WorldWideScience

Sample records for monitoring tropical forest

  1. The Tropical Ecology, Assessment and Monitoring (TEAM) Network: An early warning system for tropical rain forests.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rovero, Francesco; Ahumada, Jorge

    2017-01-01

    While there are well established early warning systems for a number of natural phenomena (e.g. earthquakes, catastrophic fires, tsunamis), we do not have an early warning system for biodiversity. Yet, we are losing species at an unprecedented rate, and this especially occurs in tropical rainforests, the biologically richest but most eroded biome on earth. Unfortunately, there is a chronic gap in standardized and pan-tropical data in tropical forests, affecting our capacity to monitor changes and anticipate future scenarios. The Tropical Ecology, Assessment and Monitoring (TEAM) Network was established to contribute addressing this issue, as it generates real time data to monitor long-term trends in tropical biodiversity and guide conservation practice. We present the Network and focus primarily on the Terrestrial Vertebrates protocol, that uses systematic camera trapping to detect forest mammals and birds, and secondarily on the Zone of Interaction protocol, that measures changes in the anthroposphere around the core monitoring area. With over 3 million images so far recorded, and managed using advanced information technology, TEAM has created the most important data set on tropical forest mammals globally. We provide examples of site-specific and global analyses that, combined with data on anthropogenic disturbance collected in the larger ecosystem where monitoring sites are, allowed us to understand the drivers of changes of target species and communities in space and time. We discuss the potential of this system as a candidate model towards setting up an early warning system that can effectively anticipate changes in coupled human-natural system, trigger management actions, and hence decrease the gap between research and management responses. In turn, TEAM produces robust biodiversity indicators that meet the requirements set by global policies such as the Aichi Biodiversity Targets. Standardization in data collection and public sharing of data in near real time

  2. Tropical Forest Monitoring in Southeast Asia Using Remotely Sensed Optical Time Series

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Grogan, Kenneth Joseph

    -scale plantations. In particular, the global demand for natural rubber (Hevea brasiliensis) has been reported as the cause of widespread forest conversion. A critical component of forest conservation strategies, such as Reduced Emission from Deforestation and forest Degradation (REDD+), relies upon the monitoring...... global rubber markets can be linked to forest cover change, the effects of land policy in Cambodia, and beyond, have also had a major influence. It remains to be seen if intervention initiatives such as REDD+ can materialise over the coming years to make a meaningful contribution to tropical forest...... conservation....

  3. Near-continuous thermal monitoring of a diverse tropical forest canopy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pau, S.; Still, C. J.; Kim, Y.; Detto, M.

    2015-12-01

    Tropical species may be highly sensitive to temperature increases associated with climate change because of their narrow thermal tolerances. Recent work has highlighted the importance of temperature in tropical forest function, however most studies use air temperature measurements from sparse meteorological stations even though surface temperatures are known to deviate from air temperatures. Tropical organisms exist in microclimates that are highly variable in space and time and not easily measured in natural environments. This is in part because of the complex structure of tropical forests and the potential for organisms themselves to modify their own environment. In the case of plants, leaf temperature is linked to the water and surface energy balance of their microenvironment. Here we present results from near-continuous thermal camera monitoring of the forest canopy in Barro Colorado Island, Panama (5-minute intervals for approximately 9 months). We compare daytime (maximum) vs. nighttime (minimum) differences between canopy temperature and air temperature, relative humidity, solar radiation, and precipitation. On average, canopy temperatures are consistently ~2 degrees Celsius higher than air temperatures. These data can paired with flux tower data on-site and used to advance understanding of temperature controls on the structure and function of tropical forests, such as carbon assimilation, phenology, and habitat monitoring, and can be integrated into models to improve predictions of tropical forest response to future climate change.

  4. Interactive community-based tropical forest monitoring using emerging technologies

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Pratihast, A.K.

    2015-01-01

    Forests cover approximately 30% of the Earth’s land surface and have played an indispensable role in the human development and preserving natural resources. At the moment, more than 300 million people are directly dependent on these forests and their resources. Forests also provide habitats

  5. Interactive community-based tropical forest monitoring using emerging technologies

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Pratihast, A.K.

