Jos Barlow's research while affiliated with Lancaster University and other places

Publications (343)

Article
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Human activities pose a major threat to tropical forest biodiversity and ecosystem services. Although the impacts of deforestation are well studied, multiple land-use and land-cover transitions (LULCTs) occur in tropical landscapes, and we do not know how LULCTs differ in their rates or impacts on key ecosystem components. Here, we quantified the i...
Article
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Tropical forests are some of the most biodiverse ecosystems in the world, yet their functioning is threatened by anthropogenic disturbances and climate change. Global actions to conserve tropical forests could be enhanced by having local knowledge on the forestsʼ functional diversity and functional redundancy as proxies for their capacity to respon...
Article
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Forests that regrow naturally on abandoned fields are important for restoring biodiversity and ecosystem services, but can they also preserve the distinct regional tree floras? Using the floristic composition of 1215 early successional forests (≤20 years) in 75 human-modified landscapes across the Neotropic realm, we identified 14 distinct floristi...
Article
Water availability is the major driver of tropical forest structure and dynamics. Most research has focused on the impacts of climatic water availability, whereas remarkably little is known about the influence of water table depth and excess soil water on forest processes. Nevertheless, given that plants take up water from the soil, the impacts of...
Article
Tropical forests are facing several impacts from anthropogenic disturbances, climate change, and extreme climate events, with potentially severe consequences for ecological functions, such as predation on folivorous invertebrates. Folivory has a major influence on tropical forests by affecting plant fitness and overall seedling performance. However...
Article
Brazil’s caves, home to diverse species and minerals, were stripped of protections by a recent presidential decree.
Article
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Secondary forests (SFs) growing on previously cleared land could be a low-cost climate change mitigation strategy due to their potential to sequester CO2. However, given widespread changes in climate and land-use in the Amazon in the past 20 years, it is not clear whether current rates of carbon uptake by SFs reflect estimates based on dividing the...
Article
Climatic changes are altering precipitation patterns in the Amazon and may influence soil methane (CH4) fluxes due to the differential responses of methanogenic and methanotrophic microorganisms. However, it remains unclear if these climate feedbacks can amplify land-use-related impacts on the CH4 cycle. To better predict the responses of soil CH4-...
Book
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The Science Panel for the Amazon (SPA) is an unprecedented initiative convened under the auspices of the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN). The SPA is composed of over 200 preeminent scientists and researchers from the eight Amazonian countries, French Guiana, and global partners. These experts came together to debate,...
Article
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Fire is one of the main anthropogenic drivers that threatens the Amazon. Despite the clear link between rainfall and fire, the spatial and temporal relationship between these variables is still poorly understood in the Amazon. Here, we stratified the Amazon basin according to the dry season onset/end and investigated its relationship with the spati...
Technical Report
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This chapter examines site-specific opportunities and approaches for restoring terrestrial and aquatic systems, focusing on local actions and their immediate benefits. Landscape, catchment, and biome-wide considerations are addressed in Chapter 29. Conservation approaches are addressed in Chapter 27.
Chapter
This Report provides a comprehensive, objective, open, transparent, systematic, and rigorous scientific assessment of the state of the Amazon’s ecosystems, current trends, and their implications for the long-term well-being of the region, as well as opportunities and policy relevant options for conservation and sustainable development.
Chapter
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This chapter discusses the main drivers of deforestation and forest degradation in the Amazon, particularly agricultural expansion, road construction, mining, oil and gas development, forest fires, edge effects, logging, and hunting. It also examines these activities’ impacts and synergies between them.
Technical Report
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Deforestation, the complete removal of an area’s forest cover; and forest degradation, the significant loss of forest structure, functions, and processes; are the result of the interaction between various direct drivers, often operating in tandem. By 2018, the Amazon biome had lost approximately 870,000 km2 of its original forest cover, mainly due...
