Effects of deforestation and riparian buffers on lotic communities in Southeastern Costa Rica: implications for biodiversity conservation in tropical streams
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To examine the effects of deforestation on stream communities in southeastern Costa Rica and test the hypothesis that riparian forest buffers can reduce these effects, comparisons were made between forested stream reaches and stream reaches adjacent to pasture with and without a riparian forest buffer. Based on these comparisons, deforestation appeared to significantly alter the diversity and taxonomic composition of fish and benthic macroinvertebrate assemblages in the study streaMON, as well as stream temperatures and allochthonous inputs. A critical evaluation of existing planning methods illustrates how incorporating linkages among ecosysteMON increases planning complexity. Several of the methods reviewed would be applicable to an example planning domain in Costa Rica and Panama, but new tools will be needed to realize the full potential of a comprehensive planning approach.