+ Site Statistics
+ Search Articles
+ Subscribe to Site Feeds
EurekaMag Most Shared ContentMost Shared
EurekaMag PDF Full Text ContentPDF Full Text
+ PDF Full Text
Request PDF Full TextRequest PDF Full Text
+ Follow Us
Follow on FacebookFollow on Facebook
Follow on TwitterFollow on Twitter
Follow on Google+Follow on Google+
Follow on LinkedInFollow on LinkedIn

+ Translate

The changing ecology of tropical forests

Biodiversity & Conservation 6(2): 291-311
The changing ecology of tropical forests
The threat to tropical forests is often gauged in terms of deforestation rates and the total area remaining. Recently, however, there has been a growing realization that forest can appear intact on a satellite image yet be biologically degraded or vulnerable to degradation. The array of direct threats to humid tropical forest biodiversity, in addition to deforestation, includes: selective extraction of plants; selective extraction of animals; biological invasion; fragmentation; climate change; changing atmospheric composition; and increasing tree turnover rates. The threats are linked to one another by a poorly understood network of causality and feedback effects. Moreover, their potential impacts on forest biodiversity are hard to assess because each threat is as likely to precipitate indirect effects as direct effects, and because several threats are likely to interact synergistically with one another. In spite of the uncertainties, it is clear that the biological health of tropical forests can become seriously degraded as a result of these threats, and it is unlikely that any tropical forest will escape significant ecological changes. Some groups of plants and animals are likely to benefit at the expense of others. Species diversity is expected to decline as a consequence of the changes in forest ecology. In the 21st century scientists and conservationists will be increasingly challenged to monitor, understand, prevent and head off these threats.

Accession: 002980129

DOI: 10.1023/a:1018352405482

Download PDF Full Text: The changing ecology of tropical forests

Related references

Changing perspectives on the role of the soil seed bank in northern temperate deciduous forests and in tropical lowland rain forests: parallels and contrasts. Perspectives in Plant Ecology, Evolution and Systematics 8(1): 3-21, 2006

The Tropical Ecology, Assessment and Monitoring (TEAM) Network: An early warning system for tropical rain forests. Science of the Total Environment 574(): 914-923, 2016

Conservation of tropical forests & biodiversity: the role of the United Kingdom. Recommendations for improvements in the British base in tropical taxonomy, ecology and ethnobiology. Conservation of tropical forests and biodiversity: the role of the United Kingdom Recommendations for improvements in the British base in tropical taxonomy, ecology and ethnobiology: 13 pp., 1991

Ecological Studies Analysis and Synthesis, Vol 112 Tropical forests Management and ecology; Symposium of the Institute of Tropical Forestry, Rio Piedras, Puerto Rico, May 1989. Lugo, A E , Lowe, C Ecological Studies; Tropical forests: Management and ecology xiv+461p, 1995

Changing tropical forests. 1992

Climate changing for tropical forests. Itto Tropical Forest Update: 3, 18, 2008

Tropical forests in a changing environment. Trends in Ecology & Evolution 20(10): 553-560, 2006

Changing perspectives of the demands on tropical forests. Forestry chronicle 68(4): 476-480, 1992

Changing tropical forests (book review). Biological Conservation 67(2 ): 5, 1994

Tropical forests and the changing earth system. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological Sciences 361(1465): 195-210, 2006