Article
There is an increasing recognition that, although the climate change and biodiversity crises are fundamentally connected, they have been primarily addressed independently and a more integrated global approach is essential to tackle these two global challenges. Nature‐based Solutions (NbS) are hailed as a pathway for promoting synergies between the...
Article
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The amount of carbon stored in deadwood is equivalent to about 8 per cent of the global forest carbon stocks1. The decomposition of deadwood is largely governed by climate2–5 with decomposer groups—such as microorganisms and insects—contributing to variations in the decomposition rates2,6,7. At the global scale, the contribution of insects to the d...
Article
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Free-to-read at: https://rdcu.be/cw7ua; Portuguese and Spanish versions of this paper are provided at: https://github.com/celsohlsj/ngeo_correspondence
Article
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Leaf-litter production is an essential part of the carbon cycle of tropical forests. In the Amazon, it is influenced by climate, presenting high levels during the driest months of the year. However, it is less established how extreme climatic events may impact leaf-litter production in the long term. Even more unclear is how litter production is af...
Article
Silva et al. (Land Use Policy, 21 July 2020) offer an assessment of the links between deforestation, livestock production and exports in Brazil. Their analysis, based on relative changes in beef production and pasture area across the whole of Brazil, showed an “apparent decoupling of the link between beef production and deforestation in Brazil”. In...
Article
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There is growing recognition of the potential of large-scale forest restoration in the Amazon as a 'nature-based solution' to climate change. However, our knowledge of forest loss and recovery beyond Brazil is limited, and carbon emissions and accumulation have not been estimated for the whole biome. Combining a 33 year land cover dataset with esti...
Article
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Context Integrated landscape approaches (ILAs) that aim to balance conservation and development targets are increasingly promoted through science, policy, and the donor community. Advocates suggest that ILAs are viable implementing pathways for addressing global challenges such as biodiversity loss, poverty alleviation, and climate change mitigatio...
Article
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With humanity facing an unprecedented climate crisis, the conservation of tropical forests has never been so important – their vast terrestrial carbon stocks can be turned into emissions by climatic and human disturbances. However, the duration of these effects is poorly understood, and it is unclear whether impacts are amplified in forests with a...
Chapter
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Human activities destroy biodiversity and disrupt the functioning of aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems at different levels. This chapter provides sustainable approaches to address some of the biggest threats to the Amazon’s biodiversity and ecosystems, i.e., deforestation, damming of rivers, mining, hunting, illegal trade, drug production and traf...
Chapter
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Restoration can be applied in many different Amazonian contexts, but will be most effective at leveraging environmental and social benefits when it is prioritized across the Amazon basin or within landscapes and catchments. Here we outline the considerations that are most relevant for planning and scaling restoration across the Amazon.
Technical Report
Full-text available
Restoration can be applied in many different Amazonian contexts, but will be most effective at leveraging environmental and social benefits when it is prioritized across the Amazon basin or within landscapes and catchments. Here we outline the considerations that are most relevant for planning and scaling restoration across the Amazon.
Technical Report
Full-text available
Key Messages & Recommendations 1) Restoration encompasses a broad suite of objectives related to the practice of recovering biodiversity and ecosystem functions and services, such as water quality, carbon sequestration, and peoples' livelihoods. It spans aquatic and terrestrial realms, and goes beyond natural ecosystems to include the recovery of s...
Technical Report
Full-text available
Human activities destroy biodiversity and disrupt the functioning of aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems at different levels. This chapter provides sustainable approaches to address some of the biggest threats to the Amazon’s biodiversity and ecosystems, i.e., deforestation, damming of rivers, mining, hunting, illegal trade, drug production and traf...
Chapter
Full-text available
Key Messages & Recommendations 1) Restoration encompasses a broad suite of objectives related to the practice of recovering biodiversity and ecosystem functions and services, such as water quality, carbon sequestration, and peoples' livelihoods. It spans aquatic and terrestrial realms, and goes beyond natural ecosystems to include the recovery of s...
