M. Peña-Claros

M. Peña-Claros
Wageningen University & Research | WUR · Department of Forest Ecology and Forest Management Group

PhD in Ecology

About

194
Publications
112,745
Reads
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10,862
Citations
Introduction
I work on forest management of tropical forests, with emphasis on ecological research that provides insight to define better management practices. I am very much interested in looking at the recovery of forests after human disturbances and on silvicultural treatments that speed up the recovery process.
Additional affiliations
February 2010 - present
Wageningen University & Research
Position
  • Professor (Assistant)
January 2010 - March 2013
Wageningen University & Research
Position
  • Researcher
Description
  • Coordinator of the Terra Preta Program (http://www.terrapretaprogram.org/)
October 2007 - January 2008
Hogeschool Van Hall Larenstein
Position
  • Lecturer
Education
June 1996 - April 2001
Utrecht University
Field of study
  • Plant Ecology
August 1993 - May 1996
University of Florida
Field of study
  • Ecology
February 1987 - December 1990
University of São Paulo
Field of study
  • Biology

Publications

Publications (194)
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
Sustainable management of intact tropical peatlands is crucial for climate change mitigation, for biodiversity conservation and to support the livelihoods of local communities. Here, we explore whether sustainable fruit harvesting from Mauritia flexuosa palms could support these linked goals by increasing fruit production and incomes across the 2.8...
Book
Full-text available
The Science Panel for the Amazon (SPA) is an unprecedented initiative convened under the auspices of the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN). The SPA is composed of over 200 preeminent scientists and researchers from the eight Amazonian countries, French Guiana, and global partners. These experts came together to debate,...
Article
Full-text available
Resilient secondary tropical forests? Although deforestation is rampant across the tropics, forest has a strong capacity to regrow on abandoned lands. These “secondary” forests may increasingly play important roles in biodiversity conservation, climate change mitigation, and landscape restoration. Poorter et al . analyzed the patterns of recovery i...
Article
Full-text available
Wildfires are becoming increasingly frequent and devastating in many tropical forests. Although seasonally dry tropical forests (SDTF) are among the most fire-threatened ecosystems, their long-term response to frequent wildfires remains largely unknown. This study is among the first to investigate the resilience in response to fire of the Chiquitan...
Technical Report
Full-text available
This chapter examines site-specific opportunities and approaches for restoring terrestrial and aquatic systems, focusing on local actions and their immediate benefits. Landscape, catchment, and biome-wide considerations are addressed in Chapter 29. Conservation approaches are addressed in Chapter 27.
Chapter
This Report provides a comprehensive, objective, open, transparent, systematic, and rigorous scientific assessment of the state of the Amazon’s ecosystems, current trends, and their implications for the long-term well-being of the region, as well as opportunities and policy relevant options for conservation and sustainable development.
Article
Full-text available
Plants have been used in Amazonian forests for millennia and some of these plants are disproportionally abundant (hyperdominant). At local scales, people generally use the most abundant plants, which may be abundant as the result of management of indigenous peoples and local communities. However, it is unknown whether plant use is also associated w...
Article
The Brazilian Atlantic forest is largely covered by secondary forests, mostly regenerated after the abandonment of patches previously used for shifting cultivation. A characteristic of these secondary forests is the significant timber volume from fast-growing species at ages as young as 30–40 years. In this study, we investigated changes that occur...
Article
In 2006, the Brazilian Forest Service (SFB) started an ambitious program to establish forest concessions so as to provide a legal framework for long-term sustainable timber production in Amazonian forests. Forest concessions in the Brazilian Amazon currently cover only 1.6 million ha (Mha) but we estimate the area of all potential concessions as 35...
Article
Full-text available
A typical case of multiple-use forest management (MFM) in Southwestern Amazon is the commercial harvesting of Amazon or Brazil nut (Bertholletia excelsa) seeds and of timber of other tree species. Although the Amazon nut is the most important non-timber forest product (NTFP) in the Amazon basin, the species is under serious threat due to deforestat...
Chapter
Full-text available
Human activities destroy biodiversity and disrupt the functioning of aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems at different levels. This chapter provides sustainable approaches to address some of the biggest threats to the Amazon’s biodiversity and ecosystems, i.e., deforestation, damming of rivers, mining, hunting, illegal trade, drug production and traf...
Chapter
Full-text available
Key Messages & Recommendations 1) Restoration encompasses a broad suite of objectives related to the practice of recovering biodiversity and ecosystem functions and services, such as water quality, carbon sequestration, and peoples' livelihoods. It spans aquatic and terrestrial realms, and goes beyond natural ecosystems to include the recovery of s...
Article
Tropical forests are the most diverse and productive ecosystems on Earth. While better understanding of these forests is critical for our collective future, until quite recently efforts to measure and monitor them have been largely disconnected. Networking is essential to discover the answers to questions that transcend borders and the horizons of...
