Article
To read the full-text of this research, you can request a copy directly from the authors.

Abstract

Human-driven land-use changes increasingly threaten biodiversity, particularly in tropical forests where both species diversity and human pressures on natural environments are high. The rapid conversion of tropical forests for agriculture, timber production and other uses has generated vast, human-dominated landscapes with potentially dire consequences for tropical biodiversity. Today, few truly undisturbed tropical forests exist, whereas those degraded by repeated logging and fires, as well as secondary and plantation forests, are rapidly expanding. Here we provide a global assessment of the impact of disturbance and land conversion on biodiversity in tropical forests using a meta-analysis of 138 studies. We analysed 2,220 pairwise comparisons of biodiversity values in primary forests (with little or no human disturbance) and disturbed forests. We found that biodiversity values were substantially lower in degraded forests, but that this varied considerably by geographic region, taxonomic group, ecological metric and disturbance type. Even after partly accounting for confounding colonization and succession effects due to the composition of surrounding habitats, isolation and time since disturbance, we find that most forms of forest degradation have an overwhelmingly detrimental effect on tropical biodiversity. Our results clearly indicate that when it comes to maintaining tropical biodiversity, there is no substitute for primary forests.

No full-text available

Request Full-text Paper PDF

To read the full-text of this research,
you can request a copy directly from the authors.

... Tropical forests are vital areas of high biospheric diversity continually threatened by degradation and loss of natural forests through logging activities and forest conversions to other land-use types, which imperil wildlife and their habitats (Gibson et al. 2011;Laurance et al. 2012;Burivalova et al. 2014;Brodie et al. 2015;Jati et al. 2018). Integrating production forests that repeatedly harvest timber into conservation priorities in tropical areas is challenging, especially in many parts of Borneo. ...
... The network of protected areas and forest reserves across the "Heart of Borneo", and those in areas adjacent to this core region, crucially important, where the structural connectivity shows vulnerability to increased road development and fragmentation (Sloan et al. 2019), or oil palm expansion (Savilaakso et al. 2014). Land-use changes are associated with severe declines in biodiversity, such as losses in species richness associated with forest conversion or agricultural expansion (Gibson et al. 2011;Laurance et al. 2014) and loss of functional diversity associated with anthropogenic changes (Gorczynski et al. 2021;Magioli et al. 2021). Forest reserves play an essential role in preventing local extinction, highlighting the need to protect and preserve these areas with more intensified sustainable management actions. ...
Article
Full-text available
Tropical forest reserves have conservation value for terrestrial mammals and are threatened by anthropogenic pressures, especially conversion to other land-use types. To assess mammalian biodiversity of forest reserves in Sabah, Borneo, we used camera trapping data to estimate species richness, beta diversity, phylogenetic and functional diversity in nine forest reserves with different management classifications and backgrounds. Multiregional multispecies occupancy models (MSOM) were used to differentiate species occupancy in the reserves, and the estimates were transformed into biodiversity metrics. We found a significant difference in mammal composition within each forest reserve, with various functional and phylogenetic clustering or dispersion levels indicated by the standard effect of mean pairwise distances (SES MPD). Redundancy analysis (RDA) was used for both the observed data and MSOM estimates, modeling numerous environmental covariates and the forest reserves as random effects, finding that the forest reserve random effects were mainly responsible for structuring the mammal communities. Deramakot Forest Reserve was found to have overall high species richness, phylogenetic and functional diversity compared to other reserves. This reserve has been particularly successful at sustainable forest management and long-term forest certification, highlighting long-term conservation gains of sustainability programs for terrestrial mammalian diversity. Conversely, several reserves showed lower diversity scores overall than IUCN presumed extant species lists, highlighting local defaunation while still retaining high profile (critically endangered, endangered, and vulnerable) species. This study highlights the fragility of terrestrial mammal assemblages in forest reserves across the state and the need for mitigation, refaunation, and an integrated approach to forest management and biodiversity conservation to allow for comprehensive sustainable management programs to ensure long-term conservation.
... 4.06 billion ha; FAO 2020). Forest trees, as foundation and keystone species, provide habitats for many species and thus contribute to maintaining biodiversity (Brockerho et al. 2017, Gibson et al. 2011, which in turn promotes numerous ecosystem functions (e.g. primary production, decomposition, nutrient cycling, trophic interactions) and services (e.g. ...
... This question requires particular attention in forest trees as they have great economic and ecological importance. Indeed, forest trees play a major role in terrestrial ecosystems as foundation species, provide wood and bre to satisfy an increasing demand of wood-based products, and are a main source of carbon sequestration (Bonan 2008, Brockerho et al. 2017, Gibson et al. 2011, Hooper et al. 2005. ...
Thesis
Climate change is already affecting forest tree populations, as evidenced by increased forest die-off events, background mortality and the northward and upward migration of tree populations. However, forest tree populations may not be able to migrate fast enough to track the unprecedented rate of climate change. In this context, it is thus relevant to assess the potential of forest tree populations to persist under climate change. In forest trees, a long history of common gardens has provided a unique framework to associate population-specific quantitative-trait variation with large environmental gradients, resulting in a better understanding of the origin of quantitative-trait variation and the identification of populations that may grow and survive better, or worse, under future climates. In addition, genomic data from next-generation sequencing (NGS) tools is currently revolutionizing our understanding of the genetic component of quantitative traits and is subsequently driving the development of new statistical methods to anticipate the population responses to changing conditions. In trait-based approaches, combining phenotypic and climatic data from common gardens with genomic data appears to be a particularly relevant approach to separate the plastic and genetic components of trait variation, as well as the underlying neutral and adaptive processes. This is promising towards improving the predictions of trait variation across the species ranges. In landscape genetics, genomic and environmental data can be combined to identify current gene-environment relationships across the landscape, which are then used to estimate the genetic change required to maintain the current gene-environment relationships under future climates, a metric often referred to as ‘genomic offset’. In this PhD, maritime pine (Pinus pinaster Ait), a long-lived conifer native to the western part of the Mediterranean Basin, is used as a case study to investigate how genomic data could contribute to anticipating population responses to climate change. The first chapter aims to understand how quantitative genetic variation is maintained within populations by testing three competing, but not mutually exclusive, hypotheses for several traits: (i) admixed populations have higher quantitative genetic variation due to introgression from other gene pools, (ii) quantitative genetic variation is lower in populations from harsher environments (i.e. experiencing stronger selection), and (iii) quantitative genetic variation is higher in populations from spatially heterogeneous environments. The second chapter investigates whether models combining climate and genomic data could capture the underlying drivers of height-growth variation, and thus improve predictions at large geographical scales, especially compared to the predictions from climate-based population response functions that are currently commonly used in forest trees. The third chapter aims to identify the populations whose gene-environment relationships will be the most disrupted under climate change (i.e. populations at risk of short-term climate maladaptation) using the genomic offset approach, and to validate the resulting predictions (i.e. populations with high genomic offset are expected to show a decrease in fitness) both in natural populations and in common garden conditions. Finally, the present PhD work investigates different ways to integrate genomic information into current modeling approaches, therefore contributing to the development of a much-needed robust framework to make reliable predictions and to determine when and to what extent genomics can help in making decisions in conservation strategies or in the management of forest ecosystems.
... Both forms of disturbance threaten biodiversity, erode carbon stocks in a biome that contributes 55% of the global forest carbon sink, and reduce future timber yield, the main economic incentive for maintaining managed forests (Fisher et al., 2011;Gibson et al., 2011;Pan et al., 2011;Putz et al., 2012). While the protection of pristine ecosystems remains vital (Gibson et al., 2011), the enduring biological value of degraded forests emphasizes the critical role of restoration in conserving biodiversity, reducing atmospheric CO 2 , and supporting livelihoods (Edwards et al., 2014;Moomaw et al., 2019;Strassburg et al., 2020). ...
... Both forms of disturbance threaten biodiversity, erode carbon stocks in a biome that contributes 55% of the global forest carbon sink, and reduce future timber yield, the main economic incentive for maintaining managed forests (Fisher et al., 2011;Gibson et al., 2011;Pan et al., 2011;Putz et al., 2012). While the protection of pristine ecosystems remains vital (Gibson et al., 2011), the enduring biological value of degraded forests emphasizes the critical role of restoration in conserving biodiversity, reducing atmospheric CO 2 , and supporting livelihoods (Edwards et al., 2014;Moomaw et al., 2019;Strassburg et al., 2020). ...
Article
Full-text available
Huge areas of tropical forests are degraded, reducing their biodiversity, carbon, and timber value. The recovery of these degraded forests can be significantly inhibited by climbing plants such as lianas. Removal of super-abundant climbers thus represents a restoration action with huge potential for application across the tropics. While experimental studies largely report positive impacts of climber removal on tree growth and biomass accumulation, the efficacy of climber removal varies widely, with high uncertainty as to where and how to apply the technique. Using meta-analytic techniques, we synthesize results from 26 studies to quantify the efficacy of climber removal for promoting tree growth and biomass accumulation. We find that climber removal increases tree growth by 156% and biomass accumulation by 209% compared to untreated forest, and that efficacy remains for at least 19 years. Extrapolating from these results, climber removal could sequester an additional 32 Gigatons of CO2 over 10 years, at low cost, across regrowth, and production forests. Our analysis also revealed that climber removal studies are concentrated in the Neotropics (N = 22), relative to Africa (N = 2) and Asia (N = 2), preventing our study from assessing the influence of region on removal efficacy. While we found some evidence that enhancement of tree growth and AGB accumulation varies across disturbance context and removal method, but not across climate, the number and geographical distribution of studies limits the strength of these conclusions. Climber removal could contribute significantly to reducing global carbon emissions and enhancing the timber and biomass stocks of degraded forests, ultimately protecting them from conversion. However, we urgently need to assess the efficacy of removal outside the Neotropics, and consider the potential negative consequences of climber removal under drought conditions and for biodiversity.
... The relative ability of secondary forests to support biodiversity is controversial Gardner et al., 2007;Norden et al., 2009;Gibson et al., 2011;Melo et al., 2013;Rozendaal et al., 2019). Some studies suggest that succession will occur predictably, indicating secondary forest species will converge with old-growth forests and retain significant proportions of the original diversity in the process (Finegan, 1996;Letcher and Chazdon, 2009;Norden et al., 2009). ...
... Some studies suggest that succession will occur predictably, indicating secondary forest species will converge with old-growth forests and retain significant proportions of the original diversity in the process (Finegan, 1996;Letcher and Chazdon, 2009;Norden et al., 2009). Alternatively, secondary forests may have disrupted ecological processes, with negative implications for biodiversity retention and conservation (Tabarelli et al., 2010(Tabarelli et al., , 2012Gibson et al., 2011). A myriad of factors may influence the biodiversity value of secondary forests, including landscape context (Tabarelli et al., 2010;Araia et al., 2019), successional pathways (Arroyo-Rodríguez et al., 2017), and stochasticity (Chazdon, 2008), with many studies emphasizing the resilience of secondary forests occurring under ideal conditions (e.g., proximity to old-growth forest, high levels of seed dispersal) (Letcher and Chazdon, 2009;Norden et al., 2009). ...
Article
Full-text available
Understanding the factors that shape the diversity and composition of biotic communities in natural and human-modified landscapes remains a key issue in ecology. Here, we evaluate how functional traits, species diversity and community composition of palm species vary in relation to biogeographic variables and forest age in northwest Ecuador. Functional traits capture essential aspects of species’ ecological tradeoffs and roles within an ecosystem, making them useful in determining the ecological consequences of environmental change, but they have not been used as commonly as more traditional metrics of species diversity and community composition. We inventoried palm communities in 965 10 × 10 m plots arrayed in linear transects placed in forests of varying age. Adult palms in forests of younger regeneration stages were characterized by species with greater maximum stem height, greater maximum stem diameter, and solitary stems. The shift in functional features could indicate that shade tolerant palms are more common in old-growth forest. The shift could also reflect the legacy of leaving canopy palms as remnants in areas that were cleared and then allowed to regrow. Moreover, younger forest age was associated with decreased abundance and altered species composition in both juvenile and adult palms, and decreased species richness in adults. These results highlight the importance of retaining intact, old-growth forest to preserve functional and species diversity and highlight the importance of considering multiple aspects of diversity in studies of vegetation communities.
... The effect of shifting agriculture per unit area might be more limited than that of commodity-driven deforestation, which permanently alters forests into other land uses, since habitat structure might recover as the forest vegetation regenerates to a secondary state following the abandonment of the small clearings. However, ample evidence shows that many types of agricultural activities significantly degrade the conservation value of primary forest, especially in the tropics 27 , which often recovers very slowly if ever 28 with the loss of irreplaceable conservation values. Therefore, given the wide areas of dominance of shifting agriculture across all tropical regions, its effect is likely to be pervasive. ...
... In addition, as expected, a larger current proportion of shifting agriculture within a species range worsens the change rate in IUCN Red List status of the species (Fig. 4b). Furthermore, the effect is anticipated to be magnified for forest specialists because they are exposed to larger proportions of shifting agriculture than are forest generalist (Fig. 2), and they are also reported to recover more slowly than do forest habitat generalists 27,28 . ...
