Research Article

Spatial density patterns of herbivore response to seasonal dynamics in the tropical deciduous forest of central India

Background

Strong seasonality of dry tropical forests causes variations in vegetation and therefore food resources for animals. This study investigates the seasonal distribution patterns between summer and winter of four ungulate species (Rusa unicolor, Axis axis, Bocephalus tragocamelus, and Sus scrofa) in the Panna Tiger Reserve in India. Ungulates tend to gravitate towards areas that are cooler with more vegetation, and at higher elevations.

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Effects of plant species richness on the structure of plant-bird interaction networks along a 3000-m elevational gradient in subtropical forests

Background

The structure and diversity of ecological communities is shaped by symbiotic plant and animal relationships. Some birds feed on fleshy fruit producing plants to disperse seeds and facilitate plant reproduction. Bird seed-dispersal networks are plant-animal assemblages that change with environmental conditions. Species richness and species specialization interact with elevation to result in unique assemblages. In this study, the authors examine how plant and bird interactions change with plant species richness along a 3000-meter gradient in a subtropical forest in China.

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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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Multiple invasions exert combined magnified effects on native plants, soil nutrients and alters the plant-herbivore interaction in dry tropical forest

Background

Globalization has resulted in a higher number of species invasions, which have had detrimental impacts on ecosystem biodiversity, functions, and services. Assessment and management of all invasive species is based on knowledge of a small number of species. Management is also focused on single-species invasions rather than multiple simultaneous invasions. India has a high level of species invasions and minimal resources to control them.

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Out of steady state: Tracking canopy gap dynamics across Brazilian Amazon

Background

Canopy gaps are a regular characteristic of natural or anthropogenic disturbance in forested landscapes. Gap-creating disturbances often result in a forest mosaic with patches of varying successional stages. Many species in tropical forests depend on these canopy gaps for regeneration. Field monitoring of canopy gaps can be difficult due to time constraints and plot size, making tropical gap dynamics an understudied topic.

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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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Selecting tree species to restore forest under climate change conditions: Complementing species distribution models with field experimentation

Background

Climate-based species distribution models are used as a strategy to decide on optimal tree species for forest restoration projects. The criteria in these models is based on species performance in local climates. The limitation of species distribution models is that they do not include recruitment. Including the species successful reproduction, recruitment and growth at an early stage is vital for successful reforestation efforts. In addition, the models are not calibrated to take into account future climatic conditions, making it difficult to plan long-term restoration projects.

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Trade-offs at applying tree nucleation to restore degraded high Andean forests in Colombia

Background

This article recognizes applied nucleation as a forest restoration strategy in many low to mid altitude forests and aims to compare applied nucleation to passive regeneration at high altitude forests. Applied nucleation is successful at accelerating the speed of forest regeneration, improving soil conditions, and shading out invasive species in many low-mid altitude forests of the neotropics. There are gaps in the literature about the performance of applied nucleation in other tropical regions as well as high attitude tropical forests.

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A cautionary note for forest landscape restoration in drylands: cattle production systems in northwest Madagascar’s dry forests

BACKGROUND

It is evident that land tenure security is crucial for successful restoration. Unfortunately, in Madagascar, dry forests are considered unoccupied and unowned even when communities have long-established claims under customary tenure systems. The authors stated that collective tenure recognition efforts were underway in Madagascar, but limited knowledge of agropastoralist cattle production strategies impeded the efforts to develop tenure reforms. The authors examined how cattle raisers in the Boney Region in northwest Madagascar organize pastoral spaces and cattle production strategies in the area’s dry forest.

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Filling a void: Analysis of early tropical soil and vegetative recovery under leguminous, post-coal mine reforestation plantations in East Kalimantan, Indonesia

BACKGROUND

Surface mining is a common practice for obtaining coal, the world’s leading energy source. Surface mining removes vegetation, soil, and rocks to extract resources. In Indonesia, the world’s fifth largest coal producer, coal mining companies are required to rehabilitate mined sites. Companies typically plant exotic legume tree species because they quickly achieve canopy closure, limit invasive weeds, improve soil nitrogen, and create a light environment that helps with the recruitment of woody plants. This article looks to see whether natural forest succession occurs under leguminous plantations at rehabilitated coal mines in East Kalimantan, Indonesia. 

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