Abreu, Rodolfo C. R.
Hoffmann, William A.
Vasconcelos, Heraldo L.
Pilon, Natashi A.
Rossatto, Davi R.
Total Authors: 6
 North Carolina State Univ, Dept Plant & Microbial Biol, Raleigh, NC 27695 - USA
 Univ Fed Uberlandia, Inst Biol, Ave Para 1720, BR-38405320 Uberlandia, MG - Brazil
 Inst Florestal, Floresta Estadual Assis, Lab Ecol & Hidrol Florestal, BR-19802970 Sao Paulo - Brazil
 Univ Estadual Campinas UNICAMP, Inst Biol, Caixa Postal 6109, BR-13083865 Sao Paulo - Brazil
 Univ Estadual Paulista UNESP, Dept Biol, Campus Jaboticabal, BR-14884900 Sao Paulo - Brazil
Total Affiliations: 5
Web of Science Citations:
Tropical savannas have been increasingly viewed as an opportunity for carbon sequestration through fire suppression and afforestation, but insufficient attention has been given to the consequences for biodiversity. To evaluate the biodiversity costs of increasing carbon sequestration, we quantified changes in ecosystemcarbon stocks and the associated changes in communities of plants and ants resulting from fire suppression in savannas of the Brazilian Cerrado, a global biodiversity hotspot. Fire suppression resulted in increased carbon stocks of 1.2 Mg ha(-1) year(-1) since 1986 but was associated with acute species loss. In sites fully encroached by forest, plant species richness declined by 27%, and ant richness declined by 35%. Richness of savanna specialists, the species most at risk of local extinction due to forest encroachment, declined by 67% for plants and 86% for ants. This loss highlights the important role of fire in maintaining biodiversity in tropical savannas, a role that is not reflected in current policies of fire suppression throughout the Brazilian Cerrado. In tropical grasslands and savannas throughout the tropics, carbon mitigation programs that promote forest cover cannot be assumed to provide net benefits for conservation. (AU)