Article
Full-text available
Forest disturbance, including deforestation, is a major driver of global biodiversity decline. Identifying the underlying socioeconomic drivers can help guide interventions to halt biodiversity decline. Here, we quantified spatial overlaps between the distributions of 6164 globally threatened terrestrial vertebrate species and five major forest disturbance drivers at the global scale: commodity-driven deforestation, shifting agriculture, forestry, wildfire, and urbanization. We find that each driver has a distinct relative importance among species groups and geographic regions with, for example, the dominant disturbance drivers being forestry in northern regions and shifting agriculture in the tropics. Overall, shifting agriculture was more prevalent within threatened forest species’ ranges in the tropics, and some temperate nations. Our findings suggest that, globally, threatened forest species are exposed to a disproportional decrease in habitat area. Combining forest disturbance maps and species ranges can help evaluate agricultural landscape management and prioritize conservation efforts to reduce further biodiversity loss.
... Deforestation and forest degradation are major drivers of the current biodiversity crisis, particularly threatening species-rich ecosystems such as tropical rainforests (Gibson et al., 2011). Increasing evidence demonstrates the negative impact of forest loss on plant taxonomic diversity (Newbold et al., 2016;Watling et al., 2020) and on important ecological processes, such as seed dispersal and tree regeneration (Arasa-Gisbert, Arroyo-Rodríguez, Galán-Acedo, et al., 2021). ...
... We selected old-growth forests because of their irreplaceable value for biodiversity conservation (Barlow et al., 2007;Gibson et al., 2011). Although secondary forests can also be valuable for restoring some ecosystem functions and biodiversity, such value can vary considerably among secondary forests (see Chazdon et al., 2009Chazdon et al., , 2016, and the recovery of species composition in secondary forests can take centuries (see Rozendaal et al., 2019). ...
Article
Full-text available
1. Landscape-level disturbances, such as forest loss, can profoundly alter the functional composition and diversity of biotic assemblages. In fact, the landscape-moderated functional trait selection (LMFTS) hypothesis states that landscape-level disturbances may act as environmental filters that select a set of species with disturbance-adapted attributes while causing the loss of species with disturbance-sensitive attributes, ultimately compromising ecosystem functioning. However, the impact of landscape patterns on the functional composition and diversity of tropical regenerating trees (saplings) is unknown. 2. Using a multiscale approach to identify the best spatial scale (i.e. the scale of effect), we tested the effect of forest cover, matrix openness and forest patch density (fragmentation) on functional composition and functional diversity of tree saplings in old-growth forest patches (n = 59) in three Mexican rainforest regions with different degree of deforestation. For 368 species and ~23,000 individuals, we compiled information from global and national databases on six functional traits related to seed dispersal and plant establishment and calculated their community abundance-weighted mean (CWMs) and three complementary functional diversity indices. 3. Forest loss and matrix openness reduced functional richness and evenness, but only in the two most deforested regions. Overall, fragmentation had contrasting effects on functional diversity and composition, but correlated negatively with some functional traits in the most deforested region. Importantly, in the regions with high-to-intermediate degree of deforestation, functional composition experienced major changes: maximum height, seed mass, fruit size and wood density decreased, and SLA increased, in forest patches surrounded by open matrices in highly deforested and fragmented landscapes. This caused a shift of community traits towards more disturbed-adapted attributes. 4. Synthesis and applications. In agreement with the LMFTS hypothesis, our results confirm that landscape modifications in regions undergoing high and long-lasting deforestation greatly impoverish the functional composition and diversity of sapling communities. The shift from communities composed mainly by conservative attributes towards communities with a higher prevalence of disturbance-adapted attributes disrupts the future community structure and jeopardizes critical ecosystem functions. Management practices focused on preventing deforestation, increasing forest cover, and promoting treed matrices are necessary to preserve the functionality of these species-rich but increasingly threatened rainforests.
... Tropical deforestation is the largest source of carbon emissions from Agriculture, Forestry and Other Land Use (AFOLU) activities (IPCC, 2019), also driving biodiversity loss (Gibson et al., 2011) and threatening the livelihoods of local communities . To meet the global climate, biodiversity and sustainable development goals, adequate policies for reducing deforestation need to be implemented at regional and local scales (Ostrom, 2010). ...
Article
Collective Payments for Ecosystem Services (PES), where forest users receive compensation conditional on group rather than individual performance, are an increasingly used policy instrument to reduce tropical deforestation. However, implementing effective, (cost) efficient and equitable (3E) collective PES is challenging because individuals have an incentive to free ride on others’ conservation actions. Few comparative studies exist on how different enforcement strategies can improve collective PES performance. We conducted a framed field experiment in Brazil, Indonesia and Peru to evaluate how three different strategies to contain the local free-rider problem perform in terms of the 3Es: (i) Public monitoring of individual deforestation, (ii) internal, peer-to-peer sanctions (Community enforcement) and (iii) external sanctions (Government enforcement). We also examined how inequality in wealth, framed as differences in deforestation capacity, affects policy performance. We find that introducing individual level sanctions can improve the effectiveness, efficiency and equity of collective PES, but there is no silver bullet that consistently improves all 3Es across country sites. Public monitoring reduced deforestation and improved the equity of the program in sites with stronger history of collective action. External sanctions provided the strongest and most robust improvement in the 3Es. While internal, peer enforcement can significantly reduce free riding, it does not improve the program’s efficiency, and thus participants’ earnings. The sanctioning mechanisms failed to systematically improve the equitable distribution of benefits due to the ineffectiveness of punishments to target the largest free-riders. Inequality in wealth increased group deforestation and reduced the efficiency of Community enforcement in Indonesia but had no effect in the other two country sites. Factors explaining differences across country sites include the history of collective action and land tenure systems.
... The economic forests only have been planted for less than 10 years with pine and cypress, which are relatively simple species. The biodiversity conservation and ecological values of them are far less than primeval forest (Bremer and Farley, 2010;Gibson et al., 2011). As a scenic area, the ecological environment of the research area is still very sensitive and fragile, and it needs more time for conservation and regeneration. ...
Article
Full-text available
With the growth of the world population, cities expand and encroach on forests and plants, causing many environmental problems. Digital Twin, as the rapidly developing technique in recent years, provides the opportunity to implement the specific situation of forests and plants at present or in the future, which has great performance on predictive analysis and optimization. From the consideration of plants and forests, this study provides a comprehensive case study to research the relationship between urban development boundary and natural environment in a natural preserve in a coastal city. Multispectral data of the study area is collected by Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV), combining satellite remote sensing (RS) historical data and geographic data to establish the digital twin model for plant identification. In conjunction with local Master planning of land use, the results of modeling are used to analyze the influences of urban construction on the natural environment, and the inappropriate aspects of the planning are discovered and summarized. In addition, 6 suggestions for effective management and planning strategies are presented. As plants and forests are effective factors of natural conditions, this study offered an objective assessment for the sustainability and rationality of urban planning with some guidance and bases.
... Public attention is often drawn to threats that tropical forest ecosystems encounter and to the importance of hyper-diverse irreplaceable tropical ecosystems' conservation Gibson et al. (2011); Barlow et al. (2018). Although, in some tropical areas, stakes are already beyond limiting deforestation because forests have undergone almost complete decline. ...
Article
Full-text available
1.In many tropical areas, forests have almost undergone complete decline. In this context, agroforestry has often been acknowledged as fostering compromises between crop production, local income diversification and the preservation of forest ecosystem services. 2.Cocoa agroforestry capacity to provide ecosystem services has mainly been studied through a management intensification gradient summed up as a shade rate. This paper proposes an alternative reading grid based on different trees origins that agroforests often combine: (i) Remnants,left-alive during deforestation, (ii) Recruits that have colonized the agroforest and (iii) Planted trees. This grid has been applied to 137 cocoa fields in the south of Ivory Coast to assess the impact of farmers management on provisioning trees ecosystem services (i.e.: carbon storage, diversity, food, medicine, timber and agronomic services to cocoa trees). 3. (i) Little environmental effect was found to explain ecosystem services provisioning. (ii) However, with regard to their origins, trees provide different services: remnants stock most above-ground carbon, recruits are the most diverse and provide medicinal resources and planted trees bring food resources. (iii) According to their origin, trees belong to different species or are at different stages of maturity so that trees from different origins play a complementary role in providing ecosystem services. Our results suggest that Ivorian cocoa agrosystems are so shaped by human management of associated trees that ecosystem services are weakly linked to environmental variables. Two neighboring fields in similar environmental conditions will provide very different services according to farmers’ management. 4. Synthesis and applications Preserving remnants while clearing forest is irreplaceable for large-scale climate mitigation while providing farmers with trees seedlings may have only little impact on carbon stocks. To strengthen complementarities between human-brought and human-selected trees, private companies providing trees to farmers should supply them with different valued trees from the ones they already plant or easily find in recruits. At landscape scale, policy should encourage remnants preservation to ensure that those remnants can feed the cohort of recruits with propagules thus allowing the survival of the species throughout several cycles of perennial crops.
... From the ecological literature, forest disturbance-regeneration studies indicate different succession pathways depending on site conditions and disturbance type, intensity, and return interval [22], land cover or land use history [23], and subsequent management efforts or lack thereof [24][25][26]. As a result, there are different timelines (afforestation is typically slow; forest regeneration can be quick) and vegetation type endpoints (shrubland, savanna, even-aged forest, and uneven-aged forest) and subsequently, habitats for wildlife species of conservation concern [14,27]. Yet, few remote sensing studies of forest disturbance and regeneration have distinguished successional stages, particularly young forest from shrubland, despite their implications for forest ecosystem services and value for wildlife conservation. ...
Article
Full-text available
Many remote sensing studies have individually addressed afforestation, forest disturbance and forest regeneration, and considered land use history. However, no single study has simultaneously addressed all of these components that collectively constitute successional stages and pathways of young forest and shrubland at large spatial extents. Our goal was to develop a multi-source, object-based approach that utilized the strengths of Landsat (large spatial extent with good temporal coverage), LiDAR (vegetation height and vertical structure), and aerial imagery (high resolution) to map young forest and shrubland vegetation in a temperate forest. Further, we defined young forest and shrubland vegetation types in terms of vegetation height and structure, to better distinguish them in remote sensing for ecological studies. The multi-source, object-based approach provided an area-adjusted estimate of 42,945 ha of young forest and shrubland vegetation in Connecticut with overall map accuracy of 88.2% (95% CI 2.3%), of which 20,953 ha occurred in complexes ≥2 ha in size. Young forest and shrubland vegetation constituted 3.3% of Connecticut’s total land cover and 6.3% of forest cover as of 2018. Although the 2018 estimates are consistent with those of the past 20 years, concerted efforts are needed to restore, maintain, or manage young forest and shrubland vegetation in Connecticut.
... However, almost half of the hotspots now have less than 10% of the original vegetation remaining (Sloan et al., 2014). Many consider the conservation of natural intact vegetation (NIV) as essential for the conservation and survival of many species (Gibson et al., 2011). ...
Article
Full-text available
Terrestrial biodiversity is threatened by land use change. Modelling suggests that the remaining, potentially arable areas of natural intact vegetation (rNIV) of 9 of 35 global biodiversity hotspots may be converted to agriculture by 2050, committing their endemic species to extinction. Studies have shown that if the global population adopted a healthy, mostly plant based diet, agricultural area expansion can be reduced. We want to examine to what degree this applies to the regions covered by biodiversity hotspots. Global. 2020–2050. No particular taxa. For every biodiversity hotspot, we simulate climate change impacts on agricultural productivity, and estimate food demand shifts from 2010 to 2050 by processing population and income growth projections. We quantify the net change in rNIV by 2050 in all hotspots by calculating the agricultural area necessary to meet the food demand under a business as usual, a healthy diet, a healthy diet plus agricultural intensification, and a healthy diet plus agricultural intensification plus crop change scenario. In the healthy diet scenario, the rNIV of 16–21 hotspots can be preserved entirely, but 5–6 hotspots in less developed regions may lose all rNIV to agricultural area expansion. In these regions, a healthy diet implies an increase in consumed calories and no change in the already high share of plant‐based calories. When combined with agricultural intensification, these hotspots will still lose 7%–92% of rNIV. Only an additional change in crop mix patterns may preserve all. While a change in dietary habits may be sufficient for preservation of rNIV in many hotspot regions, a healthy diet actually puts more pressure on rNIV in other hotspot regions. Intensifying agriculture and optimizing crop selection should be priorities in those regions to mitigate the expected loss of rNIV to agricultural expansion.
... A total of 193 parties have ratified the CBD including all countries part of the Amazon biome. The CBD recognizes the irreplaceable role of forests to sustain biodiversity (Gibson et al., 2011;Lopoukhine et al., 2012) and represents a worldwide collective action to protect biodiversity through the establishment of a global PA (Protected Area) system. Beyond being recognized as the cornerstone of a global biodiversity conservation (Bruner et al., 2001; Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity, 2008; Anthony and Szabo, 2011;Lopoukhine et al., 2012;Gizachew et al., 2020), the most cited perspectives on the positive effects of PA include: reducing deforestation (Andam et al., 2008;Gaveau et al., 2009), and the protection against forest fires (Adeney et al., 2009). ...
