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Does human influence on coastal grasslands habitats affect predation pressure on snakes?

A influência humana afeta a pressão de predação em serpentes em ambientes de campos costeiros?

The loss and modification of habitats by humans have been considered key factors in the decline of diversity of species worldwide. However, the real effect caused by these disturbances on the biota is still poorly understood. The assessment of the changes in the network of interspecific interactions, such as predation rates on the native fauna, can be an important tool to diagnose the functionality of disturbed ecosystems. In this study we evaluate the predation rate on snakes in coastal grasslands in South America under human influence. Predation rate of artificial snakes, unlike that obtained in other studies, was lower in human-altered areas than preserved ones. Our findings may be due to a reduction in the abundance and/or richness of species of native predators in more disturbed areas.

reptiles; coastal dunes; human impact; predation; Brazil

Instituto Virtual da Biodiversidade | BIOTA - FAPESP Departamento de Biologia Vegetal - Instituto de Biologia, UNICAMP CP 6109, 13083-970 - Campinas/SP, Tel.: (+55 19) 3521-6166, Fax: (+55 19) 3521-6168 - Campinas - SP - Brazil