Salinero, M. C., & Michalski, F. (2016). Implications of scientific collaboration networks on studies of aquatic vertebrates in the Brazilian Amazon. PLoS ONE, 11(6), e0158413.
The quantity of wildlife extracted from the Amazon has increased in the past decades as a consequence of an increase in human population density and income growth. To evaluate the spatial distribution of studies on subsistence and/or commercial hunting conducted in the Brazilian Amazon, we selected eight mid-sized and large-bodied aquatic vertebrate species with a history of human exploitation in the region.We used a combination of searches in the gray and scientific literature from the past 24 years to provide an updated distributional map of studies on the target species. We calculated the distances between the study sites and the locations of the research institutes/universities that the first and last authors of the same study were affiliated to. For the period of 1990 to 2014, we found 105 studies on the subsistence and/or commercial hunting of aquatic vertebrates in the Brazilian Amazon in 271 locations that involved 43 institutions (37 Brazilian and 6 international). The spatial distribution of the studies across the Brazilian Amazon varied, but over 80%took place in the northeast and central Amazon, encompassing three States of the Legal Brazilian Amazon (Amazonas, 51.42%; Pará, 19.05%; and Amapá, 16.19%). Over half of the research study sites (52.91%) were within 500 km of the research institute/university of the first or last authors. Some research institutes/universities did not have any inter-institutional collaborations, while others collaborated with eight or more institutes. Some research institutes/universities conducted many studies, had an extensive collaboration network, and contributed greatly to the network of studies on Amazonian aquatic vertebrates. Our research contributes to the knowledge of studies on the subsistence and/or commercial hunting of the most exploited aquatic vertebrates of the Brazilian Amazon, illustrates the impact that collaboration networks have on research, and highlights potential areas for improvement and the generation of new collaborations.