Article
Full-text available
Biological diversity has been recognized as a global asset that is key to the well-being and survival of present and future generations. In response to massive destruction of the world’s ecosystems, the international community has agreed on several initiatives, most importantly, the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) in 1992, which is the basis of the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011–2020, and the 20 Aichi Biodiversity Targets. A central instrument of these initiative are protected areas. The nine Amazonian countries alone, have designated 390 million hectares of protected forest areas, some of which are under very heavy pressure. As explicitly stated in Aichi Targets 11, 17, and 18, the effective governance and management of these protected areas requires the active participation of indigenous and other local resource user groups and respect for their traditional knowledge and customary practices. This manuscript analyzes to what extent and in which way these targets have been achieved by analyzing three transboundary protected areas in Brazil, Peru, and Bolivia constituted of five national parks. The analysis shows that important progress has been made in terms of the local participation and the generation and sharing of economic benefits, mostly due to the engagement of non-governmental organization (NGOs) funded from overseas development assistance (ODA) sources. However, many of the established mechanisms show major shortcomings, such as power imbalances, lack of legitimacy of decision-makers, unclear responsibilities, unresolved logistical challenges, and the lack of financial support. In addition, the functionality of local governance structures is severely threatened by the vagaries of national policies that often put biodiversity conservation and economic development at loggerheads. In order to ensure the functionality of protected areas in the Amazon region, binding and sufficient commitments by national governments are needed for genuine and effective local governance.
... The New World Tropics are experiencing tremendous loss of forest cover due to accelerating rates of anthropogenicinduced landscape change (e.g., Gibson et al. 2011, Laurance et al. 2012. Here the primary goals of taxonomic studies are the description and documentation of species ranges, species communities, or species states to understand evolutionary processes and to evaluate the effects of habitat loss and climate change. ...
Article
As the longest-winged odonate species of the extant world, Megaloprepus caerulatus (Drury, 1782) has received attention by many entomologists. While the behavior and ecology of this species has been subject of intense studies, biogeography and species status throughout its distributional range in old-growth Neotropical forests are less well known. For tropical forests, this information is a sine qua non when estimating the impact of degradation and climate change. Recent population genetic analyses, quantitative morphometric, and traditional taxonomic studies rediscovered a complex composed of cryptic species within the genus Megaloprepus Rambur, 1842—up until now still regarded as a monotypic genus. Here we introduce one new species Megaloprepus diaboli sp. nov. from the southern Pacific coast of Costa Rica and from the central Caribbean coast of Honduras and Guatemala. The holotype is from the Corcovado National Park, Costa Rica (N 8°28’55.62” W 83°35’13.92”), and was deposited at the National Museum of Costa Rica. Aside from M. caerulatus, two formerly described and later refused species within the genus were reevaluated and consequently raised to species status: Megaloprepus latipennis Selys, 1860 is found in the northeastern regions of Mesoamerica and Megaloprepus brevistigma Selys, 1860 in South America east of the Andes. Morphological descriptions of selected specimens (holotype of M. diaboli, lectotype of M. latipennis, and the mature males of M. brevistigma and M. caerulatus) are provided. Diagnostic features of the four species are illustrated, discussed, and summarized in a key to adult males.
... Although secondary forests are relevant for the maintenance of species and ecological processes in human-dominated landscapes, older forests are crucial to preserve most of the original biodiversity and as sources of individuals that can establish populations in regenerated areas, especially in fragmented landscapes (Gibson et al., 2011). ...
Article
Full-text available
Aim Evaluate how large‐scale forest regeneration based on a low‐cost restoration method may mitigate the effects of habitat loss and fragmentation associated to future climate changes on the distribution of birds and arboreal mammals in a tropical biodiversity hotspot; find areas with different current and future potential species richness and assess how passive restoration can reduce the risk of species extinction. Location Brazilian Atlantic Forest (BAF). Methods We built a forest regeneration scenario via a model of seed dispersal based on the potential movement of frugivorous fauna and projected the potential distribution of 356 bird species and 21 arboreal mammals based on Species Distribution Models (SDM) which employed 79,462 occurrence records and four algorithms for different climate and landscape scenarios. SDM were based on climate and landscape predictors separately and the results were combined into maps of species richness. Finally, we assessed the species’ risk of extinction based on the species–area relationship. Results Without considering the effects of climate change, the potential distribution area for each species increases on average by 72.5% (SD = 8%) in the scenario of potential regeneration. Climate change decreases the area of potential occurrence of 252 species, which may suffer a mean reduction of 74.4% (SD = 9.3%) in their current potential distribution areas. BAF regions with the largest amounts of forest had the greatest potential richness of species. In future climate scenario, 3.4% of species may become extinct, but we show that large‐scale regeneration may prevent these extinctions. Main conclusions Despite the possible negative impacts of climate change on the distribution of 67% of the studied species, which would increase the risk of species extinction, our analysis indicated that promoting large‐scale BAF restoration based on natural regeneration may prevent biodiversity loss.
... However, degradation and deforestation have caused loss of over half of its original extent, with consequent loss of biodiversity and ecosystem services (Lewis et al., 2015). Protection of the remaining old-growth forests is essential but cannot alone halt this loss (Gibson et al., 2011;Houghton et al., 2015). Restoration of degraded forests with native species is essential for the conservation of biodiversity and for ensuring a healthy tropical forest ecosystem (Chazdon, 2014). ...
Article
Natural regeneration in tropical forests is considered an essential part of forest restoration efforts; however, it is often under-estimated where the main focus has traditionally been on tree planting. This study assessed natural regeneration and its potential for the conserva- tion of native tree species in Sitapahar Forest Reserve, Bangladesh. We established 99 temporary plots (2 m × 2 m each) in three canopy classes, namely dense canopy (DC, 70–100% canopy coverage), mod- erate canopy (MC, 40–70%), and open canopy (OC, <40%). In each plot, regenerating tree species were counted, identified, and height (m), collar diameter (cm), and diameter at breast height (dbh, cm) were measured. We identified 79 regenerating tree species under 31 plant families of which 61 were found in DC areas followed by 56 and 36 in MC and OC areas, respectively. Most of the species in DC areas were late-successional, while the OC areas were dominated by early succes- sional species. Diversity and density of regeneration were lowest in OC areas. Findings of this study suggest harnessing biodiversity conserva- tion by promoting natural regeneration and identifying the areas with higher potential for assisted natural regeneration that will enable in situ conservation of rare and vulnerable species by protecting them from further erosion.
... Forests play a pivotal role in lessening the harmful impacts of climate change and, more generally, of global environmental change (Bonan, 2008;FAO, 2018). Besides representing the primary carbon stock on land and driving a large portion of carbon fluxes throughout the biosphere, they host a major portion of terrestrial biodiversity (Brockerhoff et al., 2017;Gibson et al., 2011;Lindenmayer, 2009). Moreover, they provide additional ecosystem services such as soil formation and protection, climate and flood regulation, slope stabilization, nutrient cycling, water and air purification and supply a wide variety of products (e.g., timber, fibers, food, and medicines). ...
Article
Full-text available
Forests will be critical to mitigate the effects of climate and global changes. Therefore, knowledge on the drivers of forest area changes are important. Although the drivers of deforestation are well known, drivers of afforestation are almost unexplored. Moreover, protected areas (PAs) effectively decrease deforestation, but other types of area‐based conservation measures exist. Among these, sacred natural sites (SNS) deliver positive conservation outcomes while making up an extensive “shadow network” of conservation. However, little is known on the capacity of SNS to regulate land‐use changes. Here, we explored the role of SNS and PAs as drivers of forest loss and forest gain in Italy between 1936 and 2018. We performed a descriptive analysis and modeled forest gain and forest loss by means of spatial binomial generalized linear models with residual autocovariates. The main drivers of forest area changes were geographical position and elevation, nonetheless SNS and PAs significantly decreased forest loss and increased forest gain. Although the negative relationship between SNS and forest loss is a desirable outcome, the positive relationship with forest gain is concerning because it could point to abandonment of cultural landscapes with consequent loss of open habitats. We suggest a legal recognition of SNS and an active ecological monitoring and planning to help maintain their positive role in biodiversity conservation. As a novel conservation planning approach, SNS can be used as stepping stones between PAs increasing connectivity and also to conserve small habitat patches threatened by human activities.
... Landscape naturalness assessment models can be used to identify areas likely to be occupied by virgin forests, which are characterized by a very high conservation value. Virgin forests are essential habitats for the conservation of biodiversity and the protection of many species of animals and extremely rare plants (Gibson et al., 2011). In addition, unlike young, planted and heavily managed forests, virgin forests play a crucial role in regulating extreme climatic phenomena due to their much higher capacity to store carbon and release oxygen (Keeton et al., 2010). ...
Article
The landscape naturalness may be defined and analysed by various concepts and methods attempting to encapsulate as much as possible the degree of natural conditions over a given territory. The Machado Index (MI) was developed by the Spanish biologist Antonio Machado and uses a qualitative approach to naturalness, being characterized by its versatile application throughout different environments. The outcome of the expert-based evaluation is a score that corresponds to various degrees of naturalness. This research aims to turn the MI into a semi-objective tool, introducing land cover and the ‘neighbouring to natural’ criteria as quantitative components. The MI was applied for assessing the landscape naturalness over Romania, as a case-study, and the Expert Opinion Classification (EOC) method was performed in order to identify the primary benefits and limitations of the MI. Further, the study uses the Principle of Naturalness Spatial Gradient (PNSG) as the basis for conceiving a new approach, named the Edge Contrast method (ECON). The assessment of naturalness consists in the usefulness of a previous Landscape Ecology metric, the Edge Contrast Index (ECI). We finally propose a third method, encompassing the advantages of the prior two, named the Enhanced Machado Index (EMI). The main result of this study is an enhanced method which can be used for assessing the degree of naturalness in a semi-objective manner. A set of three examples taken from different areas of Romania are assessed in a comparative analysis in order to highlight the differences between the EOC, ECON and EMI methods. The EMI results are validated by comparison with different databases.
... Biodiversity in agricultural areas is diminished due to habitat fragmentation and alterations to natural vegetation (Rosenblatt et al., 1999;Crooks, 2002). The destruction of tropical forests for timber production and the conversion of woodlands into agricultural landscapes has had potentially dire consequences for tropical biodiversity (Gibson et al., 2011). It follows that agricultural biotechnology is not a sole factor in the loss of biodiversity because agriculture en masse has contributed to the worldwide loss of biodiversity (McLaughlin and Mineau, 1995). ...
Article
Full-text available
The need to meet the food demands of the world's growing population is the main challenge to global agricultural policy and economy. Issues in food security require innovative solutions. Modern biotechnology has a significant potential to contribute to food security, wealth, and sustainable development. Genetic engineering offers tools to improve nutrition, increase yield, and enhance crop resilience. New techniques of genome editing provide ample means to overcome limitations inherent in conventional plant breeding, but their industrial applicability depends on regulatory environment, decision making, and public perception. An alignment of goals between science and policy can help realise the potential of modern biotechnology to contribute to food security, wealth, and sustainable development.
... Forests cover approximately 27% of the earth's land surface (Buchhorn et al., 2020;Jung et al., 2020). They are the exclusive habitat of 54.5% of terrestrial vertebrate and many other plant, fungi and invertebrate species (Gibson et al., 2011;Hill et al., 2019;IUCN, 2012), and can directly or indirectly benefit humankind through ecosystem services through food or water provision, something particularly relevant for the over 1.6 billion living within close proximity of a forest (Newton et al., 2020). Increases in human population and demand for food, non-timber and timber products, are resulting in forests worldwide being increasingly disturbed, modified or removed by humans Lewis et al., 2015). ...
Article
Full-text available
Aim Many vertebrate species globally are dependent on forests, most of which require active protection to safeguard global biodiversity. Forests, however, are increasingly either being disturbed, planted or managed in the form of timber or food plantations. Because of a lack of spatial data, forest management has commonly been ignored in previous conservation assessments. Location Global. Methods We combine a new global map of forest management types created solely from remote sensing imagery with spatially explicit information on the distribution of forest‐associated vertebrate species and protected areas globally. Using Bayesian logistic regressions, we explore whether the amount of forested habitat available to a species as well as information on species‐specific threats can explain differences in IUCN extinction risk categories. Results We show that disturbed and human‐managed forests dominate the distributional ranges of most forest‐associated species. Species considered as non‐threatened had on average larger amounts of non‐managed forests within their range. A greater amount of planted forests did not decrease the probability of species being threatened by extinction. Even more worrying, protected areas are increasingly being established in areas dominated by disturbed forests. Conclusion Our results imply that species extinction risk and habitat assessments might have been overly optimistic with forest management practices being largely ignored so far. With forest restoration being at the centre of climate and conservation policies in this decade, we caution that policy makers should explicitly consider forest management in global and regional assessments.