Article
Full-text available
en Tropical forest biodiversity is being threatened by human activities, and species losses during forest disturbance can compromise important ecosystem functions and services. We assessed how species losses due to tropical forest disturbance affect community functional structure, using Amazonian dung beetles as a model group. We collected empirica...
Article
Full-text available
Estimation of avian biodiversity is a cornerstone measure of ecosystem condition. Surveys conducted using autonomous recorders are often more efficient at estimating diversity than traditional point‐count surveys. However, there is limited research into the optimal temporal resolution for sampling—the trade‐off between the number of samples and sam...
Preprint
There is growing recognition of the potential of large-scale restoration in the Amazon as a “nature-based solution” to climate change. However, our knowledge of forest loss and recovery beyond Brazil is limited, and carbon emissions and accumulation have not been estimated for the whole biome. Combining a 33-year land cover dataset with estimates o...
Article
Full-text available
While the climate and human-induced forest degradation is increasing in the Amazon, fire impacts on forest dynamics remain understudied in the wetter regions of the basin, which are susceptible to large wildfires only during extreme droughts. To address this gap, we installed burned and unburned plots immediately after a wildfire in the northern Pu...
Article
Aim Here we examine the functional profile of regional tree species pools across the latitudinal distribution of Neotropical moist forests, and test trait–climate relationships among local communities. We expected opportunistic strategies (acquisitive traits, small seeds) to be overrepresented in species pools further from the equator, but also in...
Article
Tropical forests are the most diverse and productive ecosystems on Earth. While better understanding of these forests is critical for our collective future, until quite recently efforts to measure and monitor them have been largely disconnected. Networking is essential to discover the answers to questions that transcend borders and the horizons of...
Preprint
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In a time of rapid global change, the question of what determines patterns in species abundance distribution remains a priority for understanding the complex dynamics of ecosystems. The constrained maximization of information entropy provides a framework for the understanding of such complex systems dynamics by a quantitative analysis of important...
Article
1. Extensive and dense macroalgal fields can compromise the ecosystem function of habitat mosaics on reefs owing to their limiting effect on patch connectivity. Macroalgae can maintain and increase their dominance with effective self-reinforcing feedback mechanisms. For example, macroalgae can form dense beds, supressing coral settlement and grazin...
Article
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Conservationists often assume that connection with and caring about nature's well‐being is strongly linked to ecological knowledge. Existing evidence on the link between ecological knowledge and psychological nature connection is mixed, geographically limited to countries in the Global North, and does not scrutinise potential differences in determi...
Article
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A range of factors may determine the structure of ecological communities in time and space, in particular niches, dispersal limits, and the evolutionary history of the species. In the last decades, the traditional focus of community ecology on species diversity and composition have been supplemented by approaches incorporating functional traits and...
Article
Natural regeneration of forests has significantly led to increased native forest cover in some regions. Several studies have explored the spatial drivers of forest cover increase, yet little is known about their effects on forest structure and species richness and diversity. We quantified the effects of local (forest age, remnant Eucalyptus basal a...
Article
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Tropical forest ecosystems are undergoing rapid transformation as a result of changing environmental conditions and direct human impacts. However, we cannot adequately understand, monitor or simulate tropical ecosystem responses to environmental changes without capturing the high diversity of plant functional characteristics in the species-rich tro...
Article
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Despite Amazonia possessing the highest freshwater biodiversity on Earth, urban landing data show how huge fishing pressure is placed on only a dozen species. However, truly characterising the fishery and understanding the drivers of species selectivity is challenging, given the neglect of artisanal fishing activity, who may catch most of the Amazo...
Article
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Despite ongoing debates about the viability of sustaining economic growth while maintaining environmental integrity, international sustainability agendas increasingly propose reconciling socio-economic development and global environmental goals. Achieving these goals is impeded by limited funding and a lack of information on where financial flows t...
