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Edaphic factors and initial conditions influence successional trajectories of early regenerating tropical dry forests

Background

Edaphic factors include soil characteristics and topography of a landscape. These factors are thought to have strong impacts on forest communities and can predict the trajectory of forest regeneration. Differing soil conditions and slopes result in varying species assemblages, growth rates, and overall tree cover.

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Why bees are critical for achieving sustainable development

Background

Bees are the most dominant group of pollinators and they may hold a key to achieving the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). They have a great potential for promoting agricultural success, providing people with crop pollination services. However bee populations are declining due to habitat loss, pesticide use, and climate change. Knowing the extent to which bees contribute to SDGs  and identifying their critical roles within SDGs is important for conservation targeting.

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Drought reduces the growth and health of tropical rainforest understory plants

Background

Plant responses to drought are important to understand for agricultural practices and environmental stress. Susceptibility to drought varies among and between plant species. Most field studies on plant responses to drought in tropical rainforests ignore understory plant species such as saplings and shrubs. These species are important to understand because they are often more vulnerable to environmental stressors, and they contribute greatly to forest biodiversity.

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Forest structure predicts species richness and functional diversity in Amazonian mixed-species bird flocks

Background

Secondary forests between forest fragments are valuable sources of biodiversity during the regeneration process. In the Brazilian Amazon, understory birds are often an indicator of forest regeneration and overall health. Functional diversity is an important component of ecosystem health and services, yet little is known about the role it plays in the return of mixed-species bird flocks.

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Density-dependent reproductive success among sympatric dipterocarps during a major mast fruiting event

Background

Masting or mast fruiting is the annual synchronous production of many seeds by a plant species. Masting is an important reproductive strategy that depends on the intensity of flowering and fruiting, as well as the seeds’ ability to survive herbivory and competition with other seeds. Southeast Asia, many tree species (particularly Dipterocarps) are known to synchronize their masting events and therefore, community-wide seed density is an important factor predicting successful reproduction.

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Removing climbers more than doubles tree growth and biomass in degraded tropical forests

Background

Tree climbing plants such as lianas are known to inhibit forest recovery by outcompeting trees after disturbances. The removal of climbers is recognized as a viable forest restoration management practice, however no best practices are established yet due to lack of research repetition and synthesis.

Goals and Methods

The authors conduct a literature review on climber removal studies in tropical forests in order to quantify removal efficacy for promoting tree growth and increasing biomass.

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Old timber plantations and secondary forests attain levels of plant diversity and structure similar to primary forests in the West African humid tropics

Background

There is a high rate of biodiversity loss and deforestation in tropical ecosystems. In order to maintain global biodiversity, it is necessary to conserve plant diversity in alternative forest landscapes such as secondary forests and plantations. Comparing conservation values and tradeoffs of different forest landscapes is important for sustainable forest management and conservation practices.

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Linking disturbance history to current forest structure to assess the impact of disturbances in tropical dry forests

Background

Tropical dry forests are given less attention in studies compared to tropical humid forests, but they still experience high levels of disturbance, both natural and human-made. These disturbances heavily alter the characteristics of valuable remaining forest structures. There are gaps in knowledge about how the timing and type of disturbance affects forest structure in seasonally dry tropical forests.

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Forest ecosystem services at landscape level – Why forest transition matters?

Background

Forest transition theory describes patterns of forest decline and recovery. This theory explains what services change as forested landscapes shift in the three stages of recovery. This model covers both forest-type gradients (diversity and usage) and landscape gradients (connectivity and coverage). It is not yet understood how these forest transition stages influence the quantity and quality of ecosystem services.

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Legacy effects of canopy gaps on liana abundance 25 years later in a seasonal tropical evergreen forest in northeastern Thailand

Background

Lianas or woody vine species are abundant in tropical forests. They depend on trees for stability to grow and climb to the canopy. While lianas depend on trees for growth, they also require canopy gaps at early growing stages to satisfy their high demand for sunlight. At times, lianas occupy new treefall gaps densely enough to prevent tree regeneration. Tree host ability may influence the abundance of lianas in Southeast Asian seasonally dry tropical forests.

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