... Despite efforts made and a significant reduction in the net loss of forests-40% between the average of 1990-2000 and 2010-2020 decades (FAO & UNEP, 2020)-the objectives were not achieved (Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity, 2020). For its part, the rate of deforestation is still so significant that it continues to jeopardize the conservation of biodiversity (Gibson et al., 2011) and the carbon sink capacity of forests (Harris et al., 2021), thus increasing the risk of impacting ecosystems to a point of no return (Lenton et al., 2019). ...
Article
Full-text available
The divergence between the disappearance of primary forests and the appearance of secondary forests indicates a set of circumstances that simultaneously converge in what we called the society-agriculture-forest complex. Such circumstances vary between places and over time and are associated with internal factors-factors originating within the reference system-and external factors-factors originating outside the borders of the reference system-restrict the use of standard strategies for any reality. We present a quantitative model that helps to understand the relationships of the society-agriculture-forest complex as a whole. This comprehensive understanding will allow a clearer discussion of the positive and negative consequences of prioritizing actions on any of the system components. Our model establishes a set of quantitative relationships among: (i) the requirements of food and timber products for society to maintain its structure and functionality, (ii) the level of openness of the society with respect to other societies for the exchange of resources, and (iii) the interface between the economic productive systems and the ecological productive systems. To test the model, the case of Huayopata (Peru) was studied. Findings suggest that the abandonment of agricultural production and, particularly, of tea favors the appearance of secondary forests. However, projects by the Congress of Peru to reactivate the production of tea without adequate technological support to improve the current processes that use firewood for boilers would put the forestry system at risk. In addition, a potential worker 'pull factor' could reconfigure the food system and impact on the local agricultural sector. Supplementary information: The online version contains supplementary material available at 10.1007/s10668-022-02457-6.
... Furthermore, we note that albeit with a similarly high mitigation potential, avoided forest conversion strategy is much more affected than the forest restoration strategy (0.19-0.37 GtCO 2 yr −1 ). Given a relatively low opportunity cost, protecting existing forest from land-use change should be given prioritized attention (Gibson et al., 2011). ...
Article
Full-text available
Natural climate solutions (NCS) are an essential complement to climate mitigation and have been increasingly incorporated into international mitigation strategies. Yet, with the ongoing population growth, allocating natural areas for NCS may compete with other socioeconomic priorities, especially urban development and food security. Here, we projected the impacts of land-use competition incurred by cropland and urban expansion on the climate mitigation potential of NCS. We mapped the areas available for implementing 9 key NCS strategies and estimated their climate change mitigation potential. Then, we overlaid these areas with future cropland and urban expansion maps projected under three Shared Socioeconomic Pathway (SSP) scenarios (2020-2100) and calculated the resulting mitigation potential loss of each selected NCS strategy. Our results estimate a substantial reduction, 0.3-2.8 GtCO 2 yr −1 or 4-39 %, in NCS mitigation potential, of which cropland expansion for fulfilling future food demand is the primary cause. This impact is particularly severe in the tropics where NCS hold the most abundant mitigation potential. Our findings highlight immediate actions prioritized to tropical areas are important to best realize NCS and are key to developing realistic and sustainable climate policies.
Article
Understanding the processes shaping the composition of assemblages at multiple spatial scales in response to disturbance events is crucial for preventing ongoing biodiversity loss and for improving current forest management policies aimed at mitigating climate change and enhancing forest resilience. Deadwood-inhabiting fungi represent an essential component of forest ecosystems through their association with deadwood decomposition and the cycling of nutrients and carbon. Although we have sufficient evidence for the fundamental role of deadwood availability and variability of decay stages for fungal species diversity, the influence of long-term natural disturbance regimes as the main driver of deadwood quantity and quality has not been sufficiently documented. We used a dendroecological approach to analyse the effect of 250-years of historical natural disturbance and structural habitat elements on local (plot-level) and regional (stand-level) species richness of deadwood-inhabiting fungi. We used data collected from 51 study plots within nine best-preserved primary spruce forest stands distributed across the Western Carpathian Mountains. Historical disturbances shaped the contemporary local and regional species richness of fungi, with contrasting impacts of disturbance regime components at different spatial scales. While local diversity of red-listed species has increased due to higher disturbance frequency, regional diversity of all species has decreased due to higher severity historical disturbances. The volume of deadwood positively influenced the species richness of deadwood-inhabiting fungi while canopy openness had a negative impact. The high number of observed rare species highlights the important role of primary forests for biodiversity conservation. From a landscape perspective, we can conclude that the distribution of species from the regional species pool is-at least to some extent-driven by past spatiotemporal patterns of disturbance events. Natural disturbances occurring at higher frequencies that create a mosaic forest structure are necessary for fungal species-especially for rare and endangered taxa. Thus, both the protection of intact forest landscapes and forest management practises that emulate natural disturbance processes are recommended to support habitats of diverse fungal communities and their associated ecosystem functions.
Article
Safeguarding Earth’s tree diversity is a conservation priority due to the importance of trees for biodiversity and ecosystem functions and services such as carbon sequestration. Here, we improve the foundation for effective conservation of global tree diversity by analyzing a recently developed database of tree species covering 46,752 species. We quantify range protection and anthropogenic pressures for each species and develop conservation priorities across taxonomic, phylogenetic, and functional diversity dimensions. We also assess the effectiveness of several influential proposed conservation prioritization frameworks to protect the top 17% and top 50% of tree priority areas. We find that an average of 50.2% of a tree species’ range occurs in 110-km grid cells without any protected areas (PAs), with 6,377 small-range tree species fully unprotected, and that 83% of tree species experience nonnegligible human pressure across their range on average. Protecting high-priority areas for the top 17% and 50% priority thresholds would increase the average protected proportion of each tree species’ range to 65.5% and 82.6%, respectively, leaving many fewer species (2,151 and 2,010) completely unprotected. The priority areas identified for trees match well to the Global 200 Ecoregions framework, revealing that priority areas for trees would in large part also optimize protection for terrestrial biodiversity overall. Based on range estimates for >46,000 tree species, our findings show that a large proportion of tree species receive limited protection by current PAs and are under substantial human pressure. Improved protection of biodiversity overall would also strongly benefit global tree diversity.
Article
Full-text available
The Congo basin forests have vast conservation potential but because of their inaccessibility and periodic insecurity there is little formal protection or ecological research occurring there. Community-based conservation efforts in the unprotected forest corridor separating Kahuzi-Biega and Maiko National Parks in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo aim to protect a unique forest ecosystem and facilitate the development of ecological research. To support this process, we obtained baseline data on the occurrence of terrestrial mammals in the Nkuba Conservation Area by conducting camera-trap (-) and transect (-) surveys. From camera-trap images we also extracted diel activity patterns and estimated overlap in these patterns between selected pairs of species. We identified  mammal species weighing.  kg using camera traps and  species in transect surveys, with a total of  mammal species, of which seven are categorized as threatened on the IUCN Red List. Among this mammalian community, we recorded nocturnal and diurnal species with short core activity periods, and several cathemeral species with long activity periods, with various degrees of temporal separation of diel activity between species. The presence of threatened species, including the Critically Endangered Grauer's gorilla Gorilla beringei graueri, suggests that the Nkuba Conservation Area harbours a forest community that requires continuous monitoring , further research and investment in protection from the ongoing deforestation and resource exploitation occurring in the surrounding region.
Chapter
Over fifty years of global conservation has failed to bend the curve of biodiversity loss, so we need to transform the ways we govern biodiversity. The UN Convention on Biological Diversity aims to develop and implement a transformative framework for the coming decades. However, the question of what transformative biodiversity governance entails and how it can be implemented is complex. This book argues that transformative biodiversity governance means prioritizing ecocentric, compassionate and just sustainable development. This involves implementing five governance approaches - integrative, inclusive, adaptive, transdisciplinary and anticipatory governance - in conjunction and focused on the underlying causes of biodiversity loss and unsustainability. Transforming Biodiversity Governance is an invaluable source for academics, policy makers and practitioners working in biodiversity and sustainability governance. This is one of a series of publications associated with the Earth System Governance Project. For more publications, see www.cambridge.org/earth-system-governance. This title is also available as Open Access on Cambridge Core.
Article
Full-text available
This work studied the vegetation in a seven-hectare self-regenerated and protected forest about nine decades-old located in a previously cultivated site in the Ruhande Arboretum to identify woody species and their diversity. Ten parallel transects were established at 34 m intervals, leaving 25 m on either side to avoid an edge effect. Along transects, circular 16 m diameter plots spaced 20 m apart were established, making a total of 56 plots. In each plot, woody species were recorded and those with heights >2 m had their diameter at breast height measured. Phytosociological data including basal area, density, and frequency and their respective relative values were computed and used to determine species and family importance value indices within each plot. Across all plots, twenty-eight genera in 17 families were identified and 844 plants were recorded, including 755 trees and 89 shrubs, with most trees found in smaller diameter classes. Across all plots, only one Markhamia lutea tree was in the 50–60 cm diameter class and one Polyscias fulva was in the >90 cm diameter class. Of all woody species, Polyscias fulva was the most dominant since it had individuals with the biggest diameter. The number of individuals per family across all plots ranged from one for Cupressaceae, Dracaenaceae, Moraceae, and Solanaceae to 414 for Bignoniaceae. Across all plots, the diameter at breast height ranged from 1.8–97 cm. The species importance value index ranged from 0.3–41.8 for Nicotiana tabacum and P. fulva, respectively, while the family importance value index ranged from 0.2 for Annonaceae, Cupressaceae, Dracaenaceae, and Solanaceae to 41.6 for Araliaceae. Shannon and Simpson’s diversity indices were 1.772 and 0.707, respectively, while the evenness was 0.532, signifying that the forest was reasonably diverse. It is recommended that this forest can be conserved owing to its rich vegetation and to monitor its successional development.
Article
Full-text available
Indonesia has the second-largest biodiversity of any country in the world. Deforestation and forest degradation have caused a range of environmental issues, including habitat degradation and loss of biodiversity, deterioration of water quality and quantity, air pollution, and increased greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to climate change. Forest restoration at the landscape level has been conducted to balance ecological integrity and human well-being. Forest restoration efforts are also aimed at reducing CO2 emissions and are closely related to Indonesia's Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) from the forestry sector. The purpose of this paper is to examine the regulatory, institutional, and policy aspects of forest restoration in Indonesia, as well as the implementation of forest restoration activities in the country. The article was written using a synoptic review approach to Forest Landscape Restoration (FLR)-related articles and national experiences. Failures, success stories, and criteria and indicators for forest restoration success are all discussed. We also discuss the latest silvicultural techniques for the success of the forest restoration program. Restoration governance in Indonesia has focused on the wetland ecosystem such as peatlands and mangroves, but due to the severely degraded condition of many forests, the government has by necessity opted for active restoration involving the planting and establishment of livelihood options. The government has adapted its restoration approach from the early focus on ecological restoration to more forest landscape restoration, which recognizes that involving the local community in restoration activities is critical for the success of forest restoration. Citation: Indrajaya, Y.; Yuwati, T.W.; Lestari, S.; Winarno, B.; Narendra, B.H.; Nugroho, H.Y.S.H.; Rachmanadi, D.; Pratiwi; Turjaman, M.; Adi, R.N.; et al. Tropical Forest Landscape Restoration in Indonesia: A Review. Land 2022, 11, 328.
Article
Destruction of natural habitats for tree plantations is a major threat to wildlife. These novel environments elicit behavioural changes that can either be detrimental or beneficial to survival and reproduction, with population – and community – level consequences. However, compared with well-documented changes following other forms of habitat modification, we know little about wildlife behavioural responses to tree plantations, and even less about their associated fitness costs. Here, we highlight critical knowledge gaps in understanding the ecological and evolutionary consequences of behavioural shifts caused by tree plantations and discuss how wildlife responses to plantations could be critical in determining which species persist in these highly modified environments.
Article
Full-text available
Soil microbial communities play a crucial role in ecosystem functioning. Past research has examined the effects of forest conversion on soil microbial composition and diversity, but it remains unknown how networks within these communities respond to forest conversion, including when tropical rainforests are replaced with rubber plantations. Microbial networks are viewed as critical indicators of soil health and quality. They consist of two parts: nodes and edges. In this study, we used data from Illumina sequencing and shotgun metagenome sequencing to analyze bacterial and fungal community network structure in a large number of soil samples from tropical rainforests and rubber plantation sites on Hainan Island, China. Our results showed that only 5 %–10 % of shared network edges (i.e., links between species A and B existing in both rubber plantations and rainforests) were observed in both bacterial and fungal communities, which indicates that forest conversion altered the soil microbial network structure. The identity of keystone operational taxonomic units (OTUs) differed entirely between rubber plantation and rainforest sites, further underscoring the altered network structure. More edges and more negative correlations within the soil bacterial–fungal networks were observed at rubber plantation sites (dry season: 4284 total edges, 844 negative; rainy season: 7257 total edges, 1744 negative) than at rainforest sites (dry season: 3650 total edges, 149 negative; rainy season: 6018 total edges, 489 negative), demonstrating that soil bacterial–fungal network structure was more complex and stable in rubber plantations than in rainforests. For bacteria, a larger number of network edges were observed among bacterial networks in samples from tropical rainforest than in samples from rubber plantations, indicating that rainforest bacterial networks were more complex than those from rubber plantations. However, soil fungal networks from rubber plantations showed more links, suggesting that forest conversion increased fungal network complexity. More edges of network and more links between species and functions were observed in the rainy season than in the dry season, indicating that seasonal changes had a strong effect on network structure and function. Further analysis shows that soil pH, potassium (AK), and total nitrogen (TN) had more links with species of some phyla. In conclusion, forest conversion results in an increase in soil pH as well as a decrease in AK and TN, and these changes as well as seasonal variations had a great impact on soil microbial composition, network structure and function.