    2015-01-01

    Forests cover approximately 30% of the Earth’s land surface and have played an indispensable role in the human development and preserving natural resources. At the moment, more than 300 million people are directly dependent on these forests and their resources. Forests also provide habitats fo

  6. Interactive community-based tropical forest monitoring using emerging technologies

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Pratihast, A.K.

    2015-01-01

    Forests cover approximately 30% of the Earth’s land surface and have played an indispensable role in the human development and preserving natural resources. At the moment, more than 300 million people are directly dependent on these forests and their resources. Forests also provide habitats fo

  7. A high-resolution monitoring network investigating stem growth of tropical forest trees

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hofhansl, F.; De Araujo, A. C.; DeLucia, E. H.

    2015-12-01

    The proportion of carbon (C) allocated to tree stems is an important determinant of the C sink-strength of global forest ecosystems. Understanding the mechanisms controlling stem growth is essential for parameterization of global vegetation models and to accurately predict C sequestration of forest ecosystems. However, we still lack a thorough understanding of intra-annual variations in stem growth of tropical forest ecosystems, which could be especially prone to projected climatic changes. We here present high-resolution data (≤ 6 µm; ≥ 1 min) from a novel monitoring network of wireless devices for automated measurement of expansion and contraction in tree diameter using a membrane potentiometer, as well as point dendrometers on phloem and xylem to analyze diurnal changes in stem growth. Our results indicate that diurnal changes in stem diameter were associated with sap flow and related to seasonal variations in daytime temperature and water availability, such that daily maximum stem growth was positively related to temperature during the wet season but showed the opposite trend during the onset of the dry season. We show that high-resolution monitoring of stem growth of tropical trees is crucial to determine the response to intra-annual climate variation and therefore will be key to accurately predict future responses of tropical aboveground C storage, and should be of special interest for tropical ecosystem research and earth system science.

  8. Polarimetric Data for Tropical Forest Monitoring. Studies at the Colombian Amazon

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Quiñones Fernández, M.

    2002-01-01

    An urgent need exists for accurate data on the actual tropical forest extent, deforestation, forest structure, regeneration and diversity. The availability of accurate land cover maps and tropical forest type maps, and the possibility to update these maps frequently, is of great importance for the d

  9. Small Drones for Community-Based Forest Monitoring: An Assessment of Their Feasibility and Potential in Tropical Areas

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jaime Paneque-Gálvez

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available Data gathered through community-based forest monitoring (CBFM programs may be as accurate as those gathered by professional scientists, but acquired at a much lower cost and capable of providing more detailed data about the occurrence, extent and drivers of forest loss, degradation and regrowth at the community scale. In addition, CBFM enables greater survey repeatability. Therefore, CBFM should be a fundamental component of national forest monitoring systems and programs to measure, report and verify (MRV REDD+ activities. To contribute to the development of more effective approaches to CBFM, in this paper we assess: (1 the feasibility of using small, low-cost drones (i.e., remotely piloted aerial vehicles in CBFM programs; (2 their potential advantages and disadvantages for communities, partner organizations and forest data end-users; and (3 to what extent their utilization, coupled with ground surveys and local ecological knowledge, would improve tropical forest monitoring. To do so, we reviewed the existing literature regarding environmental applications of drones, including forest monitoring, and drew on our own firsthand experience flying small drones to map and monitor tropical forests and training people to operate them. We believe that the utilization of small drones can enhance CBFM and that this approach is feasible in many locations throughout the tropics if some degree of external assistance and funding is provided to communities. We suggest that the use of small drones can help tropical communities to better manage and conserve their forests whilst benefiting partner organizations, governments and forest data end-users, particularly those engaged in forestry, biodiversity conservation and climate change mitigation projects such as REDD+.

  10. Painting the world REDD: addressing scientific barriers to monitoring emissions from tropical forests

    Science.gov (United States)

    Asner, Gregory P.

