The influence of edge on small mammals: Evidence from Brazilian Atlantic forest fragments

Document Type


Date of Original Version



Small mammal diversity was examined in relation to distance from the forest/farmland edge in two fragments of Brazilian Atlantic forest in Sergipe, Brazil. Tolerance to and use of the edge and surrounding matrix of agricultural land by nine species of small mammals, as well as microclimatic conditions and vegetation structure were measured along 12 transects placed both inside the forest and in the surrounding matrix. As distance from edge increased into the forest, both the number of species and species diversity significantly increased, air temperature significantly decreased and relative humidity significantly increased. During the study, no small mammals were captured outside of the forest in the surrounding farmland. Of the 671 total captures, only 43 occurred along the edge, and 39 of the 43 were captures of only two species. This influence that edge may have on some small mammals may be a key to discerning a species' probability of survival in small fragments with hard edges.

Publication Title, e.g., Journal

Biological Conservation