Daisy Dent

Daisy Dent
University of Stirling · Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences

PhD University of Aberdeen

About

57
Publications
32,568
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Introduction
Our research focuses on the effects of changing land-use patterns on tropical forest diversity and ecosystem function. Specifically, we investigate how deforestation and forest fragmentation modify the composition of tropical plant and bird communities, and impacts on ecosystem functioning.

Publications

Publications (57)
Article
Full-text available
Old-growth tropical forests harbor an immense diversity of tree species but are rapidly being cleared, while secondary forests that regrow on abandoned agricultural lands increase in extent. We assess how tree species richness and composition recover during secondary succession across gradients in environmental conditions and anthropogenic disturba...
Article
Full-text available
Tropical forests are converted at an alarming rate for agricultural use and pastureland, but also regrow naturally through secondary succession. For successful forest restoration, it is essential to understand the mechanisms of secondary succession. These mechanisms may vary across forest types, but analyses across broad spatial scales are lacking....
Preprint
Full-text available
Assessing vegetation feedbacks with the climate system and planning sustainable management in tropical forests requires efficient, yet accurate, predictions of the joint dynamics of hundreds of tree species. With increasing information on tropical tree life-histories, our predictive understanding is no longer limited by species data, but by the abi...
Article
Tropical secondary forests are increasingly important for carbon sequestration and biodiversity conservation worldwide; yet, we still cannot accurately predict community turnover during secondary succession. We propose that integrating niche differentiation and dispersal limitation will generate an improved theoretical explanation of tropical fores...
Article
Full-text available
Selective logging has affected large areas of tropical forests and there is increasing interest in how to manage selectively logged forests to enhance recovery. However, the impacts of logging and active restoration, by liberation cutting and enrichment planting, on tree community composition are poorly understood compared to trajectories of biomas...
Article
Full-text available
Forests that regrow naturally on abandoned fields are important for restoring biodiversity and ecosystem services, but can they also preserve the distinct regional tree floras? Using the floristic composition of 1215 early successional forests (≤20 years) in 75 human-modified landscapes across the Neotropic realm, we identified 14 distinct floristi...
Article
Full-text available
Tropical forests disappear rapidly because of deforestation, yet they have the potential to regrow naturally on abandoned lands. We analyze how 12 forest attributes recover during secondary succession and how their recovery is interrelated using 77 sites across the tropics. Tropical forests are highly resilient to low-intensity land use; after 20 y...
Article
One-third of all Neotropical forests are secondary forests that regrow naturally after agricultural use through secondary succession. We need to understand better how and why succession varies across environmental gradients and broad geographic scales. Here, we analyze functional recovery using community data on seven plant characteristics (traits)...
Article
Some plants use food bodies to attract ants that then provide protection from herbivory. A brief report from 1898 describes the myrmecophilic plant Leea aculeata Bl. as bearing food bodies on its young shoots, which accumulate when they are not harvested by ants. However, ant efficacy in deterring herbivores and consequences for herbivory rates rem...
Article
Full-text available
Accelerating global shifts in climate and land use change are altering natural habitats and species assemblages, making management interventions crucial to halt the biodiversity crisis. Management decisions must be informed by accurate biodiversity assessments. However, such assessments are often time consuming, expensive, and require specialist kn...
Article
Understanding tropical forest dynamics and planning for their sustainable management require efficient, yet accurate, predictions of the joint dynamics of hundreds of tree species. With increasing information on tropical tree life histories, our predictive understanding is no longer limited by species data but by the ability of existing models to m...
Article
1.Ecoacoustics, the study of environmental sound, is a growing field with great potential for biodiversity monitoring. Audio recordings could provide a rapid, cost‐effective monitoring tool offering novel insights into ecosystem dynamics. More than 60 acoustic indices have been developed to date, which reflect distinct attributes of the soundscape,...
Article
Tropical forests are converted at an alarming rate for agricultural use and pastureland, but also regrow naturally through secondary succession. For successful forest restoration, it is essential to understand the mechanisms of secondary succession. These mechanisms may vary across forest types, but analyses across broad spatial scales are lacking....
Article
Full-text available
Mega‐dams create highly fragmented archipelagos, affecting biodiversity and ecosystem functioning in remnant forest isolates. This study assessed the long‐term impact of dam‐induced fragmentation on insular tropical tree communities, with the aim of generating robust recommendations to mitigate some of the detrimental biodiversity impacts associate...
Article
Full-text available
Species extinctions caused by the destruction and degradation of tropical primary forest may be at least partially mitigated by the expansion of regenerating secondary forest. However, the conservation value of secondary forest remains controversial, and potentially underestimated, since most previous studies have focused on young, single-aged, or...
Article
Full-text available
The nutrient demands of regrowing tropical forests are partly satisfied by nitrogen-fixing legume trees, but our understanding of the abundance of those species is biased towards wet tropical regions. Here we show how the abundance of Leguminosae is affected by both recovery from disturbance and large-scale rainfall gradients through a synthesis of...
Article
Full-text available
Secondary forest habitats are increasingly recognized for their potential to conserve biodiversity in the tropics. However, the development of faunal assemblages in secondary forest systems varies according to habitat quality and species‐specific traits. In this study, we predicted that the recovery of bird assemblages is dependent on secondary for...
Article
Full-text available
Tropical forest fragmentation creates insular biological communities that undergo species loss and changes in community composition over time, due to area- and edge-effects. Woody lianas thrive in degraded and secondary forests, due to their competitive advantage over trees in these habitats. Lianas compete both directly and indirectly with trees,...
Data
Overview of liana seed dispersal modes. Liana sapling genera with total abundances and seed dispersal mode classification. (DOCX)
Data
Summary of ANOVA results. ANOVA testing overall differences between island and mainland plots. (DOCX)
Data
Overview of perMANOVA analysis. perMANOVA tests of abundance- and incidence-based community compositions, which were carried out between island and mainland plots, and among island plots with environmental variables. perMANOVA for abundance-based compositional data was carried out using dissimilarities derived from the Morisita-Horn dissimilarity i...
Data
Overview of lianas and trees inventoried. Number of sapling and mature lianas, number of liana genera, and number of tree saplings and adults within all 89 plots inventoried across 36 islands and three mainland continuous forest sites across the Balbina Hydroelectric Dam landscape (Brazilian Amazon). NS = not surveyed. (DOCX)
Article
Commercial plantations are primarily managed for timber production, and are frequently considered poor for biodiversity, particularly for mammalian species. Bats, which constitute one fifth of mammal species worldwide, have undergone large declines throughout Europe, most likely due to widespread habitat loss and degradation. Bat use of modified la...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Tree species composition at the landscape scale is often tightly associated with underlying soil type in tropical forests. Changes in soil type may have effects on forest structure that drive changes in both light and soil resource availability, since light availability in the understorey tends to be lower in more fertile sites. Plant f...
