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International Journal of Ecology
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 183726, 8 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2013/183726
Research Article

Forest Fragments Surrounded by Sugar Cane Are More Inhospitable to Terrestrial Amphibian Abundance Than Fragments Surrounded by Pasture

1Curso de Mestrado em Ecologia e Tecnologia Ambiental, Universidade Federal de Alfenas (Unifal-MG), R. Gabriel Monteiro da Silva, 700, 37130-000 Alfenas, MG, Brazil
2Laboratório de Ecologia de Fragmentos Florestais (ECOFRAG), Instituto de Ciências da Natureza (ICN), Universidade Federal de Alfenas (Unifal-MG), R. Gabriel Monteiro da Silva, 700, 37130-000 Alfenas, MG, Brazil

Received 26 July 2013; Revised 23 September 2013; Accepted 27 October 2013

Academic Editor: Simona Castaldi

Copyright © 2013 Paula Eveline Ribeiro D’Anunciação et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

In recent years, there has been increasing interest in matrix-type influence on forest fragments. Terrestrial amphibians are good bioindicators for this kind of research because of low vagility and high philopatry. This study compared richness, abundance, and species composition of terrestrial amphibians through pitfall traps in two sets of semideciduous seasonal forest fragments in southeastern Brazil, according to the predominant surrounding matrix (sugar cane and pasture). There were no differences in richness, but fragments surrounded by sugar cane had the lowest abundance of amphibians, whereas fragments surrounded by pastures had greater abundance. The most abundant species, Rhinella ornata, showed no biometric differences between fragment groups but like many other amphibians sampled showed very low numbers of individuals in fragments dominated by sugar cane fields. Our data indicate that the sugar cane matrix negatively influences the community of amphibians present in fragments surrounded by this type of land use.