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      Impacts of roads and linear clearings on tropical forests

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      Trends in Ecology & Evolution

      Elsevier BV

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          Abstract

          Linear infrastructure such as roads, highways, power lines and gas lines are omnipresent features of human activity and are rapidly expanding in the tropics. Tropical species are especially vulnerable to such infrastructure because they include many ecological specialists that avoid even narrow (<30-m wide) clearings and forest edges, as well as other species that are susceptible to road kill, predation or hunting by humans near roads. In addition, roads have a major role in opening up forested tropical regions to destructive colonization and exploitation. Here, we synthesize existing research on the impacts of roads and other linear clearings on tropical rainforests, and assert that such impacts are often qualitatively and quantitatively different in tropical forests than in other ecosystems. We also highlight practical measures to reduce the negative impacts of roads and other linear infrastructure on tropical species.

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          Author and article information

          Journal
          Trends in Ecology & Evolution
          Trends in Ecology & Evolution
          Elsevier BV
          01695347
          December 2009
          December 2009
          : 24
          : 12
          : 659-669
          Article
          10.1016/j.tree.2009.06.009
          19748151
          © 2009

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