Article
Full-text available
Large dams cause extensive inundation of habitats, with remaining terrestrial habitat confined to highly fragmented archipelagos of land-bridge islands comprised of former hilltops. Isolation of biological communities on reservoir islands induces local extinctions and degradation of remnant communities. “Good practice” dam development guidelines pr...
Presentation
Full-text available
Invited contribution to symposium on ”Long-term trends of tropical plant phenology: consequences for plants and consumers”
Presentation
Full-text available
Presentation on our paper ”Extinction debt on reservoir land-bridge islands” Biological Conservation, 199, 2016 http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.biocon.2016.04.036
Article
Full-text available
Regrowth of tropical secondary forests following complete or nearly complete removal of forest vegetation actively stores carbon in aboveground biomass, partially counterbalancing carbon emissions from deforestation, forest degradation, burning of fossil fuels, and other anthropogenic sources. We estimate the age and spatial extent of lowland secon...
Raw Data
Data from: A trait-based trade-off between growth and mortality: evidence from 15 tropical tree species using size-specific RGRs
Article
Full-text available
Land-use change occurs nowhere more rapidly than in the tropics, where the imbalance between deforestation and forest regrowth has large consequences for the global carbon cycle. However, considerable uncertainty remains about the rate of biomass recovery in secondary forests, and how these rates are influenced by climate, landscape, and prior land...
Presentation
Full-text available
Invited contribution to a Gabon side event on climate change impacts on tropical forests
Poster
Full-text available
Tropical forests are becoming increasingly fragmented and degraded, and now, there is a greater amount of secondary tropical forest than primary forest cover globally. Tropical forests are important for carbon storage, and thus, secondary forests are increasingly relied upon to provide ecosystem services such as carbon storage and maintain biodiver...
Article
Plantations of Tectona grandis in Central America are widely perceived to suppress forest regeneration in their understories, yet few studies have tested this assumption. We surveyed the understory woody vegetation growing in 7-year-old stands of T. grandis and the native tree species Terminalia amazonia in a plantation in western Panama that was m...
Article
Full-text available
A life-history trade-off between low mortality in the dark and rapid growth in the light is one of the most widely accepted mechanisms underlying plant ecological strategies in tropical forests. Differences in plant functional traits are thought to underlie these distinct ecological strategies; however, very few studies have shown relationships bet...
Poster
Full-text available
The land cover of Gabon is over 80% tropical forest and alongside the rest of the Congo basin demonstrates the lowest deforestation rate of all the major tropical forest regions. In 2002, 10% of the country was protected under the National Park system with the ambition of developing Gabon as a future ecotourism destination. However threats to the f...
Conference Paper
Background/Question/Methods Throughout the tropics old-growth forests have been cleared for timber extraction and agricultural expansion, and degraded by selective logging, fires and overhunting. The human-modified landscapes that result are a mosaic of old-growth forest fragments, degraded forest, regenerating forest and agricultural land, and t...
Article
Question: Does species and functional composition of secondary tropical forests more closely follow a deterministic or a stochastic model of succession? Location: The Barro Colorado Nature Monument (BCNM), central Panama. The BCNM comprises Barro Colorado Island (BCI) and five adjacent mainland peninsulas and is a mosaic of tropical old-growth (OG)...
Article
Accumulation of aboveground carbon is one of the most important services provided by tropical secondary forests—a land-cover type that is increasing in importance globally. Carbon accumulates rapidly for the first 20 years of succession, but few studies have considered forests older than 20 years, and the available data do not yield a consistent pa...
Conference Paper
Background/Question/Methods Across the tropics, secondary and degraded forests now cover a larger area than undisturbed old-growth forest. However, processes determining successional trajectories in regenerating secondary forests remain poorly understood. From chronosequence studies, we know that secondary forests rapidly accumulate diversity and...
Article
Relative to closed-canopy tropical forests, tree seedlings planted in open grown areas are exposed to higher light intensity, air temperatures, vapor pressure deficit, and greater seasonal fluxes of plant available water than mature tropical forests. The species-specific adaptive capacity to respond to variable precipitation and seasonality in open...
Article
Reforestation in the tropics takes place across a wide variety of edaphic and climatic conditions. Reforestation trials have demonstrated that edaphic conditions may have a strong effect on species growth and survival. However it is unclear how the relative importance of soil conditions influences species survival and growth under varying amounts o...
Conference Paper
Background/Question/Methods Regenerating secondary forests following anthropogenic disturbance compose one quarter to one half of the forest cover in much of the Neotropics and are becoming ever more important reservoirs of plant and animal diversity as further destruction of old-growth forests occurs. However, there is a major debate about how q...
Article
Deforestation and degradation of tropical old-growth forests has the potential to cause catastrophic species extinctions. In this review, we assess whether regenerating secondary forests (SF) can support species typically found in old-growth forest (OG) and so prevent extinctions. We review 65 studies that compare faunal diversity in SF and corresp...
Article
Full-text available
In the wake of widespread loss of old-growth forests throughout the tropics, secondary forests will likely play a growing role in the conservation of forest biodiversity. We considered a complex hierarchy of factors that interact in space and time to determine the conservation potential of tropical secondary forests. Beyond the characteristics of l...
Article
Growth-survival trade-offs play an important role in niche differentiation of tropical tree species in relation to light-gradient partitioning. However, the mechanisms that determine differential species performance in response to light and soil resource availability are poorly understood. To examine responses to light and soil nutrient availabilit...
Article
Full-text available
The exotic grass, Saccharum spontaneum L., has invaded abandoned agricultural lands in the Panama Canal Watershed for decades. The grass aggressively competes with regenerating tree seedlings preventing natural forest regeneration. To estimate effectual light level for controlling the grass, the growth of S. spontaneum was measured under a range of...
Article
Decades of deforestation and unsustainable land use have created large expanses of degraded lands across Central America. Reforestation may offer one means of mitigating these processes of degradation while sustaining resident human communities. However, a lack of information regarding tree species performance has been identified as an important li...
Article
Seedlings of five species of dipterocarp trees were planted in experimental plots in rain forest gaps in Sabah, Malaysia, and the rates of herbivory on their mature leaves recorded over 6 mo. A novel method was used to estimate the feeding pressure exerted by the local insect herbivore community, derived from the relative abundances of the dominant...
Article
Structural and physiological characteristics and foliar nutrient content of 14 tree species were evaluated at two sites, one being seasonally wet with relatively fertile soils and the other being seasonally dry with relatively infertile soils. Differences in environmental stress between these sites drove the resulting differences in structural and...
Article
Full-text available
The extent to which plant communities are determined by resource availability is a central theme in ecosystem science, but patterns of small-scale variation in resource availability are poorly known. Studies of carbon (C) and nutrient cycling provide insights into factors limiting tree growth and forest productivity. To investigate rates of tropica...

