Rain forests represent the world's richest repository of terrestrial biodiversity, and play a major role in regulating the global climate. They support the livelihoods of a substantial proportion of the world's population and are the source of many internationally traded commodities. They remain (despite decades of conservation attention) increasingly vulnerable to degradation and clearance, with profound though often uncertain future costs to global society. Understanding the ecology of these diverse biomes, and peoples' dependencies on them, is fundamental to their future management and conservation. Tropical Rain Forest Ecology, Diversity, and Conservation introduces and explores what rain forests are, how they arose, what they contain, how they function, and how humans use and impact them. The book starts by introducing the variety of rain forest plants, fungi, microorganisms, and animals, emphasising the spectacular diversity that is the motivation for their conservation. The central chapters describe the origins of rain forest communities, the variety of rain forest formations, and their ecology and dynamics. The challenge of explaining the species richness of rain forest communities lies at the heart of ecological theory, and forms a common theme throughout. The book's final section considers historical and current interactions of humans and rain forests. It explores biodiversity conservation as well as livelihood security for the many communities that are dependent on rain forests - inextricable issues that represent urgent priorities for scientists, conservationists, and policy makers.
This is a comprehensive, attractive, and readable introduction to tropical rain forest ecology, biogeography, and management. It tackles the subject at local, regional, and global scales, and is both up-to-date and fully integrated across disciplines.
Timber production is often the most economic form of land use in areas of tropical forest; forest preservation is rarely so. This book attempts to bridge the current gap between conservation requirements and commercial interests, indicating the possibilities for integrated management of tropical forests. The aim is to create a practical approach for the management of production forest as a supplement to totally-protected forest in the conservation of tropical biodiversity.
This full-color illustrated textbook offers the first comprehensive introduction to all major aspects of tropical ecology. It explains why the world's tropical rain forests are so universally rich in species, what factors may contribute to high species richness, how nutrient cycles affect rain forest ecology, and how ecologists investigate the complex interrelationships among flora and fauna. It covers tropical montane ecology, riverine ecosystems, savanna, dry forest--and more. Tropical Ecology begins with a historical overview followed by a sweeping discussion of biogeography and evolution, and then introduces students to the unique and complex structure of tropical rain forests. Other topics include the processes that influence everything from species richness to rates of photosynthesis: how global climate change may affect rain forest characteristics and function; how fragmentation of ecosystems affects species richness and ecological processes; human ecology in the tropics; biodiversity; and conservation of tropical ecosystems and species. Drawing on real-world examples taken from actual research, Tropical Ecology is the best textbook on the subject for advanced undergraduates and graduate students. Offers the first comprehensive introduction to tropical ecology Describes all the major kinds of tropical terrestrial ecosystems Explains species diversity, evolutionary processes, and coevolutionary interactions Features numerous color illustrations and examples from actual research Covers global warming, deforestation, reforestation, fragmentation, and conservation The essential textbook for advanced undergraduates and graduate students Suitable for courses with a field component Leading universities that have adopted this book include: Biola University Bucknell University California State University, Fullerton Colorado State University - Fort Collins Francis Marion University Michigan State University Middlebury College Northern Kentucky University Ohio Wesleyan University St. Mary's College of Maryland Syracuse University Tulane University University of California, Santa Cruz University of Central Florida University of Cincinnati University of Florida University of Missouri University of New Mexico University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill University of the West Indies Some images inside the book are unavailable due to digital copyright restrictions.