Article
Full-text available
O objetivo foi abordar um mosaico de vegetação de savana (áreas marginais-MS e disjuntas-DS) no Cerrado Setentrional Brasileiro para investigar o papel desempenhado por fatores ambientais como determinantes da organização comunitária em escala espacial, a fim de compreender os padrões divergentes ao longo de uma gradiente ambiental. Analisamos pred...
Article
Tropical forests are the most diverse and productive ecosystems on Earth. While better understanding of these forests is critical for our collective future, until quite recently efforts to measure and monitor them have been largely disconnected. Networking is essential to discover the answers to questions that transcend borders and the horizons of...
Article
Tropical forests are the most diverse and productive ecosystems on Earth. While better understanding of these forests is critical for our collective future, until quite recently efforts to measure and monitor them have been largely disconnected. Networking is essential to discover the answers to questions that transcend borders and the horizons of...
Article
Full-text available
Secondary forests are increasingly important components of human‐modified landscapes in the tropics. Successional pathways, however, can vary enormously across and within landscapes, with divergent regrowth rates, vegetation structure and species composition. While climatic and edaphic conditions drive variations across regions, land‐use history pl...
Article
Full-text available
A Correction to this paper has been published: https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-020-20537-x
Article
Full-text available
The development of agroecosystems that can provide multiple ecosystem services with a reduced need of external inputs, requires management practices that foster ecological processes to enhance soil quality and crop productivity. We assessed the direct and indirect impacts of farmers' management practices on plant diversity, soil quality and crop pr...
Article
Full-text available
Rangeland management in former tropical rainforest areas may affect ecosystem services. We hypothesized that management practices like burning and overgrazing reduce supporting (soil quality) and consequently also provisioning (forage productivity and quality) and regulating (nutrient cycling) ecosystem services. We established 31 exclosures in two...
Article
Full-text available
The carbon sink capacity of tropical forests is substantially affected by tree mortality. However, the main drivers of tropical tree death remain largely unknown. Here we present a pan-Amazonian assessment of how and why trees die, analysing over 120,000 trees representing > 3800 species from 189 long-term RAINFOR forest plots. While tree mortality...
Article
Full-text available
The carbon sink capacity of tropical forests is substantially affected by tree mortality. However, the main drivers of tropical tree death remain largely unknown. Here we present a pan-Amazonian assessment of how and why trees die, analysing over 120,000 trees representing > 3800 species from 189 long-term RAINFOR forest plots. While tree mortality...
Article
Full-text available
The carbon sink capacity of tropical forests is substantially affected by tree mortality. However, the main drivers of tropical tree death remain largely unknown. Here we present a pan-Amazonian assessment of how and why trees die, analysing over 120,000 trees representing > 3800 species from 189 long-term RAINFOR forest plots. While tree mortality...
Article
Full-text available
AimsThe extent and persistence of pre-Columbian human legacies in old-growth Amazonian forests are still controversial, partly because modern societies re-occupied old settlements, challenging the distinction between pre- and post-Columbian legacies. Here, we compared the effects of pre-Columbian vs. recent landscape domestication processes on soil...
Article
Full-text available
Secondary forest succession can be an effective and low-cost strategy to increase forest cover and the associated biodiversity and soil functions. However, little is known about how soil functions develop during succession, and how vegetation attributes influence soil functions, especially in highly biodiverse and fragmented landscapes in the tropi...
Research
Full-text available
Scientific Framework to Save the Amazon By Scientists of the Amazon Countries and Global Partners September 30, 2019 We, the scientists who study and monitor the Amazon rainforest, appeal to the reason and conscience of humankind. The Amazon, the largest rainforest in the world, is at great risk of destruction, and with it the well-being of our ge...
Poster
Full-text available
Scientists are increasingly recognising the importance of transdisciplinary collaboration as well as the incorporation of different worldviews in research. Such components are claimed to be crucial in scientific studies attempting to assess and design complex social ecological systems capable to provide multiple ecosystem services and conservation...
Article
Full-text available
Around 30 Mm3 of sawlogs are extracted annually by selective logging of natural production forests in Amazonia, Earth's most extensive tropical forest. Decisions concerning the management of these production forests will be of major importance for Amazonian forests' fate. To date, no regional assessment of selective logging sustainability supports...
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
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
Most of the planet's diversity is concentrated in the tropics, which includes many regions undergoing rapid climate change. Yet, while climate-induced biodiversity changes are widely documented elsewhere, few studies have addressed this issue for lowland tropical ecosystems. Here we investigate whether the floristic and functional composition of in...