    2011-06-01

    In December 2010, parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) agreed to encourage reductions in greenhouse gas emissions from forest losses with the financial support of developed countries. This important international agreement followed about seven years of effort among governments, non-governmental organizations (NGO) and the scientific community, and is called REDD+, the program for Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation. REDD+ could achieve its potential to slow emissions from deforestation and forest degradation either as a new market option to offset emissions from developed nations, or as a mitigation option for developing countries themselves. Aside from representing an important step towards reducing greenhouse gas emissions, a growing list of potential co-benefits to REDD+ include improved forestry practices, forest restoration, sustainable development, and biodiversity protection. Indeed the agreement is heralded as a win-win for climate change mitigation and tropical forest conservation, and it could end up contributing to a global economy based on carbon and ecosystem services. That's good news, and some governments are now working to become 'REDD ready' in preparation for the forthcoming international program. This is important because, according to the agreements made by governments in the UNFCCC, developing countries which voluntarily decide to take part in REDD+ must establish their own national forest monitoring system to report changes in emissions from forests (UNFCCC 2009). But as of today, no developing country has implemented a system for monitoring, reporting and verifying (MRV) emission reductions for REDD+. Of course, it is all still very new, but many REDD-type projects have been underway for years now (Parker et al 2008), and many MRV practitioners involved in those projects are the same people being asked to help with government-led, national MRV programs. Yet going from the

  11. Tropical Forest Monitoring in Southeast Asia Using Remotely Sensed Optical Time Series

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Grogan, Kenneth Joseph

    -scale plantations. In particular, the global demand for natural rubber (Hevea brasiliensis) has been reported as the cause of widespread forest conversion. A critical component of forest conservation strategies, such as Reduced Emission from Deforestation and forest Degradation (REDD+), relies upon the monitoring...... monitoring systems. Thematic objectives of the research focussed on estimating forest loss in Cambodia in the post-2000 era, determining how much of this loss was caused by conversions to natural rubber tree cover, and analysing if there is a link between forest-to-rubber conversion rates and global rubber...... of the forest transition curve. Forest-to-rubber conversions were estimated to be responsible for 20% of total forest clearances, and were more prevalent in the later years. Annual forest-to-rubber conversion rates were found to be highly correlated to global rubber prices at local and national scales. Although...

  12. Toward an integrated monitoring framework to assess the effects of tropical forest degradation and recovery on carbon stocks and biodiversity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bustamante, Mercedes M C; Roitman, Iris; Aide, T Mitchell; Alencar, Ane; Anderson, Liana O; Aragão, Luiz; Asner, Gregory P; Barlow, Jos; Berenguer, Erika; Chambers, Jeffrey; Costa, Marcos H; Fanin, Thierry; Ferreira, Laerte G; Ferreira, Joice; Keller, Michael; Magnusson, William E; Morales-Barquero, Lucia; Morton, Douglas; Ometto, Jean P H B; Palace, Michael; Peres, Carlos A; Silvério, Divino; Trumbore, Susan; Vieira, Ima C G

    2016-01-01

    Tropical forests harbor a significant portion of global biodiversity and are a critical component of the climate system. Reducing deforestation and forest degradation contributes to global climate-change mitigation efforts, yet emissions and removals from forest dynamics are still poorly quantified. We reviewed the main challenges to estimate changes in carbon stocks and biodiversity due to degradation and recovery of tropical forests, focusing on three main areas: (1) the combination of field surveys and remote sensing; (2) evaluation of biodiversity and carbon values under a unified strategy; and (3) research efforts needed to understand and quantify forest degradation and recovery. The improvement of models and estimates of changes of forest carbon can foster process-oriented monitoring of forest dynamics, including different variables and using spatially explicit algorithms that account for regional and local differences, such as variation in climate, soil, nutrient content, topography, biodiversity, disturbance history, recovery pathways, and socioeconomic factors. Generating the data for these models requires affordable large-scale remote-sensing tools associated with a robust network of field plots that can generate spatially explicit information on a range of variables through time. By combining ecosystem models, multiscale remote sensing, and networks of field plots, we will be able to evaluate forest degradation and recovery and their interactions with biodiversity and carbon cycling. Improving monitoring strategies will allow a better understanding of the role of forest dynamics in climate-change mitigation, adaptation, and carbon cycle feedbacks, thereby reducing uncertainties in models of the key processes in the carbon cycle, including their impacts on biodiversity, which are fundamental to support forest governance policies, such as Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation.