"A unique book that is likely to become a benchmark for those who wish to save the rain forests through sustainable logging practices. Its uniqueness lies in the author's collection of long-term data (up to 25 years) on both plants and animals in the same site, the Kibale forest in Uganda. . . . Very highly recommended for libraries specializing in ecology, environmental science, forestry, and rain forests."--Choice "A much-needed volume that will be of interest to a wide audience, written by a leader in the field, and one with an international reputation. The current rosy advocacy for 'sustainable development' needs a wake-up call, and this is it. This volume combines some of the hottest topics in conservation science today into a cohesive whole that looks clear-eyed into the face of modern conservation in the tropics and finds it frighteningly lacking in scientific underpinning, rational consideration, and effective implementation."--Truman Young, University of California at Davis Thomas Struhsaker summarizes 20 years of research in the Kibale forest in Uganda, one of the most important centers for the study of tropical rain forests in Africa. Among the longest ongoing projects in rain forest ecology anywhere, Struhsaker's differs from the great majority of logging studies by emphasizing the fauna rather than looking only at the commercially valuable timber species. By providing long-term data on a variety of plants and animals, it offers the first truly in-depth synthesis of the consequences of selective logging in the tropics. The main body of the book demonstrates the adverse effects of logging--as many as 25 years after the event--on community structure and numerous other aspects of forest ecology. Although much has been claimed for the possibilities of sustainable logging in tropical rain forests, few data support these claims. Struhsaker demonstrates that future logging must be done at far lower intensities than is currently practiced if intact ecosystems are to be maintained. He also offers detailed recommendations for harvest plans compatible with the conservation of biodiversity and ecological integrity. The long-term data summarized here on the population dynamics of rain forest trees, primates, rodents, duikers, and elephants are unrivaled and will be widely cited, as will the data on seasonality, tree phrenology, gap dynamics, rainfall, and temperature. Struhsaker addresses the underlying causes of tropical deforestation and concludes that although there are numerous proximate factors, the ultimate causes are rapidly increasing human populations and rates of consumption per capita. He draws comparisons with relevant studies elsewhere in the tropics and offers specific recommendations to address the problems. Thomas T. Struhsaker has conducted field research in Africa over a period of 34 years. From 1970 through 1987 he established, developed, and directed the field research station in Kibale, Uganda. He maintains an active role in Kibale today and is a research scientist in the Department of Biological Anthropology and Anatomy at Duke University. His publications include The Red Colobus Monkey (1975) and more than 80 scientific and popular articles and technical reports on ecology, conservation, and animal behavior.
Explains the importance of biodiversity and looks at what is being done to save the rain forests
This new edition of Conservation and Management of Tropical Rainforests applies the large body of knowledge, experience and tradition available to those who study tropical rainforests. Revised and updated in light of developments in science, technology, economics, politics, etc. and their effects on tropical forests, it describes the principles of integrated conservation and management that lead to sustainability, identifying the unifying phenomena that regulate the processes within the rainforest and that are fundamental to the ecosystem viability. Features of the natural forest and the socio-cultural ecosystems which can be mimicked in the design of self-sustaining forests are also discussed. A holistic approach to the management and conservation of rainforests is developed throughout the book. The focus on South-East Asian forestry will be widened to include Africa and Latin America. Recent controversial issues such as biofuels and carbon credits with respect to tropical forests and their inhabitants will be discussed. This book is a substantial contribution to the literature, it is a valuable resource for all those concerned with rainforests.
In Breakfast of Biodiversity, John Vandermeer and Ivette Perfecto insightfully describe the ways in which such disparate factors as the international banking system, modern agricultural techniques, rain forest ecology, and the struggles of the poor interact to bring down the forest. They weave an alternative vision in which democracy, sustainable agriculture, and land security for the poor are at the center of the movement to save the tropical environment. This new, fully updated edition of Breakfast of Biodiversity discusses important new developments in our understanding of rain forest biology and assesses the impacts of a decade of “free” trade on the rain forest and on those who live in and around it.
Tropical rainforests are disappearing at an alarming rate, causing unprecedented losses in biodiversity and ecosystem services. This book contributes to an improved understanding of the processes that have destabilizing effects on ecological and socio-economic systems of tropical rain forest margins, as well as striving to integrate environmental, technological and socio-economic issues in their solution.
The first edition of Tropical Rain Forests: an Ecological and Biogeographical Comparison exploded the myth of ‘the rain forest’ as a single, uniform entity. In reality, the major tropical rain forest regions, in tropical America, Africa, Southeast Asia, Madagascar, and New Guinea, have as many differences as similarities, as a result of their isolation from each other during the evolution of their floras and faunas. This new edition reinforces this message with new examples from recent and on-going research. After an introduction to the environments and geological histories of the major rain forest regions, subsequent chapters focus on plants, primates, carnivores and plant-eaters, birds, fruit bats and gliding animals, and insects, with an emphasis on the ecological and biogeographical differences between regions. This is followed by a new chapter on the unique tropical rain forests of oceanic islands. The final chapter, which has been completely rewritten, deals with the impacts of people on tropical rain forests and discusses possible conservation strategies that take into account the differences highlighted in the previous chapters. This exciting and very readable book, illustrated throughout with color photographs, will be invaluable reading for undergraduate students in a wide range of courses as well as an authoritative reference for graduate and professional ecologists, conservationists, and interested amateurs.
