Provisioning services decline for both people and Critically Endangered wildlife in a rainforest transformation landscape

Katherine J. Kling, Timothy M. Eppley, A. Catherine Markham, Patricia C. Wright, Be Noel Razafindrapaoly, Rajaona Delox, Be Jean Rodolph Rasolofoniaina, Jeanne Mathilde Randriamanetsy, Pascal Elison, McAntonin Andriamahaihavana, Dean Gibson, Delaïd Claudin Rasamisoa, Josia Razafindramanana, Natalie Vasey, Carter W. Daniels, Cortni Borgerson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The loss and degradation of forests and other ecosystems worldwide threaten both global biodiversity and the livelihoods of people who use natural resources. Understanding how natural resource use impacts landscape provisioning services for both people and wildlife is thus critical for designing comprehensive resource management strategies. We used data from community focus groups, botanical plots and an inventory of plant species consumed by the Critically Endangered red-ruffed lemur (Varecia rubra) to assess the availability of key provisioning services for people and endemic wildlife on the Masoala Peninsula, a rainforest transformation landscape, in northeastern Madagascar (Masoala National Park and 13 surrounding communities). We constructed Poisson regression mixed models to evaluate the impact of community factors (i.e. community population size, plot distance to community) and changes over time on the count and species richness of timber trees, medicinal plants and red-ruffed lemur food trees within botanical plots. Over three-quarters of all plant species could be used for at least one purpose by local communities (n = 238 species). Of the 59 V. rubra food tree species, only 15% had no reported human use. Timber and ruffed lemur food tree availability declined both with community population size and time and were predicted to be lower outside of Masoala National Park. In contrast, medicinal plant availability was not strongly predicted by any tested factors. Provisioning service availability also differed strongly across sites, suggesting that additional, untested proxies of human pressure likely also have an effect. Our results highlight the importance of evaluating natural resource availability from a community-based perspective and by resource purpose to inform forest landscape restoration efforts that can support both people and wildlife. Read the free Plain Language Summary for this article on the Journal blog.

Original languageEnglish
JournalPeople and Nature
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2024

Keywords

  • lemur
  • Madagascar
  • Masoala Peninsula
  • medicinal plants
  • natural resource use
  • non-timber forest products (NTFPs)
  • timber
  • Varecia rubra

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