  13. Securing tropical forest carbon

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Scharlemann, Jörn P. W.; Kapos, Valerie; Campbell, Alison;

    2010-01-01

    Forest loss and degradation in the tropics contribute 6-17% of all greenhouse gas emissions. Protected areas cover 217.2 million ha (19.6%) of the world's humid tropical forests and contain c. 70.3 petagrams of carbon (Pg C) in biomass and soil to 1 m depth. Between 2000 and 2005, we estimate...... that 1.75 million ha of forest were lost from protected areas in humid tropical forests, causing the emission of 0.25-0.33 Pg C. Protected areas lost about half as much carbon as the same area of unprotected forest. We estimate that the reduction of these carbon emissions from ongoing deforestation...... in protected sites in humid tropical forests could be valued at USD 6,200-7,400 million depending on the land use after clearance. This is >1.5 times the estimated spending on protected area management in these regions. Improving management of protected areas to retain forest cover better may be an important...

  14. On-Line Change Monitoring with Transformed Multi-Spectral Time Series, a Study Case in Tropical Forest

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lu, Meng; Hamunyela, Eliakim

    2016-10-01

    In recent years, the methods for detecting structural changes in time series have been adapted for forest disturbance monitoring using satellite data. The BFAST (Breaks For Additive Season and Trend) Monitor framework, which detects forest cover disturbances from satellite image time series based on empirical fluctuation tests, is particularly used for near real-time deforestation monitoring, and it has been shown to be robust in detecting forest disturbances. Typically, a vegetation index that is transformed from spectral bands into feature space (e.g. normalised difference vegetation index (NDVI)) is used as input for BFAST Monitor. However, using a vegetation index for deforestation monitoring is a major limitation because it is difficult to separate deforestation from multiple seasonality effects, noise, and other forest disturbance. In this study, we address such limitation by exploiting the multi-spectral band of satellite data. To demonstrate our approach, we carried out a case study in a deciduous tropical forest in Bolivia, South America. We reduce the dimensionality from spectral bands, space and time with projective methods particularly the Principal Component Analysis (PCA), resulting in a new index that is more suitable for change monitoring. Our results show significantly improved temporal delay in deforestation detection. With our approach, we achieved a median temporal lag of 6 observations, which was significantly shorter than the temporal lags from conventional approaches (14 to 21 observations).

  15. Hyperspectral Remote Sensing for Tropical Rain Forest

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kamaruzaman Jusoff

    2009-01-01

    Full Text Available Problem statement: Sensing, mapping and monitoring the rain forest in forested regions of the world, particularly the tropics, has attracted a great deal of attention in recent years as deforestation and forest degradation account for up to 30% of anthropogenic carbon emissions and are now included in climate change negotiations. Approach: We reviewed the potential for air and spaceborne hyperspectral sensing to identify and map individual tree species measure carbon stocks, specifically Aboveground Biomass (AGB and provide an overview of a range of approaches that have been developed and used to map tropical rain forest across a diverse set of conditions and geographic areas. We provided a summary of air and spaceborne hyperspectral remote sensing measurements relevant to mapping the tropical forest and assess the relative merits and limitations of each. We then provided an overview of modern techniques of mapping the tropical forest based on species discrimination, leaf chlorophyll content, estimating aboveground forest productivity and monitoring forest health. Results: The challenges in hyperspectral Imaging of tropical forests is thrown out to researchers in such field as to come with the latest techniques of image processing and improved mapping resolution leading towards higher precision mapping accuracy. Some research results from an airborne hyperspectral imaging over Bukit Nanas forest reserve was shared implicating high potential of such very high resolution imaging techniques for tropical mixed dipterocarp forest inventory and mapping for species discrimination, aboveground forest productivity, leaf chlorophyll content and carbon mapping. Conclusion/Recommendations: We concluded that while spaceborne hyperspectral remote sensing has often been discounted as inadequate for the task, attempts to map with airborne sensors are still insufficient in tropical developing countries like Malaysia. However, we demonstrated this with a case

  16. Evaluating the use of local ecological knowledge to monitor hunted tropical-forest wildlife over large spatial scales