Article
Full-text available
Logging is an economically important activity in the Amazon; however , there are doubts regarding its sustainability, even under planned systems. This study sought to evaluate the dynamics of the structure and composition of a forest undergoing logging operations in a Sustainable Management Unit (SMU) located in the Mamuru-Arapiuns lots of the cities of Juruti and Santarém, in the state of Pará, Brazil. The studied areas are under public concession and are closely monitored by Brazilian environmental agencies. Data were collected from permanent plots before and after logging (years 2012 to 2015). Our findings raise concerns regarding the prospects of sustainable logging because mortality rates exceeded recruitment rates, causing significant decreases in tree density per hectare and basal forest area. The diameter increment rate in the forest community was 0.82 cm year −1 ; crown shape and lighting significantly influenced tree diameter growth. There was initially a decrease in tree diversity followed by an increase, resulting in higher diversity levels than those observed prior to logging. There were minor changes in the composition of the forest community, with a particular shift toward pioneer species. We concluded that logging affected forest dynamics at a level that calls its prospects for sustainability into question.
The world has been facing a pandemic owing to COVID-19. We have also seen the geographic expansion and outbreaks of other emerging infectious diseases (EID) in recent years. This paper investigates the direct and indirect effects of land use land cover change (LULCC) on EID outbreaks in the context of Wayanad District of Kerala, India. Wayanad is in the vulnerable tropical forested region, and it is named as one of the four environmental change hotspots. The focus of this project is mainly three EIDs prevalent in this region: Kyasanur forest disease (KFD), Dengue and Leptospirosis. Our results, based on topographical map, remote sensing and extensive field work, show that the natural forest in Wayanad was replaced with agriculture and forest plantation during 1950–2018. This paper further suggests that encroachment of forest by forest plantation causes the human–animal conflict resulting in the outbreak of KFD cases. Our analysis reveals that a high number of Dengue cases is found in the forested regions of the district and over the adjacent human-made agriculture plantation areas. High and medium number of Leptospirosis cases contain a high portion of land area devoted to paddy cultivation and agricultural plantation. In summary, the results clearly show the linkage between the outbreak of above mentioned EIDs and LULCC in the context of Wayanad district, Kerala. We also discuss in detail the causal pathway involving human–environmental dynamics through which plantation leads to the outbreak of KFD. Replacing forests with plantations poses an alarming threat of disease outbreak in the community.
Article
Forest restoration is being scaled-up globally to deliver critical ecosystem services and biodiversity benefits, yet we lack rigorous comparison of co-benefit delivery across different restoration approaches. In a global synthesis, we use 25,950 matched data pairs from 264 studies in 53 countries to assess how delivery of climate, soil, water, and wood production services as well as biodiversity compares across a range of tree plantations and native forests. Carbon storage, water provisioning, and especially soil erosion control and biodiversity benefits are all delivered better by native forests, with compositionally simpler, younger plantations in drier regions performing particularly poorly. However, plantations exhibit an advantage in wood production. These results underscore important trade-offs among environmental and production goals that policymakers must navigate in meeting forest restoration commitments.
Article
Because of continuing degradation or deforestation in areas of undisturbed primary forest, there is a need to study the relative merit of strategies that mitigate their impacts on biodiversity and associated ecological functionality. Here, we provide a global synthesis of forest degradation or deforestation using 48 studies published in peer‐reviewed journals that use dung beetles as indicators given their sensitivity to anthropogenic disturbance and their relevance in performing essential ecological functions in terrestrial ecosystems. We evaluated forest cover associated with undisturbed primary forest degradation (i.e., degraded primary forest) and undisturbed primary forest deforestation (i.e., secondary forest, forestry plantations and forestry restoration implementation) on species richness, total abundance, biomass, functional groups' presence, and ecological functions provided by dung beetles. Additionally, we determined whether if dung beetles responses to forest disturbances were geographically dependent. We found lower diversity and a decrease in ecological functions associated with all classes of disturbance in primary forest. However, the effects were less severe in the case of forest degradation compared to complete deforestation with natural regeneration of secondary forest, development of forest plantations, or active forest restoration by planting indigenous trees. The Neotropical and Oriental regions are particularly vulnerable, given the elevated rates of undisturbed primary forest deforestation and its negative impact on their assemblages' diversity and ecological functions. Synthesis and applications. Our results show that efforts for the conservation of remaining undisturbed primary forests need to be prioritized, especially in tropical latitudes. However, in regions where primary forest conservation is not feasible, logging management programs in degraded primary forest may have a potential role in reducing negative impacts for dung beetle diversity and ecological functions. Moreover, we conclude that despite the negative effect of primary forest deforestation and implementation of secondary forest, forestry plantation and forestry restoration, they can be useful for partial recovery of diversity and ecological functions performed by dung beetles in areas lacking any primary forest (undisturbed or degraded) vegetation cover.
Article
Full-text available
We evaluated the deforestation of the Lacandona region harmonizing concepts and methodologies. An international (FAO definition), governmental (national definition), and regional definition of deforestation with applications at different scales were analyzed and harmonized with two classification methods (likelihood and spectral angle mapper (SAM)). We used 2015 and 2018 Landsat 8 images, and likelihood and SAM classifications were applied for FAO and regional definitions of deforestation. Overall, the best evaluated classifier in quantity was likelihood for 2015 and 2018 (kappa: 0.87 and 0.70, overall accuracy: 91.8 and 80.4%, and quantity disagreement: 4.1 and 10 %, respectively). The allocation disagreement only showed exchange between classes. Nevertheless, they did not show differences between classifiers, although 2015 had less disagreement than 2018: exchange, 4.1% for likelihood and SAM; shift: 0% for likelihood and SAM. Maps based on the regional definition of deforestation showed that the likelihood classification detected 11,441 ha less deforestation than SAM (40,538 and 51,979 ha, respectively). The FAO definition of deforestation showed that likelihood classification detected 11,914 ha less deforestation than SAM classification (37,152 and 49,066 ha, respectively). Further, the likelihood classification showed 3387 ha more of deforestation according to the regional definition than the FAO definition of deforestation (40,538 and 37,152 ha, respectively). SAM classification showed that the regional definition showed 2913 ha more deforestation than the FAO definition (51,979 and 49,066, respectively). We concluded that implementation of governmental programs in the Lacandona region requires estimations based on a careful selection of deforestation definitions and methods.
Article
The significant biodiversity rich Jaldapara National Park is situated at Terai-Dooars region of Eastern Himalayan foothill. This study attempts to identify the deforestation probable zones at Jaldapara national park and its surroundings applying five different machine learning algorithms (SVM, NB, RF, DT and ANN). Results show that the northern and middle sections are being faced by high rate of deforestation due to large scale human encroachment, poaching and timber trafficking. Result also illustrates that support vector machine (SVM) brings more accuracy compare to other models. These deforestation probable models are validated through receiver operation characteristics, efficiency, sensitivity and specificity measurement. Area under curve (AUC) value of these models is 0.907, 0.885, 0.825, 0.846 and 0.876 respectively. The novelty of this research is that previously, such machine learning methods (with high precision) have not applied to examine the deforestation probability in this region of Himalayan foothill.
Article
Natural tropical landscapes have been continuously altered by land use change and other climate factors. Forest management practices have transformed massive tropical forests into rubber plantations throughout mainland Southeast Asia and Southwest China. However, the effect of the forest-to-plantation conversion on ecosystem functions associated with plant litter is limited. Here, we compare litterfall production, decomposition, nutrient return and nutrient use efficiency between a tropical natural forest (TNF) and a monoculture rubber plantation (MRP) in Xishuangbanna (China) over three years. Annual mean litterfall production was significantly higher in TNF (10.92 Mg ha⁻¹ yr⁻¹) than in MRP (5.23 Mg ha⁻¹ yr⁻¹). Production of leaf litter was positively correlated to that of total litterfall, suggesting that leaf litter could be reliably estimated from total litterfall. Temperature and solar radiation are dominant drivers of seasonal variation of litterfall production. The litterfall production was more sensitive to climate variables in MRP. The average stand litter and the decomposition quotient were 1.8 and 1.2 times greater in TNF than in MRP, respectively. The total nutrient return to the forest floor was 2.1 times higher in TNF (5.66 Mg ha⁻¹ yr⁻¹) than in MRP (2.76 Mg ha⁻¹ yr⁻¹); the return of each mineral element was significantly lower in MRP relative to TNF. The nutrient return preferentially occurred during the cold and dry seasons, which was consistent with the trend of litterfall. Relatively high N, P, Ca, and Mg use efficiencies were observed in MRP in line with their deficiency in the present tropical soils, indicating that rubber trees likely possess an efficient nutrient uptake mechanism to facilitate their adaption to oligotrophic habitats. Our results suggest that the large scale transformation of tropical forests to rubber plantations could alter the biogeochemical cycles related to litterfall, and thus possibly affect the resilience of ecosystems to climate variation. An increasing organic matter input in rubber monoculture may favor the sustainable development of rubber cultivation.
Article
Tropical forests are under threat of increasing pressure from income-generating land uses. Selective logging is a compromise that allows use of the land while leaving much of the forest canopy intact across a landscape. However, the ecological impacts of selective logging are unclear, with evidence of positive, negative, and negligible effects on forest structure and diversity. We examined the impact of selective logging on the structure and diversity of evergreen tropical forest in the Monts de Cristal region, a chain of mid-elevation hills in northwestern Gabon. For three size classes (seedling, sapling, and adult) of woody plant species, we tested whether forest structure (canopy openness, stem density, basal area, and relative liana abundances) and diversity were altered in forests that had been logged one year and ten years prior, compared to unlogged forest. In general, we found no large impact of selective logging treatment on the structure and diversity of adult woody plant communities, but the seedling and sapling communities were affected. Compared to unlogged forest, one-year post-logging forest had greater variation in canopy openness and lower sapling stem density. Ten-year post-logging forest had higher seedling and sapling species evenness, higher sapling species diversity, and higher relative abundance of sapling-sized lianas compared to unlogged forest. Our results show that key differences between intact and selectively logged forests persist in the understory at least a decade after logging. Overall, these results contribute an additional data point in the literature on selective logging, specifically representing the impacts of very low impact selective logging in Central African forests. Our study highlights the value of exploring selective logging impacts at multiple time periods of recovery, and makes an important contribution to the knowledge Central African managed forests.
Article
The continued erosion of global biodiversity resulting from Earth's sixth mass extinction event has been particularly pronounced on mammalian carnivores. Here, we evaluated the status of the world's small carnivore species (SCS) (<15 kg), examined their trending status and assessed the threats they face globally and regionally. Worldwide. Small carnivore species. Using a global 100 km2 grid, we analysed the impact of 12 variables (anthropogenic and landscape) on general small carnivore richness (SCR), threatened species richness and the number of declining SCS. We applied simple, multiple and simultaneous regression models to explore the associations between landscape conditions and human impacts on SCR. Approximately 22% (n = 49) of SCS are classified as threatened (vulnerable, endangered and critically endangered), with the largest number occurring in the Indo‐Malayan, followed by the Afrotropical regions. The family Mustelidae had the greatest number of threatened species, followed by the Felidae, Viverridae and Eupleridae. Euplerids, however, had the highest proportion of threatened species (90%). Human accessibility had the strongest negative impact on global species richness, whereas landscape modification gradient, indigenous lands and intact forest structure, all predicted higher levels of overall and threatened SCR. Approximately 84% of SCS are threatened by illegal wildlife trafficking, with greatest proportion hailing from the Indo‐Malayan region, followed by the Afrotropical region. Landscape conditions play a leading role in the conservation of SCS. However, the impact of humans has dramatically modified the spatial patterns of small carnivores across the globe. We believe new incentives promoting more sustainable landscapes could facilitate coexistence between carnivores and human communities. We advocate for new policies promoting sustainable practices, which are needed to help mitigate extinction risk and facilitate coexistence with small carnivores across the planet's human‐dominated landscapes.
