Dissecting Amazonian Biodiversity
Journal - Science
Biogeographical and biodiversity studies in Iowland Amazonianrain forests typically refer to observed or postulated distributionbarriers such as past unfavorable climates, mountains, rivers,and river floodplains that divide the uniform tierra firme (noninundated)forest. Present-day ecological heterogeneity within tierra firmehas hardly been discussed in this context, although edaphicdifferences are known to affect species distribution patternsin both inundated areas and tierra firme. Quantification oflandscape heterogeneity in Peruvian Iowland Amazonia (500,000kilometers squared), based on field studies and satellite imageanalysis, shows that Peruvian Amazonia is considerably moreheterogeneous than previously reported. These observations haveimplications for the research, management, and conservationof Amazonian biodiversity.