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Geographic Variation in Densities and Diversities of Non-Flying Mammals in Amazonia

Louise H. Emmons
Biotropica
Vol. 16, No. 3 (Sep., 1984), pp. 210-222
DOI: 10.2307/2388054
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2388054
Page Count: 13
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Geographic Variation in Densities and Diversities of Non-Flying Mammals in Amazonia
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Abstract

Non-flying mammals were surveyed by trapping and transect census at seven localities in Peru, Ecuador, and Brazil. Relative numbers of individuals of smaller species varied dramatically from site to site while those of large species tended to be quite constant. The observed pattern of variation in numbers of individuals is mirrored by species richness differences between western Amazonia and the Guiana Shield region of Brazil, suggesting that similar environmental factors may regulate both the numbers of individuals and species in a locality. Soil fertility and undergrowth density are positively correlated with the density and species richness of mammals in a locality, but quantity or pattern of rainfall does not seem to account for any of the observed differences. Competition, home range size and diet are discussed as possible causes of the differential reduction in density and species richness of small, compared to large species in unfavorable habitats. Hunting has extirpated or severely reduced populations of large mammals, especially primates, at five of the seven localities surveyed.

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