Article
Full-text available
Projects that pay communities or individuals to conserve natural areas rarely continue indefinitely. When payments cease, the behaviors they motivate can change. Previous research on conservation-based payments recognizes the impermanence of conservation success, but it does not consider the legacy of payments that failed to effect change. This research assesses impermanence and failure by investigating the legacy of village-level conservation payments made through one of the largest Integrated Conservation and Development Projects. The Kerinci-Seblat Integrated Conservation and Development Project aimed to conserve forest area and promote local development through voluntary conservation agreements (VCAs) that provided payments for pro-conservation pledges and activities from 2000 through 2003. Project documentation and previous research find that payments failed to incentivize additional forest conservation, producing nonsignificant differences in forest-cover change during the project period. To examine the legacy of these payments in the post-project period, this research uses difference-in-differences and triple differences models to analyze forest cover change in villages (n=263) from 2000 through 2016 as well as matched binary logistic regression models to measure enduring differences in household (n=1,303) livelihood strategies within VCA villages in 2016. The analysis finds that VCA villages contained significantly more forest loss than the most similar non-VCA villages outside the national park and greater payments predict increased forest-cover loss in the post-project period. In addition, farming high-value tree crops and cultivating private land were the most important attributes for modeling VCA affiliation among randomly selected households. These results demonstrate payments that fail to motivate conservation risk more than nonsignificant outcomes. This research provides empirical evidence that, after payments ceased, project failures increased in severity over time. Those who design and implement conservation-based payments bear great responsibility to ensure their projects are informed by local voice, align with community preferences, and provide sufficient benefits, lest they result in a conservation legacy of increased failure.
Article
Full-text available
Landscape changes in tropical environments result in long-lasting and complex changes in biodiversity that involve several biological responses (e.g., loss of species diversity and functional diversity). Both taxonomic and functional diversity might respond differently to land-use change, and this response might also vary depending on several factors, such as the taxonomic group or landscape context. Even though each level of diversity expresses different properties of the community structure, studies characterizing the species community in human-dominated landscapes have often only focused on patterns involving taxonomic diversity. Here, we evaluated different descriptors of taxonomic (i.e., richness, diversity, and dominance) and functional entropy (i.e., richness, diversity, and redundancy) and the taxonomic and functional composition of ants in a forest cover gradient (%) in 16 highly fragmented tropical humid forest landscapes in Mexico. We found that all descriptors of taxonomic diversity decreased along a gradient of forest loss. Furthermore, functional redundancy was the only component of functional diversity that was positively associated with forest cover (%). These findings suggest an ecological backup of functions provided by species in landscapes with higher forest cover, protecting these landscapes against habitat disturbance or species loss. We also observed that landscapes with larger forest cover were inhabited by ant species with larger interocular distances and smaller femurs, which could allow predator ants the exploitation of ground cracks and higher mobility in leaf-litter microhabitats. Our results highlight the importance of the primary forest as a reservoir of the taxonomic and functional diversity of ants in highly fragmented tropical rainforest landscapes.
Chapter
Full-text available
Tropical forests are being rapidly deforested worldwide. The remaining forest is distributed in different-sized forest patches, but the species preservation value of small patches remains debated. Some studies suggest that edge effect can decrease forest-specialist species diversity, particularly in small patches, which are expected to be mainly occupied by a few disturbance-adapted species. We tested this hypothesis by sampling plants, dung beetles, amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals in the fragmented Lacandona rainforest in Mexico. We separately evaluated forest-specialist and habitat generalist species. As positive patch size effects on species richness can be simply related to the sample area effect (i.e. larger samples have a higher chance of holding more species), we assessed the effect of patch size on the number of species of each group in samples of constant size (species density). We also evaluated whether species density is lower in forest patches than in continuous forest sites. We found that patch area was generally a poor predictor of species density, and that in most study groups the density of species did not differ between continuous forest and forest patches. Remarkably, most results were independent of habitat specialization. These findings add to the increasing evidence that, on a per-sample area basis, small patches are valuable biodiversity islands for conservation of forest-specialist species and are not the near-exclusive habitat of generalist species. Our results indicate a need to redress the neglect of small patches in conservation plans, even for forest-specialist species in fragmented rainforests, in order to help maintain species diversity.
Article
Full-text available
Selective logging is pervasive across the tropics and unsustainable logging depletes forest biodiversity and carbon stocks. Improving the sustainability of logging will be crucial for meeting climate targets. Carbon-based payment for ecosystem service schemes, including REDD+, give economic value to standing forests and can protect them from degradation, but only if the revenue from carbon payments is greater than the opportunity cost of forgone or reduced logging. We currently lack understanding of whether carbon payments are feasible for protecting Amazonian forests from logging, despite the Amazon holding the largest unexploited timber reserves and an expanding logging sector. Using financial data and inventories of >660,000 trees covering 52,000 ha of Brazilian forest concessions, we estimate the carbon price required to protect forests from logging. We estimate that a carbon price of $7.90 per tCO2 is sufficient to match the opportunity costs of all logging and fund protection of primary forest. Alternatively, improving the sustainability of logging operations by ensuring a greater proportion of trees are left uncut requires only slightly higher investments of $7.97–10.45 per tCO2. These prices fall well below the current compliance market rate and demonstrate a cost-effective opportunity to safeguard large tracts of the Amazon rainforest from further degradation.
Article
Full-text available
Oil palm plantations are expanding in Latin America due to the global demand for food and biofuels, and much of this expansion has occurred at expense of important tropical ecosystems. Nevertheless, there is limited knowledge about effects on aquatic ecosystems near to oil palm-dominated landscapes. In this study, we used Landsat 7 ETM+, Landsat 8 OLI imagery and high-resolution images in Google Earth to map the current extent of oil palm plantations and determined prior land use land cover (LULC) in the Usumacinta River Basin as a case-study site. In addition, we assess the proximity of the crop with aquatic ecosystems distributed in the Usumacinta floodplains and their potential effects. Based on our findings, the most significant change was characterized by the expansion of oil palm crop areas mainly at expenses of regional rainforest and previously intervened lands (e.g. secondary vegetation and agriculture). Although aquatic ecosystem class (e.g. rivers, lagoons and channels) decreased in surface around 3% during the study period (2001–2017), the change was not due to the expansion of oil palm lands. However, we find that more than 50% of oil palm cultivations are near (between 500 and 3000 m) to aquatic ecosystems and this could have significant environmental impacts on sediment and water quality. Oil palm crops tend to spatially concentrate in the Upper Usumacinta ecoregion (Guatemala), which is recognized as an area of important fish endemism. We argue that the basic information generated in this study is essential to have better land use decision-making in a region that is relative newcomer to oil palm boom.
Article
The success of mixed plantation systems is ultimately the net result of positive and negative interactions, including belowground interactions, among the respective species. Despite increasing knowledge on positive interactions on biomass and productivity in mixed-species plantations, relatively little is known about the mechanisms underlying belowground interactions. Based on biodiversity data from four mixed Eucalyptus grandis plantations, we determined the optimal ecological facilitative interactions of mixed plantation, i.e., E. grandis and Alnus formosana. We then investigated in situ root exudation of E. grandis using a cuvette-based method and analysed root patterns, defence chemicals, bacterial communities, and biochemical properties of rhizosphere soils in mixed E. grandis with alder. Compared with pure Eucalyptus plantations, the fine root production by E. grandis was higher in subsoil layers (40–80 cm) in mixed plantations with alder. Autotrophic root respiration and associated enzymes were also increased in mixed plantations. Root exudates and defence allelochemicals of E. grandis changed in the presence of alder. Compared with the pure Eucalyptus plantations, E. grandis roots in mixed plantations reduced the release of potential allelochemicals, such as phenolic acids, flavonoids, unsaturated lactone, and glycosides. Methyl jasmonate, a common signal chemical, was significantly decreased in mixed-species plantations. The bacterial community of E. grandis rhizosphere soil was improved in mixed stands and recruited more nitrifying, N-fixing, and cellulose-decomposing bacteria, such as family Nitrosomonadaceae, genera MND1, Marmoricola, and Rikenellaceae RC9 gut groups. Thus, belowground ecological facilitative interactions occurred in mixed plantations with alder, which were due to E. grandis altering its rooting pattern, reducing the levels of released allelochemicals, recruiting more beneficial bacteria, and improving the biochemical properties of rhizosphere soil. This mechanism may be useful in reforestation programs for Eucalyptus monocultures that are suffering from problems associated with low biodiversity and reduced soil fertility.
Article
Full-text available
The ties between a society and its local ecosystem can decouple as societies develop and replace ecosystem services such as food or water regulation via trade and technology. River deltas have developed into important, yet threatened, urban, agricultural and industrial centres. Here, we use global spatial datasets to explore how 49 ecosystem services respond to four human modification indicators, e.g. population density, across 235 large deltas. We formed bundles of statistically correlated ecosystem services and examined if their relationship with modification changed. Decoupling of all robust ecosystem service bundles from at least one modification indicator was indicated in 34% of deltas, while 53% displayed decoupling for at least one bundle. Food-related ecosystem services increased with modification, while the other bundles declined. Our findings suggest two developmental pathways for deltas: as coupled agricultural systems risking irreversible local biodiversity loss; and as decoupled urban centres externalising the impact of their growing demands. The direct relationship between societal development and local ecosystem services breaks down at relatively minor levels of human modification of large river delta landscapes, according to a statistical analysis of 235 deltas.
Article
Full-text available
In sub-Saharan Africa, extreme poverty highlights the tension between development aid and the environment. Foreign aid is considered one of the most important factors affecting forest health in this region. Although many studies have empirically examined the effects of different kinds of foreign aid on forests, few have investigated the potential impact of agricultural aid. This study investigated the causal effects of agricultural aid on forests in Sierra Leone, a country that relies heavily on agricultural products. We constructed a fine-grained (16-day) indicator of forest growth from 2001 to 2015 by combining remotely sensed data of land cover and the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index. The high frequency of forest growth data enables us to trace the dynamic causal process. To reduce the confounding effects of heterogeneity, we applied a difference-in-difference design with data at the sub-national level to estimate the causal effect. This study provides robust empirical evidence that foreign agricultural aid harms forests both in the short term (i.e., 16 days) and long term (i.e., years) in Sierra Leone. Agricultural aid projects with agricultural development as their primary objective or aid projects without specific objectives lead to the highest levels of forest degradation.
Article
Full-text available
International agendas focus on limiting unchecked climate change through extensive mitigation. Worldwide, several reforestation initiatives strive to achieve ambitious goals and promote carbon sequestration on land. The greatest potential for reforestation lies within the tropics, and the Atlantic Forest is among the protagonists. However, little is known about the potential of these reforestations to mitigate climate change. Here, we assessed the carbon sequestration potential of Atlantic Forest reforestations, both in the field and in the available scientific literature. We demonstrate that the Atlantic Forest reforestations provide valuable contributions to climate change mitigation. Even at young age, reforestations have astonishing potential, with much higher carbon sequestration rates than unassisted natural regeneration of later successional stages. Although with lesser potential, unassisted natural regeneration remnants can also be a valuable strategy to aid climate mitigation, especially when close to reforestations or old-growth forests. We found far greater potential of sequestration in all types of forests inside protected areas than unprotected ones, highlighting the noteworthy benefits of conservation that buffers degradation. Climate action is urgent, and the Atlantic Forest certainly is a great contributor to the achievement of such ambitious goals.
Article
Full-text available
Biodiversity indicators used by policy-makers are underdeveloped and underinvested.
Article
Full-text available
The future of mammalian diversity in the tropics depends largely on the conservation value of human-dominated lands. We investigated the distribution of non-flying mammals in five habitats of southern Costa Rica: relatively extensive forest (227 ha), coffee plantation, pasture, coffee with adjacent forest remnant (<35 ha), and pasture with adjacent forest remnant (<35 ha). Of the 26 native species recorded in our study plots, 9 (35%) were restricted to forest habitat, 14 (54%) occurred in both forest and agricultural habitats, and 3 (11%) were found only in agricultural habitats. Species richness and composition varied significantly with habitat type but not with distance from the extensive forest. Interestingly, small forest remnants (<35 ha) contiguous with coffee plantations did not differ from more extensive forest in species richness and were richer than other agricultural habitat types. Small remnants contiguous with pasture were species-poor. When clearing started, the study region likely supported about 60 species. Since then, at least 6 species (10%), one family (4%), and one order (11%) have gone extinct locally. The species that disappeared were the largest in their families and included carnivorous (e.g., jaguar [Panthera onca]), herbivorous (e.g., Baird's tapir, [Tapirus bairdii]), and arboreal (e.g., mantled howler monkey [Alouatta palliata]) species. Although there is no substitute for native forest habitat, the majority of native, nonflying mammal species use countryside habitats. The populations of many persist even >5 km from relatively extensive forest, at least over the 40 years since forest clearance. Moreover, if hunting ceased, we expect that at least one of the locally extinct species could be reestablished in the existing landscape. Thus, there is an important opportunity to maintain and restore the diversity, abundance, and ecosystem roles of mammals in at least some human-dominated regions of the Neotropics.
Article
Full-text available
The United Nations climate negotiations on reducing emissions from deforestation and degradation (REDD) provide a rare opportunity for conservation of tropical forests and biodiversity. Here, we explore the implications of REDD design and implementation options on biodiversity conservation and ways to link REDD with biodiversity conservation. From both a mitigation and biodiversity perspective, the most important immediate steps are to ensure that REDD is included in the new global climate agreement and maximizes the area of tropical forest conserved. It may also be possible to include guidelines or incentives within a REDD framework or in national implementation to channel funding to areas of high biodiversity. However, if the immediate steps above are not taken first, REDD will reach neither its mitigation nor its biodiversity conservation potential.
