What is it about?

We discuss the impact of replacing native forests with pastures and large-scale exotic forest plantations on amphibians and reptiles. We present findings from a review of 41 scientific articles representing 191 statistical comparisons between pastures or forest plantations and native forests in 19 countries.

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Why is it important?

The study reveals that establishing pastures has a significant negative effect on the abundance and richness of amphibians and reptiles, acting as barriers to their dispersion. Exotic forest plantations, especially intensive monocultures, also adversely affect tropical amphibians, particularly in the Neotropics, where a large percentage of such plantations exist. The study suggests that mixed forest plantations, established on unused pastures, could be a conservation opportunity if carefully managed to mimic native forest conditions and promote biodiversity.


We highlight four key perspectives: Negative Impact of Land Use Changes: It underscores the need to consider the environmental consequences of land use decisions, as deforestation and plantation establishment can have profound negative effects on amphibian and reptile populations. Conservation Opportunities: The study suggests that well-managed mixed forest plantations could provide a conservation opportunity by creating habitats that resemble native forests, potentially supporting amphibians and reptiles in fragmented landscapes. Balancing Economic and Ecological Considerations: Balancing the economic benefits of forest plantations with the ecological impact on amphibians and reptiles requires careful planning and management to create habitats that support biodiversity. Importance of Connectivity: Creating corridors between native forests and mixed plantations is highlighted as a way to enhance population connectivity for amphibians and reptiles, reducing the impacts of habitat fragmentation.

PhD Nicolas Urbina-Cardona
Pontificia Universidad Javeriana

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Impacts of pastures and forestry plantations on herpetofauna: A global meta‐analysis, Journal of Applied Ecology, October 2022, Wiley, DOI: 10.1111/1365-2664.14299.
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