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Post-fire ecological restoration in Latin American forest ecosystems: Insights and lessons from the last two decades

Background

Forests make up a significant portion of the earth’s aboveground biodiversity. Human-caused wildfires are a main driver of forest loss across Latin America and the Caribbean. The authors review literature to understand the causes of fires and strategies of post-fire restoration. They focus their search on more recent literature within the last two decades in order to highlight the most advanced methods. The authors also search for gaps in knowledge or application of fire restoration practices that may be hindering progress.

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Regeneration Status and Role of Traditional Ecological Knowledge for Cloud Forest Ecosystem Restoration in Ecuador

Background

Forests are a crucial component of global biodiversity. Ecuador has a long history of deforestation and forest degradation. Historical contexts such as colonization and governmental initiatives have shaped and will continue to shape the way people and forests interact. Emerging evidence supports the integration of traditional ecological knowledge (TEK) into ecological restoration practices in order to more effectively manage natural resources while incorporating the needs of local communities. The authors use this study to evaluate human disturbance impacts on cloud forest species and what TEK in the area can provide to aid in restoration.

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Multidimensional tropical forest recovery

Background

Tropical forests are disappearing at a high rate due to deforestation. They also have the potential to regenerate to diverse and high-quality forest once more. The authors analyze 12 forest attributes to assess how forest recovery and succession progresses. This review is a compiled analysis done in a chronosequence across three continents and multiple latitudes globally.

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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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Latitudinal trends in plant-pollinator interactions: Are tropical plants more specialised?

Background

Taxon diversity often correlates positively or negatively with latitude. Though much is known about species trends, species interaction trends have not been studied as much. Specifically, plant pollinator interactions in the tropics are a lesser known topic that must be explored.

Goals and Methods

The authors conduct a literature review searching for information on the latitude of study sites, pollinator species diversity and abundance, plant species, and interactions.

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Cactus height increases the modularity of a plant–frugivore network in the Caatinga dry forest

Background

Seed dispersal plays an important role in maintaining ecosystem biodiversity. Disperser species with many plant interactions tend to be more abundant while species with fewer interaction tend to be rarer. Fruit accessibility is one plant factor that limits frugivore visits. Plant height is thought to affect fruit accessibility.

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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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