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Luke Parry

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available Monitoring the distribution and abundance of hunted wildlife is critical to achieving sustainable resource use, yet adequate data are sparse for most tropical regions. Conventional methods for monitoring hunted forest-vertebrate species require intensive in situ survey effort, which severely constrains spatial and temporal replication. Integrating local ecological knowledge (LEK into monitoring and management is appealing because it can be cost-effective, enhance community participation, and provide novel insights into sustainable resource use. We develop a technique to monitor population depletion of hunted forest wildlife in the Brazilian Amazon, based on the local ecological knowledge of rural hunters. We performed rapid interview surveys to estimate the landscape-scale depletion of ten large-bodied vertebrate species around 161 Amazonian riverine settlements. We assessed the explanatory and predictive power of settlement and landscape characteristics and were able to develop robust estimates of local faunal depletion. By identifying species-specific drivers of depletion and using secondary data on human population density, land form, and physical accessibility, we then estimated landscape- and regional-scale depletion. White-lipped peccary (Tayassu pecari, for example, were estimated to be absent from 17% of their putative range in Brazil's largest state (Amazonas, despite 98% of the original forest cover remaining intact. We found evidence that bushmeat consumption in small urban centers has far-reaching impacts on some forest species, including severe depletion well over 100 km from urban centers. We conclude that LEK-based approaches require further field validation, but have significant potential for community-based participatory monitoring as well as cost-effective, large-scale monitoring of threatened forest species.

  17. Tropical forest monitoring, combining satellite and social data, to inform management and livelihood implications: Case studies from Indonesian West Timor

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fisher, Rohan

    2012-06-01

    Deforestation in the world's tropics is an urgent international issue. One response has been the development of satellite based monitoring initiatives largely focused on the carbon rich forests of western Indonesia. In contrast this study focuses on one eastern Indonesian district, Kabupaten Kupang, which has some of the largest and least studied tracts of remaining forest in West Timor. A combination of remote sensing, GIS and social science methods were used to describe the state of forests in Kabupaten Kupang, how and why they are changing. Using satellite imagery, case studies and on-ground interviews, this study explores the proposition that transdisciplinary local social, cultural and biophysical knowledge is important for effectively using remotely sensed data as a tool to inform local management policies. When compared to some other parts of Indonesia, the rate and extent of deforestation in West Timor was found to be relatively small and a satellite based assessment alone could conclude that it is not a critical issue. However this study showed that when on-ground social data are coupled with (such) satellite-based data a more complex picture emerges, related to key livelihood issues. The causes of forest cover change were found to be multivariate and location specific, requiring management approaches tailored to local social issues. This study suggests that integrative research can maximise the utility of satellite data for understanding causation and thus informing management strategies. In addition, the satellite based assessment found that at the time of the study less than 4% of forested land was within national parks and nature reserves and less than a third of the protected catchment forest zone was forested. These data suggest considerable scope for upland re-forestation activities or the redrawing of protected forest boundaries.

  18. Review of Methods for the Monitoring of Biomass and Vegetal Carbon in Tropical Forest Ecosystems

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    William Fonseca

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available The quantification of vegetal biomass is the key to know the carbon that forest ecosystems store, and therefore, its capacity to mitigate climatic change. There is a variety of methods to estimate biomass, many with small variations, such as size and shape of sampling units, inclusion or not of any reservoir component (leaves, branches, roots, necromasses, minimum diameter inventoried, among others. The objective of the paper is to explain the most important aspects to be considered in the inventory of removals, based on the inventory design (statistical design, size and shape of the sampling units, components of the biomass to be evaluated. A second point deals with the determination of aerial biomass and roots, referring to the direct or destructive method, and indirect methods, especially to the use of mathematical models for their easy application and low cost; besides, some models for natural forest and plantations are noted. Reference is also made to the study of carbon in soils, biomass expansion factors, and how to determine carbon in biomass. We hope that these notes will facilitate the understanding of the topic and be a reference for the establishment of monitoring, reporting and verification schemes.

  19. Monitoring tropical deforestation for emerging carbon markets

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    DeFries, R.; Townshend, J. [Department of Geography, University of Maryland, College Park (United States); Asner, G. [Department of Global Ecology, Carnegie Institution of Washington, Stanford, CA (United States); Achard, F. [Joint Research Centre JRC, European Commission EC, Ispra (Italy); Justice, C. [Department of Geography, University of Maryland, College Park (United States); Laporte, N. [Woods Hole Research Center, Woods Hole, MA (United States); Price, K. [University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS (United States); Small, C. [Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, Columbia University, New York (United States)

