Biodiversity

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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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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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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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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Active restoration of secondary and degraded forests in the context of the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration

Background

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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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Overcoming biotic homogenization in ecological restoration

Background

Regional, or gamma, diversity is often lower in restored landscapes compared to reference landscapes due to the selection of few desirable species for planting. Lowered diversity in restored landscapes is leading to overall biotic homogenization which puts ecosystems and humans in a more vulnerable position for adapting to environmental changes.

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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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