due to effects of our actions as a global human society?Furthermore, what measures can we take to reverse the current situation, or, atleast, to soften it? And finally, how can we disseminate all this informationbeyond the scientific community, in order to gain support from other spheres oforganized civil society, whether this be private or public? Ecologically,reptiles are essential components of the Earth?s biodiversity because they playintegral roles in food webs as herbivores, predators, and prey, as well asconnecting aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems (Schenider et al. 2001). Nevertheless, regarding the currentbiodiversity crisis due various anthropogenic and environmental factors (e.g., dam constructions, hunting, deforestation, mining and climaticchange), manyforests and species of reptiles may disappear quickly, while others mayovercome such problems, if they develop adaptive mechanisms to survive theimposed scenario on front of the global warmer and climate changes. Considering 1,498 reptile species (The IUCN Red List assessment; Böhm et al. 2013) andto provide an overview of the risk posed to reptiles by climate change, Böhm etal. (2016) found 80.5% of species were highly sensitive to climate change,especially due to habitat specialization, while 48% had low adaptability and58% had high exposure. Overall, 22% of species were highly vulnerable toclimate change and most reptile families were found to be significantly morevulnerable to climate change than expected by chance (Böhm et al. 2016).Inaddition, hotspots of climate change vulnerability did not always overlap withhotspots of threatened species richness, with most of the vulnerable speciesfound in northwestern South America, south North America and others importantworld regions (Böhm et al. 2016). Therefore, those species unable to acclimateor adapt to the climatic changes will become extinct, while those that aremobile enough can survive by tracking their favored resource or habitat(Rosalino et al. 2014). In other words, the species may be flexible enough tocope to the environmental changes, explained by polymorphism of alleles,phenotypic plasticity, adaptive tolerance (physiological or behaviorflexibility) or versatility that may enhance the fitness the animals in a new environmental condition (Potts 2004,Rosalino et al. 2014). In thischapter, our principal objective was to address the current problems and risksfor Neotropical reptile biodiversity, focusing on Squamata (lizards and snakes)and Crocodylia (caimans) from the Brazilian forest biomes, some of which areconsidered hotspots. We highlight the need for better conservation policy,efficient measures and methods in recent studies, in order to safeguard theherpetofauna that inhabits important forest environments, where manypopulations are or can be at risk since they depend fully these wildlandscapes.