Our knowledge of the ecology of tropical rain-forest trees is limited, with detailed information available for perhaps only a few hundred of the many thousand of species that occur. Yet a good understanding of the trees is essential to unravelling the workings of the forest itself. This book aims to summarise contemporary understanding of the ecology of tropical rain-forest trees. The emphasis is on comparative ecology, an approach that can help to identify possible adaptive trends and evolutionary constraints and which may also lead to a workable ecological classification for tree species, conceptually simplifying the rain-forest community and making it more amenable to analysis.
Since the dawn of human civilization, forests have provided us with food, resources, and energy. The history of human development is also one of forest loss and transformation, and yet even in our increasingly urbanized societies we remain surprisingly dependent on forests for a wide range of goods and services. Moreover, forests still retain a remarkable hold on our environmental values. In an era of continuing tropical deforestation and temperate forest resurgence, and in the midst of uncertainties of climate and land use changes, it is more important than ever to understand what forests are, how they contribute to our livelihoods, and how they underpin our cultural histories and futures. In this Very Short Introduction Jaboury Ghazoul explores our contrasting interactions with forests, as well as their origins, dynamics, and the range of goods and services they provide to human society. Ghazoul concludes with an examination of the recent history of deforestation, transitions to reforestation, and the future outlook for forests particularly in the context of expected climate change. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
Economic valuation of biodiversity and ecosystem services is possibly the most powerful tool for halting the loss of biodiversity while maintaining incomes and livelihoods. Yet rarely have such approaches been applied to tropical forest ?hotspots?, which house the vast majority of the planets plant and animal species. This ground-breaking work is the most comprehensive and detailed examination of the economics of environmental valuation and biodiversity conservation to date. Focusing on the Western Ghats of India, one of the top biodiversity hotspots in the world, this volume looks at a cross-section of local communities living within or near sanctuaries and reserve forests such as coffee growers, indigenous people and farmers-cum-pastoralists to assess the use and non-use values that people derive from tropical forests. It also looks at the extent of their dependence on forests for various goods and services, and examines their perceptions and attitudes towards biodiversity conservation and wildlife protection. The book concludes with an assessment of the institutional alternatives and policies for promoting biodiversity conservation through economic valuation methods.Related titlesEconomics for Collaborative Environmental Management (2005) 1-84407-095-6
Historically, tropical ecology has been a science often content with descriptive and demographic approaches, which is understandable given the difficulty of studying these ecosystems and the need for basic demographic information. Nonetheless, over the last several years, tropical ecologists have begun to test more sophisticated ecological theory and are now beginning to address a broad array of questions that are of particular importance to tropical systems, and ecology in general. Why are there are so many species in tropical forests and what mechanisms are responsible for the maintenance of that vast species diversity? What factors control species coexistence? Are there common patterns of species abundance and distribution across broad geographic scales? What is the role of trophic interactions in these complex ecosystems? How can these fragile ecosystems be conserved? Containing contributions from some of the world’s leading tropical ecologists, Tropical Forest Community Ecology provides a summary of the key issues in the discipline of tropical ecology: Includes contributions from some of the world’s leading tropical ecologists Covers patterns of species distribution, the maintenance of species diversity, the community ecology of tropical animals, forest regeneration and conservation of tropical ecosystems
This updated and expanded second edition of a much lauded work provides a current overview of the impacts of climate change on tropical forests. The authors also investigate past, present and future climatic influences on the ecosystems with the highest biodiversity on the planet. Tropical Rainforest Responses to Climatic Change, Second Edition, looks at how tropical rain forest ecology is altered by climate change, rather than simply seeing how plant communities were altered. Shifting the emphasis on to ecological processes, e.g. how diversity is structured by climate and the subsequent impact on tropical forest ecology, provides the reader with a more comprehensive coverage. A major theme of the book is the interaction between humans, climate and forest ecology. The authors, all foremost experts in their fields, explore the long term occupation of tropical systems, the influence of fire and the future climatic effects of deforestation, together with anthropogenic emissions. Incorporating modelling of past and future systems paves the way for a discussion of conservation from a climatic perspective, rather than the usual plea to stop logging. This second edition provides an updated text in this rapidly evolving field. The existing chapters are revised and updated and two entirely new chapters deal with Central America and the effect of fire on wet forest systems. In the first new chapter, the paleoclimate and ecological record from Central America (Lozano, Correa, Bush) is discussed, while the other deals with the impact of fire on tropical ecosystems. It is hoped that Jonathon Overpeck, who has been centrally involved in the 2007 and 2010 IPCC reports, will provide a Foreword to the book.
