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Macroecology and Biogeography meeting

May 3rd to 6th 2023 - Universität Bayreuth

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Fragmentation in Mayan lowland rainforest.

Diana Miriam Pineda Fernández1
1 Biogeography, Bayreuth University

P 2.1 in Poster Session Friday (14:45-15:30)

Improving the resilience of tropical forest biota to climate change is a global priority, and limiting further forest loss while creating climate corridors are key steps in achieving this goal (Senior, R. A. et al., 2019). However, linear infrastructure is recognized as one of the main causes of forest fragmentation (Geneletti, D., 2002), which can lead to deforestation, ecosystem degradation, and loss of ecological connections between protected areas. It can also reduce forest cover, isolate plant and animal populations, disrupt biological corridors, change microclimates (Goosem M., 2007), and ultimately lead to biodiversity loss and species extinction (Leimu et al., 2010). Despite this, infrastructure development on the Yucatan peninsula has increased in recent years. While these projects are seen as drivers of real estate, commercial, and tourism development, they also have significant negative impacts on the environment and society. Therefore, this project analyzes whether the impact of recent infrastructural developments compromises the ecosystem's structural connectivity, endangering the ecosystems of the Yucatán peninsula. The method used to obtain results is remote sensing, which involved using satellite images from several years and analyzing them with geographic information systems. This work highlights regional conservation priorities based on forest and structural connectivity loss due to fragmentation processes. Moreover, the construction project of the Mayan train is expected to be a significant driver in the process of fragmentation of the lowland Mayan rainforest. 

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