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The role of land-use history in driving successional pathways and its implications for the restoration of tropical forests

Background

Across tropical landscapes, large portions of forest have been removed or degraded. Regenerating or secondary forests are becoming increasingly valuable to maintaining and restoring the biodiversity and ecosystem services in the tropics. However, it is apparent that succession does not always happen at the same rate or in the same patterns/quality. It is thought that the history of the land and its usage heavily impact the regeneration patterns of a forest landscape.

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The importance of insects on land and in water: a tropical view

Background

Insects provide a wide variety of ecosystem services such as pollination, nutrient cycling, and seed dispersal. The UN Sustainable Development Goals are thought to be supported by the conservation of diverse insect communities. The roles of tropical insects in ecosystem services and their contributions are summarized in this literature review. The authors identify research trends, knowledge gaps, and potential avenues for future investigations.

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Pollinator recognition by a keystone tropical plant

Background

The evolution of flowering plants is complex and has resulted in a great amount of diversity in species both genetically and structurally. Pollination is the key to providing this variability and is responsible for evolutionary patterns and trends in flowering plant species. Some flowering plants are generalists, allowing for many types of pollinators to visit, while others are highly specified. The mechanism for this specialization is not well understood.

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Frugivory and seed dispersal in the Cerrado: Network structure and defaunation effects

Background

Seed dispersal is an important process for ecosystem functioning. The Brazilian Cerrado, the world’s largest and most biodiverse savanna, contains a plethora of animal dispersed plant woody plant species. The Cerrado region is understudied and identifying species roles in ecosystem networks needs to be better understood for evolutionary and conservation purposes.

Goals and Methods

The authors conduct a systematic literature review to form a seed dispersal network of the Cerrado. Plant-frugivore interactions, plant and animal species studies, and dispersal network papers are examined and included in a matrix for analysis.

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Human Persecution is An Important Threat to the Conservation of the Endangered Black-and-Chestnut Eagle in Northern Andes

Background

Human-wildlife conflicts are widespread and put threatened species at an even higher risk of extinction. Human persecution of threatened wild animals with the aim to protect domesticated animals contributes to the decline of threatened wild animals. The black-and-chestnut eagle is under threat in the northern Andes of Ecuador and Colombia due to efforts to protect domestic poultry.

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Climate-Smart Conservation Agriculture, Farm Values and Tenure Security: Implications for Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation in the Congo Basin

Background

The Congo Basin forest houses a high amount of biodiversity and is an important area to conserve in light of climate change. This region is also important for agriculture and local livelihoods, though current practices are degrading the forest. Certain policy issues surrounding land tenure and investments may be hindering climate smart agriculture.

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Divergent litterfall nutrient responses to rainfall seasonality revealed through long-term observations in a tropical dry forest

Background

Forest litterfall can provide important nutrients to the soil for ecosystem health such as Phosphorus and Nitrogen. In water limited ecosystems rainfall often controls forest nutrient cycling. It is not yet understood how nutrient uptake of these nutrients is influenced by seasonal rainfall and how these litter nutrient contents change from year to year.

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The association between rainforest disturbance and recovery, tree community composition, and community traits in the Yangambi area in the Democratic Republic of the Congo

Background

Forests in the Congo Basin are becoming increasingly threatened by human disturbances. These forests play a crucial role in global biodiversity, though understanding the full impact of forest degradation has been difficult due to the intact canopy cover. It is important to assess the extent that human activities have impacted these forests to make decisions on the forests’ conservation and management practices.

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The Effects of Prescribed Dry Season Burning on Woody Species Composition, Mole National Park, Ghana

Background

Savannas are valuable ecological communities that support many species and are known to be heavily shaped by fire disturbances. Fire is a recognized tool for controlling excess fuel and improving habitat. However, it is thought that the timing and frequency of fire prescriptions may impact characteristics of savanna growth and composition.

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Lightly-harvested rustic cocoa is a valuable land cover for amphibian and reptile conservation in human-modified rainforest landscapes

Background

Tropical biodiversity is impacted by anthropogenic land covers such as agriculture. Land use has the ability to both negatively and positively impact tropical biodiversity. In the tropics, important crops are grown in tropical forested landscapes such as coffee and cocoa. These forest understories are also important habitats for highly sensitive and ecologically vulnerable amphibian species. Amphibians and reptiles are an understudied taxa in conservation ecology and targeted in this study.

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