Symposium 01: High biodiversity in key taxa along an altitudinal gradient in southeast Peru.

Organized by Renzo Piana. Amazon Conservation Association (ACA).

Located in extreme southeast Peru, the Madre de Dios river basin includes puna grasslands and elfin forests at elevations close to 3500 masl, yungas forest at elevations ranging from 2500 to 1000 m and lowland forest. The basin constitutes a conservation corridor that connects the Purus river basin with the Bahuaja Sonene National Park and the Tambopata National Reserve in Puno and Madre de Dios, adjacent to Bolivia. It includes part of Manu National Park, Amarakaeri Communal Reserve and Los Amigos Conservation Concession. Given the combination of a high altitudinal gradient and several conservation units, biodiversity in the Madre de Dios river basin remains extremely high.

The objective of this symposium is to present recent information on the diversity of key taxons along the gradient, particularly in Manu and Bahuaja Sonene National National, and Wayquechas and Villa Carmen Research Stations that are managed by Asociacion para la Conservación Amazónica (ACCA). Taxons include orchids, butterflies, fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals. Emphasis will be given to the variation of species diversity along elevation, presence of new and threatened species and how species relate to particular habitat features. Additionally the symposium will include two presentations on the general geographical features along the gradient and the threats that it currently faces.

Importance of this symposium is high given the threats that forests (and associated biodiversity) face at different elevations along the basin. Forest burning and conversion into grazing areas in the upper reaches creates a matrix that impedes movement of species. Road construction, encroachment and mining in the mid and lower reaches is altering forested areas and watercourses at a rapid pace. Dissemination of this information among scientist and decision makers is key given that the Madre de Dios river basin is regarded as one of the most biodiverse areas globally.

Symposium program: (October 17, 2015).

13:30-13:50:  High biodiversity in key taxa along an altitudinal gradient in southeast Peru. Speaker: Renzo Piana. Institution: Amazon Conservation Association (ACA).

13:50-14:10: Diversidad de peces en una gradiente altitudinal en el sureste de Perú. Speaker: Julio Araujo. Institution: Universidad de Huelva.

14:10-14:30: Phylogenetic relatedness and thermal physiology of terrestrial-breeding frogs distributed along a tropical elevational gradient, and predictions on species’ vulnerability to climate warming. Speaker: Rudolf von May. Institution: University of California-Berkeley.

14:30-14:50: Reptiles del corredor biológico Kosñipata-Manu. Speaker: Pablo Venegas. Institution: Centro de Ornitologia y Biodiversidad (CORBIDI).

14:50-15:10: Diversity and distribution of bird species along the Kosñipata valley elevational gradient. Speaker: Fernando Angulo. Institution: Centro de Ornitologia y Biodiversidad (CORBIDI).

15:10-15:30: Comparación de la Diversidad de Especies de Mamíferos Pequeños en una Gradiente Altitudinal desde el Centro de Investigación Río Amigos (CICRA) en Madre de Dios, hasta la Estación Biológica Wayqecha en Cusco. Speaker: Juan Loja. Institution: Amazon Conservation Association (ACA).

15:30-16:00: Coffee Break

16:00-16:20: Diversidad de mamíferos medianos y grandes en el gradiente altitudinal de los Andes del sur del Perú. Speaker: Vanessa Luna. Institution: Amazon Conservation Association (ACA).

16:20-16:40: The future of forests and forest ecosystems on the Andes-to-Amazon gradient. Speaker: Miles Silman. Institution: Wake Forest University.

16:40 - 17:00: Discussion, end of symposium.

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