Though seasonally dry tropical forests are equally as important to global biodiversity as tropical rainforests, and are one of the most representative and highly endangered ecosystems in Latin America, knowledge about them remains limited because of the relative paucity of attention paid to them by scientists and researchers and a lack of published information on the subject. Seasonally Dry Tropical Forests seeks to address this shortcoming by bringing together a range of experts in diverse fields including biology, ecology, biogeography, and biogeochemistry, to review, synthesize, and explain the current state of our collective knowledge on the ecology and conservation of seasonally dry tropical forests. The book offers a synthetic and cross-disciplinary review of recent work with an expansive scope, including sections on distribution, diversity, ecosystem function, and human impacts. Throughout, contributors emphasize conservation issues, particularly emerging threats and promising solutions, with key chapters on climate change, fragmentation, restoration, ecosystem services, and sustainable use. Seasonally dry tropical forests are extremely rich in biodiversity, and are seriously threatened. They represent scientific terrain that is poorly explored, and there is an urgent need for increased understanding of the system's basic ecology. Seasonally Dry Tropical Forests represents an important step in bringing together the most current scientific information about this vital ecosystem and disseminating it to the scientific and conservation communities.
Tropical rain forests are increasingly expected to serve for climate change mitigation and biodiversity conservation amid global climate change and increasing human demands for land. Natural production forests that are legally designated to produce timber occur widely in the Southeast Asian tropics. Synergizing timber production, climate change mitigation and biodiversity conservation in such tropical production forests is one of the most realistic means to resolve these contemporary global problems. Next-generation sustainable forest management is being practiced in the natural tropical rain forest of a model site in Sabah, Malaysian Borneo, while earlier sustainable management practices have generally failed, leading to extensive deforestation and forest degradation elsewhere in the tropics. Ecologists have examined co-benefits of sustainable forestry in the model forest in terms of forest regeneration, carbon sequestration and biodiversity in comparison to a forest managed by destructive conventional methods. Taxonomic groups studied have included trees, decomposers, soil microbes, insects and mammals. A wide array of field methods and technology has been used including count plots, sensor cameras, and satellite remote-sensing. This book is a compilation of the results of those thorough ecological investigations and elucidates ecological processes of tropical rain forests after logging. The book furnishes useful information for foresters and conservation NGOs, and it also provides baseline information for biologists and ecologists. A further aim is to examine the environmental effects of a forest certification scheme as the model forest has been certified by the Forest Stewardship Council. Taken as a whole, this book proves that the desired synergy is possible.
Importance pf tropical forests; characteristics of tropical forests; classification of tropical forests; deforestation in the tropics; management of tropical forests; plantatios and agroforestry systems; approaches for implementing sustainable management techniques.
This new edition of Whitmore's classic introduction to tropical rain forests has been comprehensively revised and updated, reflecting the changes which have taken place since it was first published in 1990. The sections on human impact have been extended, including a new global assessment of deforestation, and details of new research on biodiversity and conservation. The book remains unique in linking rain forest biology and ecology with silviculture, and with concerns over sustainable resource utilization and the future of the tropical rain forests. Accessibly written and illustrated throughout, it is a must for biology and geography students, and anyone who seeks to know more about the nature and importance of the world's tropical rain forests.
Annotation A collection of papers regarding the conservation of Costa Rica's tropical dry forest, which is disappearing more rapidly than its rain forest, due to ease of conversion to agriculture.