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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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National parks and conservation concessions: a comparison between mammal populations in two types of tropical protected areas in Ucayali, Peru

Background

Peru holds the second largest portion of the Amazon rainforest and is threatened by illegal logging and crop cultivation, as well as mining and other activities. Protected areas are one method of forest conservation, which can exist as conservation concessions. These areas of land granted for protection and rehabilitation area vital to maintaining the health and distribution of the forest. Biodiversity is understudied in many of these regions, especially about terrestrial mammals.

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Tree Canopy Management Affects Dynamics of Herbaceous Vegetation and Soil Moisture in Silvopasture Systems Using Arboreal Legumes

Background

It is important to understand how herbaceous and arboreal species interact with each other, specifically how shade effects understory plants. Silvopasture functions best when both strata of the forest are thriving. Silvopasture is impacted by species chosen, spacing of tree plantings, and other management practices. Tree legume species such as Gliricidia sepium and Mimosa caesalpiniifolia hold a potential value for commercial use while also fixing soil nitrogen in the soil.

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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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