Projects

Projects (3)
Project
2ndFOR is a collaborative research network on secondary forests. It focuses on the ecology, dynamics, and biodiversity of secondary forests, and the ecosystem services they provide in human-modified tropical landscapes. 2ndFOR involves >70 researchers from >15 different countries working at >50 sites across Latin America.
Project
Unsustainable use of natural resources is putting tropical forests under tremendous pressure. Deforestation is causing rapid loss of biodiversity and important ecosystem services. Secondary forests are becoming evermore-prominent features in tropical landscapes, but we still poorly understand the mechanisms that drive tropical secondary succession, and the importance of plant-fungal interactions is almost completely overlooked. In this project, our goal is to understand the role of soil fungi in driving tree species turnover during secondary succession of tropical forests. We (1) assess the importance of plant-fungal interactions for successional tree species recruitment in a natural setting (fungal exclusion experiments along a replicated chronosequence of tropical forests), (2) determine if and why target tree species are differentially affected by plant fungal interactions, under controlled conditions (shade house experiments recording germination, growth and survival of seedlings under different (a)biotic treatments, and (3) address how successional predecessor tree species influence the recruitment of successors through interspecific variation in plant-fungal interactions (Large shade house experiments addressing 'priority effects'). This project is hosted by the School of Environment, Natural Resources and Geography at Bangor University, and conducted in close collaboration with the NRN-LCEE MULTI-LAND cluster and the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI) in Panama.