Article
Full-text available
Quantitative scenarios are coming of age as a tool for evaluating the impact of future socioeconomic development pathways on biodiversity and ecosystem services. We analyze global terrestrial, freshwater, and marine biodiversity scenarios using a range of measures including extinctions, changes in species abundance, habitat loss, and distribution shifts, as well as comparing model projections to observations. Scenarios consistently indicate that biodiversity will continue to decline over the 21st century. However, the range of projected changes is much broader than most studies suggest, partly because there are major opportunities to intervene through better policies, but also because of large uncertainties in projections.
Article
Full-text available
Quantitative scenarios are coming of age as a tool for evaluating the impact of future socioeconomic development pathways on biodiversity and ecosystem services. We analyze global terrestrial, freshwater, and marine biodiversity scenarios using a range of measures including extinctions, changes in species abundance, habitat loss, and distribution shifts, as well as comparing model projections to observations. Scenarios consistently indicate that biodiversity will continue to decline over the 21st century. However, the range of projected changes is much broader than most studies suggest, partly because there are major opportunities to intervene through better policies, but also because of large uncertainties in projections.
Article
Full-text available
Palm oil is the world's most important vegetable oil in terms of production quantity. Indonesia, the world's largest palm-oil producer, plans to double its production by 2020, with unclear implications for the other national priorities of food (rice) production, forest and biodiversity protection, and carbon conservation. We modeled the outcomes of alternative development scenarios and show that every single-priority scenario had substantial tradeoffs associated with other priorities. The exception was a hybrid approach wherein expansion targeted degraded and agricultural lands that are most productive for oil palm, least suitable for food cultivation, and contain the lowest carbon stocks. This approach avoided any loss in forest or biodiversity and substantially ameliorated the impacts of oil-palm expansion on carbon stocks (limiting net loss to 191.6 million tons) and annual food production capacity (loss of 1.9 million tons). Our results suggest that the environmental and land-use tradeoffs associated with oil-palm expansion can be largely avoided through the implementation of a properly planned and spatially explicit development strategy.
Article
Full-text available
We provide a cross-taxon and historical analysis of what makes tropical forest species vulnerable to extinction. Several traits have been important for species survival in the recent and distant geological past, including seed dormancy and vegetative growth in plants, small body size in mammals, and vagility in insects. For major past catastrophes, such as the five mass extinction events, large range size and vagility or dispersal were key to species survival. Traits that make some species more vulnerable to extinction are consistent across time scales. Terrestrial organisms, particularly animals, are more extinction prone than marine organisms. Plants that persist through dramatic changes often reproduce vegetatively and possess mechanisms of die back. Synergistic interactions between current anthropogenic threats, such as logging, fire, hunting, pests and diseases, and climate change are frequent. Rising temperatures threaten all organisms, perhaps particularly tropical organisms adapted to small temperature ranges and isolated by distance from suitable future climates. Mutualist species and trophic specialists may also be more threatened because of such range-shift gaps. Phylogenetically specialized groups may be collectively more prone to extinction than generalists. Characterization of tropical forest species' vulnerability to anthropogenic change is constrained by complex interactions among threats and by both taxonomic and ecological impediments, including gross undersampling of biotas and poor understanding of the spatial patterns of taxa at all scales.
Article
Full-text available
The future of tropical forest biodiversity depends more than ever on the effective management of human-modified landscapes, presenting a daunting challenge to conservation practitioners and land use managers. We provide a critical synthesis of the scientific insights that guide our understanding of patterns and processes underpinning forest biodiversity in the human-modified tropics, and present a conceptual framework that integrates a broad range of social and ecological factors that define and contextualize the possible future of tropical forest species. A growing body of research demonstrates that spatial and temporal patterns of biodiversity are the dynamic product of interacting historical and contemporary human and ecological processes. These processes vary radically in their relative importance within and among regions, and have effects that may take years to become fully manifest. Interpreting biodiversity research findings is frequently made difficult by constrained study designs, low congruence in species responses to disturbance, shifting baselines and an over-dependence on comparative inferences from a small number of well studied localities. Spatial and temporal heterogeneity in the potential prospects for biodiversity conservation can be explained by regional differences in biotic vulnerability and anthropogenic legacies, an ever-tighter coupling of human-ecological systems and the influence of global environmental change. These differences provide both challenges and opportunities for biodiversity conservation. Building upon our synthesis we outline a simple adaptive-landscape planning framework that can help guide a new research agenda to enhance biodiversity conservation prospects in the human-modified tropics.
Article
Full-text available
Habitat destruction has driven many once-contiguous animal populations into remnant patches of varying size and isolation. The underlying framework for the conservation of fragmented populations is founded on the principles of island biogeography, wherein the probability of species occurrence in habitat patches varies as a function of patch size and isolation. Despite decades of research, the general importance of patch area and isolation as predictors of species occupancy in fragmented terrestrial systems remains unknown because of a lack of quantitative synthesis. Here, we compile occupancy data from 1,015 bird, mammal, reptile, amphibian, and invertebrate population networks on 6 continents and show that patch area and isolation are surprisingly poor predictors of occupancy for most species. We examine factors such as improper scaling and biases in species representation as explanations and find that the type of land cover separating patches most strongly affects the sensitivity of species to patch area and isolation. Our results indicate that patch area and isolation are indeed important factors affecting the occupancy of many species, but properties of the intervening matrix should not be ignored. Improving matrix quality may lead to higher conservation returns than manipulating the size and configuration of remnant patches for many of the species that persist in the aftermath of habitat destruction. • incidence function • island biogeography • logistic regression • metaanalysis • occupancy
Article
Full-text available
Scenarios of changes in biodiversity for the year 2100 can now be developed based on scenarios of changes in atmospheric carbon dioxide, climate, vegetation, and land use and the known sensitivity of biodiversity to these changes. This study identified a ranking of the importance of drivers of change, a ranking of the biomes with respect to expected changes, and the major sources of uncertainties. For terrestrial ecosystems, land-use change probably will have the largest effect, followed by climate change, nitrogen deposition, biotic exchange, and elevated carbon dioxide concentration. For freshwater ecosystems, biotic exchange is much more important. Mediterranean climate and grassland ecosystems likely will experience the greatest proportional change in biodiversity because of the substantial influence of all drivers of biodiversity change. Northern temperate ecosystems are estimated to experience the least biodiversity change because major land-use change has already occurred. Plausible changes in biodiversity in other biomes depend on interactions among the causes of biodiversity change. These interactions represent one of the largest uncertainties in projections of future biodiversity change.
Article
Full-text available
The manner in which terrestrial ecosystems are regulated is controversial. The "top-down" school holds that predators limit herbivores and thereby prevent them from overexploiting vegetation. "Bottom-up" proponents stress the role of plant chemical defenses in limiting plant depredation by herbivores. A set of predator-free islands created by a hydroelectric impoundment in Venezuela allows a test of these competing world views. Limited area restricts the fauna of small (0.25 to 0.9 hectare) islands to predators of invertebrates (birds, lizards, anurans, and spiders), seed predators (rodents), and herbivores (howler monkeys, iguanas, and leaf-cutter ants). Predators of vertebrates are absent, and densities of rodents, howler monkeys, iguanas, and leaf-cutter ants are 10 to 100 times greater than on the nearby mainland, suggesting that predators normally limit their populations. The densities of seedlings and saplings of canopy trees are severely reduced on herbivore-affected islands, providing evidence of a trophic cascade unleashed in the absence of top-down regulation.
Article
Full-text available
Land use has generally been considered a local environmental issue, but it is becoming a force of global importance. Worldwide changes to forests, farmlands, waterways, and air are being driven by the need to provide food, fiber, water, and shelter to more than six billion people. Global croplands, pastures, plantations, and urban areas have expanded in recent decades, accompanied by large increases in energy, water, and fertilizer consumption, along with considerable losses of biodiversity. Such changes in land use have enabled humans to appropriate an increasing share of the planet's resources, but they also potentially undermine the capacity of ecosystems to sustain food production, maintain freshwater and forest resources, regulate climate and air quality, and ameliorate infectious diseases. We face the challenge of managing trade-offs between immediate human needs and maintaining the capacity of the biosphere to provide goods and services in the long term.
Article
Full-text available
Tropical forests are beleaguered by an array of threats driven by different scales of anthropogenic perturbations, which vary in the degree to which they can be detected by remote sensing. The extent of different patterns of cryptic disturbance often far exceeds the total area deforested, as shown by two recent studies on selective logging in Amazonia. Here, we discuss different forms of disturbance in Amazonian forests and question how much of the apparently intact forest in this region remains relatively undisturbed.
Article
Full-text available
Biodiversity loss from deforestation may be partly offset by the expansion of secondary forests and plantation forestry in the tropics. However, our current knowledge of the value of these habitats for biodiversity conservation is limited to very few taxa, and many studies are severely confounded by methodological shortcomings. We examined the conservation value of tropical primary, secondary, and plantation forests for 15 taxonomic groups using a robust and replicated sample design that minimized edge effects. Different taxa varied markedly in their response to patterns of land use in terms of species richness and the percentage of species restricted to primary forest (varying from 5% to 57%), yet almost all between-forest comparisons showed marked differences in community structure and composition. Cross-taxon congruence in response patterns was very weak when evaluated using abundance or species richness data, but much stronger when using metrics based upon community similarity. Our results show that, whereas the biodiversity indicator group concept may hold some validity for several taxa that are frequently sampled (such as birds and fruit-feeding butterflies), it fails for those exhibiting highly idiosyncratic responses to tropical land-use change (including highly vagile species groups such as bats and orchid bees), highlighting the problems associated with quantifying the biodiversity value of anthropogenic habitats. Finally, although we show that areas of native regeneration and exotic tree plantations can provide complementary conservation services, we also provide clear empirical evidence demonstrating the irreplaceable value of primary forests. • biodiversity indicators • congruence • conservation • tropical forests • Amazon
Article
Full-text available
Despite continued forest conversion and degradation, forest cover is increasing in countries across the globe. New forests are regenerating on former agricultural land, and forest plantations are being established for commercial and restoration purposes. Plantations and restored forests can improve ecosystem services and enhance biodiversity conservation, but will not match the composition and structure of the original forest cover. Approaches to restoring forest ecosystems depend strongly on levels of forest and soil degradation, residual vegetation, and desired restoration outcomes. Opportunities abound to combine ambitious forest restoration and regeneration goals with sustainable rural livelihoods and community participation. New forests will require adaptive management as dynamic, resilient systems that can withstand stresses of climate change, habitat fragmentation, and other anthropogenic effects.
Article
Abstract? Biodiversity, a central component of Earth's life support systems, is directly relevant to human societies. We examine the dimensions and nature of the Earth's terrestrial biodiversity and review the scientific facts concerning the rate of loss of biodiversity and the drivers of this loss. The estimate for the total number of species of eukaryotic organisms possible lies in the 5?15 million range, with a best guess of ?7 million. Species diversity is unevenly distributed; the highest concentrations are in tropical ecosystems. Endemisms are concentrated in a few hotspots, which are in turn seriously threatened by habitat destruction?the most prominent driver of biodiversity loss. For the past 300 years, recorded extinctions for a few groups of organisms reveal rates of extinction at least several hundred times the rate expected on the basis of the geological record. The loss of biodiversity is the only truly irreversible global environmental change the Earth faces today.
Article
IntroductionIndividual studiesThe summary effectHeterogeneity of effect sizesSummary points
Article
Southeast Asia has the highest relative rate of deforestation of any major tropical region, and could lose three quarters of its original forests by 2100 and up to 42% of its biodiversity. Here, we report on the current state of its biota and highlight the primary drivers of the threat of extinction now faced by much of the unique and rich fauna and flora of the region. Furthermore, the known impacts on the biodiversity of Southeast Asia are likely to be just the tip of the iceberg, owing to the paucity of research data. The looming Southeast Asian biodiversity disaster demands immediate and definitive actions, yet such measures continue to be constrained by socioeconomic factors, including poverty and lack of infrastructure. Any realistic solution will need to involve a multidisciplinary strategy, including political, socioeconomic and scientific input, in which all major stakeholders (government, non-government, national and international organizations) must participate.
Article
We see the necessity of considering a comprehensive set of factors that might influence land use planning in analyses that seek to prescribe specific land use decisions as suggested by Sloan and Stork (1). This was not, however, our objective. Our goal was to present an analytical framework by which Indonesian decision-makers might evaluate the environmental and socioeconomic tradeoffs of pursuing alternative development strategies (2). Thus, our model is a tool that users can adapt to the variables, data, and scales that they consider relevant.
