Date of this Version
Ardente NC, Ferreguetti CÁ, Gettinger D, Leal P, Mendes-Oliveira AC, Martins-Hatano F, et al. (2016) Diversity and Impacts of Mining on the Non-Volant Small Mammal Communities of Two Vegetation Types in the Brazilian Amazon. PLoS ONE 11(11): e0167266. doi:10.1371/journal. pone.0167266
The CarajaÂs National Forest contains some of the largest iron ore deposits in the world. The majority of the minerals are found below a plant community known as Savana MetaloÂ fila, or ªCangaº, which represents only 3% of the landscape within the CarajaÂs National Forest (CNF). The aim of our study was to understand the diversity of community of non-volant small mammals in the two predominant vegetation types: Ombrophilous Forest and Canga, and to examine how mining impacts these communities. Sampling was conducted from January 2010 to August 2011 in 11 sampling sites divided by the total area of Canga and 12 sampling sites in the forest, totalizing 23 sites. Of these, 12 sites (Canga and Forest) were considered impacted areas located close to the mine (<< 900 meters) and 11 sites (Canga and Forest), serving as controls, which were at least 7,000 meters from the mine. We recorded 28 species, 11 from the Order Didelphimorphia and 17 from the Order Rodentia. The two forest types shared 68.42% of the species found in the CNF. A gradient analysis (Non-metric multidimensional scaling) revealed that the first axis clearly separated the nonflying small mammal communities by vegetation type. Occupancy models showed that the detectability of species was affected by the distance from the mining activities. Of all the small mammals analyzed, 10 species were positively affected by the distance from mining in areas impacted (e.g. more likely to be detected farther from mining areas) and detectability was lower in impacted areas. However, three species were negatively affected by the distance from mining, with higher detectability in the impacted areas, and seven species showed no effect of their proximity to mining operations. To date, there are no studies in Brazil about the impact of mining on mammals or other vertebrates. This study reveals that the effect of mining may go beyond the forest destruction caused by the opening of the mining pits, but also may negatively affect sensitive wildlife species.
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