Article
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Amazonian rainforest is undergoing increasing rates of deforestation, driven primarily by cattle pasture expansion. Forest-to-pasture conversion has been associated with increases in soil methane (CH4) emission. To better understand the drivers of this change, we measured soil CH4 flux, environmental conditions, and belowground microbial community...
Article
There is a growing interest in Amazonian fires, accompanied by a substantial increase in research in the subject. Here, we list five common misunderstandings about Amazonian climate, vegetation, fires and the deforestation process to help to support future research.
Article
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Wildfires in humid tropical forests have become more common in recent years, increasing the rates of tree mortality in forests that have not co-evolved with fire. Estimating carbon emissions from these wildfires is complex. Current approaches rely on estimates of committed emissions based on static emission factors through time and space, yet these...
Article
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Acoustic indices are increasingly employed in the analysis of soundscapes to ascertain biodiversity value. However, conflicting results and lack of consensus on best practices for their usage has hindered their application in conservation and land‐use management contexts. Here we propose that the sensitivity of acoustic indices to ecological change...
Article
Full-text available
Tropical forest ecosystems are undergoing rapid transformation as a result of changing environmental conditions and direct human impacts. However, we cannot adequately understand, monitor or simulate tropical ecosystem responses to environ ⁎ mental changes without capturing the high diversity of plant functional characteristics in the species-rich...
Article
Full-text available
The Amazon rainforest is a biodiversity hotspot and large terrestrial carbon sink threatened by agricultural conversion. Rainforest-to-pasture conversion stimulates the release of methane, a potent greenhouse gas. The biotic methane cycle is driven by microorganisms; therefore, this study focused on active methane-cycling microorganisms and their f...
Article
Land-use change is considered the greatest threat to biodiversity worldwide. As such, identifying the drivers that shape biological communities is crucial for enhancing conservation strategies in human-modified tropical landscapes. We used a hybrid patch-landscape design and a multi model inference approach to assess the relative impacts of forest...
Article
Conservation initiatives overwhelmingly focus on terrestrial biodiversity, and little is known about the freshwater cobenefits of terrestrial conservation actions. We sampled more than 1500 terrestrial and freshwater species in the Amazon and simulated conservation for species from both realms. Prioritizations based on terrestrial species yielded o...
Article
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Secondary forests are increasing in the Brazilian Amazon and have been cited as an important mechanism for reducing net carbon emissions. However, our understanding of the contribution of secondary forests to the Amazonian carbon balance is incomplete, and it is unclear to what extent emissions from old-growth deforestation have been offset by seco...
Article
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Aim Palms are an iconic, diverse and often abundant component of tropical ecosystems that provide many ecosystem services. Being monocots, tree palms are evolutionarily, morphologically and physiologically distinct from other trees, and these differences have important consequences for ecosystem services (e.g., carbon sequestration and storage) and...
Preprint
Full-text available
Estimation of avian biodiversity is a cornerstone measure of ecosystem condition, with turnover in avian community composition underpinning many studies of land-use change in tropical forests. Surveys conducted using autonomous recorders have been frequently found to be more efficient than traditional point-count surveys. However, there has been li...
Article
Efforts by conservation scientists to draw public attention to the biodiversity crisis are increasingly met with denialist rhetoric. We summarize some of the methods used by denialists to undermine scientific evidence on biodiversity loss, and outline pathways forward for the scientific community to counter misinformation.
Article
Full-text available
Aim: Palms are an iconic, diverse and often abundant component of tropical ecosystems that provide many ecosystem services. Being monocots, tree palms are evolutionarily, morphologically and physiologically distinct from other trees, and these differences have important consequences for ecosystem services (e.g., carbon sequestration and storage) an...
Article
Full-text available
Forest fires exacerbate carbon emissions, threaten biodiversity and cause welfare losses to local populations. Most fires accidentally ignite from mismanaged swidden and pasture fires. We provide evidence that fire risk in the Brazilian Amazon, the world's largest remaining tropical forest, perpetuates low yield and environmentally degrading agricu...