Article
1 School of Environmental Sciences, University of East Anglia, NR4 7TJ, Norwich, United Kingdom
Article
We describe an information-theoretic paradigm for analysis of ecological data, based on Kullback-Lei- bler information, that is an extension of likelihood theory and avoids the pitfalls of null hypothesis testing. Infor- mation-theoretic approaches emphasise a deliberate focus on the a priori science in developing a set of multiple working hypotheses or models. Simple methods then allow these hypotheses (models) to be ranked from best to worst and scaled to reflect a strength of evidence using the likelihood of each model (gi), given the data and the models in the set (i.e. L(gi | data)). In addition, a variance component due to model-selection uncertainty is included in estimates of precision. There are many cases where formal inference can be based on all the models in the a priori set and this multi-model inference represents a powerful, new approach to valid inference. Finally, we strongly rec- ommend inferences based on a priori considerations be carefully separated from those resulting from some form of data dredging. An example is given for questions related to age- and sex-dependent rates of tag loss in elephant seals (Mirounga leonina). K. P. Bur nham, D. R. Anders on Information-theoretic methods K. P. Burnham and D. R. Ander son
Article
Although most conservation efforts focus on preserving biodiversity in relatively pristine ecosystems, we investigated possible conservation opportunities in human-dominated landscapes. We evaluated butterfly diversity in a tropical countryside that was converted about four decades ago from continuous forest to a mosaic of coffee farms, pasture, and forest fragments. We compared the butterfly fauna in coffee plantations with that in a forest remnant, the Las Cruces Reserve (227 ha). We used coffee plantation sites located “near” (<2.5 km) and “far” (>6 km) from the large forest remnant to test the effects of distance from the remnant on butterfly diversity. We also tested the effects of immediately adjacent habitat by selecting coffee plantation sites that were either contiguous with “small” (2.5–9.5 ha) forest fragments (coffee/forest) or lacking adjacent forest (coffee). Both coffee/forest and coffee habitats near the Las Cruces Reserve differed from those far from the reserve in species composition but not in species richness. Overall, coffee/forest habitats had significantly higher mean species richness and higher mean abundance of species than coffee and reserve sites. Further, butterflies with narrow geographic ranges were less likely to be found in coffee plantations than were those with larger geographic ranges. Area of forest cover within a radius of 50 to 100 m of the sampling site was significantly correlated with species richness of frugivorous butterflies during the dry season but was not correlated with richness of frugivorous butterflies in the wet season or of nonfrugivorous butterflies in either season. Nonetheless, species richness of frugivorous and nonfrugivorous butterflies was positively correlated overall; thus, frugivorous butterflies may be good indicators of the status of the entire butterfly community in a region. Our work suggests that small, isolated forest fragments may help retain butterfly diversity in the tropical countryside and increase the conservation value of agricultural landscapes. Relatively large tracts of forest remain important, however, because they maintain rare and endemic species. Resumen: Aunque la mayoría de los esfuerzos de conservación se enfocan en la preservación de la biodiversidad en ecosistemas relativamente prístinos, investigamos las posibles oportunidades de conservación en paisajes dominados por humanos. Evaluamos la diversidad de mariposas en un paisaje tropical convertido, hace aproximadamente cuatro décadas, de bosque continuo a un mosaico de ranchos cafetaleros, pastizales y fragmentos de bosque. Comparamos la fauna de mariposas en plantaciones de café con la de un remanente de bosque, en la Reserva Las Cruces (227 ha). Utilizamos plantaciones de café localizadas “cerca” (<2.5 km) y “lejos” (>6 km) del remanente extenso de bosque para probar los efectos de la distancia del remanente sobre la diversidad de mariposas. También examinamos los efectos del hábitat inmediatamente adyacente seleccionando plantaciones de café contiguos a fragmentos de bosque (café/bosque) “pequeños” (2.5-9.5 ha) o sin bosque adyacente (café). Ambos hábitats café/bosque y café cerca de la Reserva Las Cruces difirieron de aquellos lejos de la reserva en la composición de especies pero no en la riqueza de especies. En general, los hábitats café/bosque tenían una riqueza de especies promedio significativamente mayor y una mayor abundancia promedio de especies que los sitios de café y de reserva. Más aún, en plantaciones de café fue menos probable encontrar mariposas con rangos geográficos angostos que mariposas con rangos geográficos mayores. La superficie de cobertura forestal a un radio de 50 a 100 m del sitio de muestreo se correlacionó significativamente con la riqueza de especies de mariposas frugívoras durante la época de sequía pero no se correlacionó con la riqueza de mariposas frugívoras durante la época de lluvias ni de las mariposas no frugívoras en ninguna época. Sin embargo, en general la riqueza de especies de mariposas frugívoras y no frugívoras se correlacionó positivamente; por tanto las mariposas frugívoras pueden ser buenas indicadoras del estatus de toda la comunidad de mariposas en una región. Nuestro trabajo sugiere que fragmentos pequeños y aislados pueden ayudar a retener la diversidad de mariposas en un paisaje tropical e incrementar el valor de conservación de los paisajes agrícolas. Sin embargo, los fragmentos de bosque relativamente grandes también son importantes porque mantienen especies raras y endémicas.
Article
The impacts of tropical deforestation and forest degradation on SE Asia's biotas have been documented, but a quantitative synthesis is currently lacking. We examined the responses of biodiversity to anthropogenic forest disturbance by comparing key ecological attributes between undisturbed and neighboring disturbed forests. Based on data from four taxonomic groups (vascular plants, invertebrates, birds, and mammals), six broad measures of 'ecological health' (e.g., richness, abundance, and demographics), and a range of different impact types from 120 articles published, we calculated the proportion of pairwise comparisons in which the measure of ecological health was lower in impacted than in pristine sites, as would be expected if forest disturbance was detrimental. The explanatory power of correlates of disturbance sensitivity was assessed using an information-theoretic evaluation of a candidate set of generalized linear models (GLMs). Overall, 73.6 percent (95% CI = 70.8-76.2%) of 1074 pairwise comparisons supported the expectation that forest disturbance was detrimental to ecological health, with mammals being the most sensitive group. The median effect size was for pristine areas to have 22.2 percent higher ecological health than equivalent disturbed areas. The most responsive measure of ecological health was species richness (median = 28.6% higher in pristine), and agricultural areas were the most ecologically degraded (median = 35.6% higher in pristine). However, the GLMs revealed no marked differences overall between taxonomic groups, habitat impact types, or ecological health measures. Our finding implies that the sensitivity of biodiversity to forest disturbance is moderately high, but essentially universal, suggesting urgent forest conservation actions.
Article
Biodiversity, a central component of Earth's life support systems, is directly relevant to human societies. We examine the dimensions and nature of the Earth's terrestrial biodiversity and review the scientific facts concerning the rate of loss of biodiversity and the drivers of this loss. The estimate for the total number of species of eukaryotic organisms possible lies in the 5–15 million range, with a best guess of ∼7 million. Species diversity is unevenly distributed; the highest concentrations are in tropical ecosystems. Endemisms are concentrated in a few hotspots, which are in turn seriously threatened by habitat destruction—the most prominent driver of biodiversity loss. For the past 300 years, recorded extinctions for a few groups of organisms reveal rates of extinction at least several hundred times the rate expected on the basis of the geological record. The loss of biodiversity is the only truly irreversible global environmental change the Earth faces today.
Article
The pressing need to increase agricultural production often seems at odds with conserving biodiversity. We find that if managed properly, the tropical countryside may provide a substantial opportunity for tropical bird conservation. We detected 144 bird species from 29 families in agricultural areas outside of extensive native forest in southern Costa Rica. The majority of the species detected were observed foraging, often kilometres from extensive native forest. We estimate that 46% of those native to this region (excluding nocturnal species and waterfowl) are utilizing the countryside in some manner. Forecasts of biodiversity change under various land-use scenarios indicate that policies that affect habitat composition could greatly impact the persistence of these species in the countryside. In particular, if tall trees and edge habitats were removed from this landscape, we predict that bird richness in the countryside would decline by approximately 40%.
Article
Oil palm is one of the world's most rapidly expanding equatorial crops. The two largest oil palm-producing countries—Indonesia and Malaysia—are located in Southeast Asia, a region with numerous endemic, forest-dwelling species. Oil palm producers have asserted that forests are not being cleared to grow oil palm. Our analysis of land-cover data compiled by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization suggests that during the period 1990–2005, 55%–59% of oil palm expansion in Malaysia, and at least 56% of that in Indonesia occurred at the expense of forests. Using data on bird and butterfly diversity in Malaysia's forests and croplands, we argue that conversion of either primary or secondary (logged) forests to oil palm may result in significant biodiversity losses, whereas conversion of pre-existing cropland (rubber) to oil palm results in fewer losses. To safeguard the biodiversity in oil palm-producing countries, more fine-scale and spatially explicit data on land-use change need to be collected and analyzed to determine the extent and nature of any further conversion of forests to oil palm; secondary forests should be protected against conversion to oil palm; and any future expansion of oil palm agriculture should be restricted to pre-existing cropland or degraded habitats.
Article
Deforestation is a main driver of climate change and biodiversity loss. An incentive mechanism to reduce emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD) is being negotiated under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. Here we use the best available global data sets on terrestrial biodiversity and carbon storage to map and investigate potential synergies between carbon and biodiversity-oriented conservation. A strong association (rS= 0.82) between carbon stocks and species richness suggests that such synergies would be high, but unevenly distributed. Many areas of high value for biodiversity could be protected by carbon-based conservation, while others could benefit from complementary funding arising from their carbon content. Some high-biodiversity regions, however, would not benefit from carbon-focused conservation, and could become under increased pressure if REDD is implemented. Our results suggest that additional gains for biodiversity conservation are possible, without compromising the effectiveness for climate change mitigation, if REDD takes biodiversity distribution into account.
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 corresponding OG, and compare the similarity of species composition both within and between these two forest types using the Sorensen, Morisita–Horn and Sorensen–Chao indices. Comparisons between traditional similarity indices and Sorensen–Chao, which minimizes sampling biases, indicated that limited sampling effort consistently reduced apparent similarity between SF and OG and that similarity between SF and OG is actually higher than previously appreciated. Similarity, which ranges from 0 to 1, varied from 0.49 to 0.92 between replicate OG sites and was correlated with similarity between SF and OG. This correlation might be an artefact of variation among studies in sampling effort, especially for vertebrates where small samples reduce apparent similarity across all comparisons, as well as a real effect of variation among studies in landscape heterogeneity and the presence of species with patchy distributions. Therefore, similarity between SF and OG cannot be interpreted without an understanding of background variation in OG. Similarity between different SF sites provided no evidence that disturbance specialists dominate SF. Similarity to OG increased rapidly with SF age; when SF was contiguous with OG; when SF was growing in small clearings; and after low intensity land uses including clearing only, shifting agriculture and tree plantations. This describes the most frequently observed tropical SF; isolated from roads and on hilly terrain unsuitable for mechanized agriculture. Thus, our analyses indicate that tropical SF can play an important role in biodiversity conservation particularly when OG forests are nearby. An important caveat remains, however. Abundance, geographic range and levels of habitat specialization are often related. Widespread, abundant, habitat generalists might dominate similarity analyses even when relatively rare OG specialists are present. Additional species-level analyses of habitat specialization will be needed before the conservation value of tropical SF is fully understood.
Article
The fate of much of the world’s terrestrial biodiversity is linked to the management of human-modified forest landscapes in the humid tropics. This Special Issue presents the first pan-tropical synthesis of research on the prospects for biodiversity in such systems, with eight individual regional summaries covering Mesoamerica, Amazonia, Atlantic forest of South America, West Africa, Madagascar, Western Ghats, Southeast Asia and Oceania. Two additional papers compare the state of conservation science in tropical forests with both temperate forests and savannah systems. This overview paper provides a comparative analysis of the threats and opportunities facing tropical forest biodiversity, thereby helping to identify the most pressing areas of future research and region-specific factors that contribute towards the effectiveness of individual conservation initiatives. While many of the threats facing tropical forest biodiversity are commonplace they vary markedly in their relative importance across different regions. There is a critical lack of comparable data to understand scale dependent processes, or the relative importance of varying geographic and historical contexts in determining present-day patterns. Conservation science has a key role to play in safeguarding the future of tropical forest biodiversity, but needs to become more effectively embedded in the context of real-world conservation challenges and opportunities. Significant progress can be achieved by improving the cost-effectiveness of research as well as the exchange of ideas and data amongst scientists working in different, often isolated parts of the world. We hope this special issue goes some way top achieving this exchange of knowledge.
Article
Southeast Asia is a hotspot of imperiled biodiversity, owing to extensive logging and forest conversion to oil palm agriculture. The degraded forests that remain after multiple rounds of intensive logging are often assumed to be of little conservation value; consequently, there has been no concerted effort to prevent them from being converted to oil palm. However, no study has quantified the biodiversity of repeatedly logged forests. We compare the species richness and composition of birds and dung beetles within unlogged (primary), once-logged and twice-logged forests in Sabah, Borneo. Logging had little effect on the overall richness of birds. Dung beetle richness declined following once-logging but did not decline further after twice-logging. The species composition of bird and dung beetle communities was altered, particularly after the second logging rotation, but globally imperiled bird species (IUCN Red List) did not decline further after twice-logging. Remarkably, over 75 per cent of bird and dung beetle species found in unlogged forest persisted within twice-logged forest. Although twice-logged forests have less biological value than primary and once-logged forests, they clearly provide important habitat for numerous bird and dung beetle species. Preventing these degraded forests from being converted to oil palm should be a priority of policy-makers and conservationists.