Article
Full-text available
Ecosystem service (ES) models can only inform policy design adequately if they incorporate ecological processes. We used the Lund-Potsdam-Jena managed Land (LPJmL) model, to address following questions for Mexico, Bolivia and Brazilian Amazon: (i) How different are C stocks and C sequestration quantifications under standard (when soil and litter C...
Article
Full-text available
Large trees in the tropics are reportedly more vulnerable to droughts than their smaller neighbours. This pattern is of interest due to what it portends for forest structure, timber production, carbon sequestration and multiple other values given that intensified El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) events are expected to increase the frequency and...
Article
Full-text available
Most of the planet's diversity is concentrated in the tropics, which includes many regions undergoing rapid climate change. Yet, while climate‐induced biodiversity changes are widely documented elsewhere, few studies have addressed this issue for lowland tropical ecosystems. Here we investigate whether the floristic and functional composition of in...
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
Full text link: https://rdcu.be/VZWu 1. Forest recovery following management interventions is important to maintain ecosystem functioning and the provision of ecosystem services. It remains, however, largely unclear how aboveground biomass (AGB) recovery of species-rich tropical forests is affected by disturbance intensity and post-disturbance (re...
Article
Full-text available
For millennia, Amazonian peoples have managed forest resources, modifying the natural environment in subtle and persistent ways. Legacies of past human occupation are striking near archaeological sites, yet we still lack a clear picture of how human management practices resulted in the domestication of Amazonian forests. The general view is that do...
Article
Full-text available
Tropical forests account for a quarter of the global carbon storage and a third of the terrestrial productivity. Few studies have teased apart the relative importance of environmental factors and forest attributes for ecosystem functioning, especially for the tropics. This study aims to relate aboveground biomass (AGB) and biomass dynamics (i.e., n...
Article
Full-text available
McMichael et al. state that we overlooked the effects of post-Columbian human activities in shaping current floristic patterns in Amazonian forests. We formally show that post-Columbian human influences on Amazonian forests are indeed important, but they have played a smaller role when compared to the persistent effects of pre-Columbian human activ...
Article
Full-text available
Shifting cultivation is the main land-use system transforming landscapes in riverine Amazonia. Increased concentration of the human population around villages and increasing market integration during the last decades may be causing agricultural intensification. Studies have shown that agricultural intensification, i.e. higher number of swidden-fall...
Article
Within the tropics, the species richness of tree communities is strongly and positively associated with precipitation. Previous research has suggested that this macroecological pattern is driven by the negative effect of water‐stress on the physiological processes of most tree species. This implies that the range limits of taxa are defined by their...
Article
The extent to which pre-Columbian societies altered Amazonian landscapes is hotly debated. We performed a basin-wide analysis of pre-Columbian impacts on Amazonian forests by overlaying known archaeological sites in Amazonia with the distributions and abundances of 85 woody species domesticated by pre-Columbian peoples. Domesticated species are fiv...
Article
Full-text available
The Bolivian Amazon holds a complex configuration of people and forested landscapes in which communities hold secure tenure rights over a rich ecosystem offering a range of livelihood income opportunities. A large share of this income is derived from Amazon nut (Bertholletia excelsa). Many communities also have long-standing experience with communi...
Data
Contribution from forest (timber, Amazon nut, other NTFPs and hunting), husbandry (agriculture, agroforestry and livestock) and off-farm income (salary, business and gifts) incomes to the total net income of community households in the Bolivian Amazon. The upper and lower quartiles in the boxplots explain 25% of the variation in the median net inco...
Data
Studies that combine socioeconomic and biological surveys in their methodological approach to determine the socioeconomic and biophysical drivers of forest resources use. (DOCX)
Data
Collaboration agreement signed between the researcher and community leader enabling to carry this research, and consent to interview participating households. Includes Spanish version, the original language in which the agreement was signed upon. (DOCX)
Data
Hypothesized socioeconomic and biophysical factors determining the income derived from (a) Amazon nut and (b) timber by community households in the Bolivian Amazon. A description of the hypothesized factors of the different attributes can be found in Table 2. Solid arrows indicate significant effects of a variable on another, whereas, dotted arrows...
Data
Median net income of the different sources of income derived by community households in the Bolivian Amazon. The upper and lower quartiles in the boxplots, each explain 25% of the variation in the median net income derived by participating households. Empty circles are the outliers. (TIF)
Data
Annual household survey (modified from PEN Questionnaires): Socioeconomic determinants of household wealth and forest use in Bolivian Amazonian communities. Includes Spanish version, the original language in which the survey was carried out. (DOCX)