    2005-07-01

    The ability to quantify and verify tropical deforestation is critically important for assessing carbon credits from reduced deforestation. Analysis of satellite data is the most practicable approach for routine and timely monitoring of forest cover at the national scale. To develop baselines of historical deforestation as proposed elsewhere in this book, and to detect new deforestation, we address the following issues: (1) Are data available to monitor and verify tropical deforestation?: The historical database is adequate to develop baselines of tropical deforestation in the 1990's and current plans call for the launch of a Landsat class sensor after 2010. However a coordinated effort to assemble data from Landsat, ASTER, IRS, and other high resolution sensors is needed to maintain coverage for monitoring deforestation in the current decade and to ensure future observations; (2) Are there accepted, standard methods for monitoring and verifying tropical deforestation?: Effective methods for nearly-automated regional monitoring have been demonstrated in the research arena, but have been implemented for operational monitoring only in a few cases. It is feasible to establish best practices for monitoring and verifying deforestation through agreement among international technical experts. A component of this effort is to define types of forest and forest disturbances to be included in monitoring systems; and (3) Are the institutional capabilities in place for monitoring tropical deforestation?: A few tropical rainforest countries have expertise, institutions, and programs in place to monitor deforestation (e.g. Brazil and India) and US and European institutions are technically able to monitor deforestation across the tropics. However, many tropical countries require development of national and regional capabilities. This capability underpins the long-term viability of monitoring tropical deforestation to support compensated reductions.The main obstacles are

  20. The future of tropical forests.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wright, S Joseph

    2010-05-01

    Five anthropogenic drivers--land use change, wood extraction, hunting, atmospheric change, climate change--will largely determine the future of tropical forests. The geographic scope and intensity of these five drivers are in flux. Contemporary land use change includes deforestation (approximately 64,000 km(2) yr(-1) for the entire tropical forest biome) and natural forests regenerating on abandoned land (approximately 21,500 km(2) yr(-1) with just 29% of the biome evaluated). Commercial logging is shifting rapidly from Southeast Asia to Africa and South America, but local fuelwood consumption continues to constitute 71% of all wood production. Pantropical rates of net deforestation are declining even as secondary and logged forests increasingly replace old-growth forests. Hunters reduce frugivore, granivore and browser abundances in most forests. This alters seed dispersal, seed and seedling survival, and hence the species composition and spatial template of plant regeneration. Tropical governments have responded to these local threats by protecting 7% of all land for the strict conservation of nature--a commitment that is only matched poleward of 40 degrees S and 70 degrees N. Protected status often fails to stop hunters and is impotent against atmospheric and climate change. There are increasing reports of stark changes in the structure and dynamics of protected tropical forests. Four broad classes of mechanisms might contribute to these changes. Predictions are developed to distinguish among these mechanisms.

  1. Drought-mortality relationships for tropical forests.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Phillips, Oliver L; van der Heijden, Geertje; Lewis, Simon L; López-González, Gabriela; Aragão, Luiz E O C; Lloyd, Jon; Malhi, Yadvinder; Monteagudo, Abel; Almeida, Samuel; Dávila, Esteban Alvarez; Amaral, Iêda; Andelman, Sandy; Andrade, Ana; Arroyo, Luzmila; Aymard, Gerardo; Baker, Tim R; Blanc, Lilian; Bonal, Damien; de Oliveira, Atila Cristina Alves; Chao, Kuo-Jung; Cardozo, Nallaret Dávila; da Costa, Lola; Feldpausch, Ted R; Fisher, Joshua B; Fyllas, Nikolaos M; Freitas, Maria Aparecida; Galbraith, David; Gloor, Emanuel; Higuchi, Niro; Honorio, Eurídice; Jiménez, Eliana; Keeling, Helen; Killeen, Tim J; Lovett, Jon C; Meir, Patrick; Mendoza, Casimiro; Morel, Alexandra; Vargas, Percy Núñez; Patiño, Sandra; Peh, Kelvin S-H; Cruz, Antonio Peña; Prieto, Adriana; Quesada, Carlos A; Ramírez, Fredy; Ramírez, Hirma; Rudas, Agustín; Salamão, Rafael; Schwarz, Michael; Silva, Javier; Silveira, Marcos; Slik, J W Ferry; Sonké, Bonaventure; Thomas, Anne Sota; Stropp, Juliana; Taplin, James R D; Vásquez, Rodolfo; Vilanova, Emilio

    2010-08-01

    *The rich ecology of tropical forests is intimately tied to their moisture status. Multi-site syntheses can provide a macro-scale view of these linkages and their susceptibility to changing climates. Here, we report pan-tropical and regional-scale analyses of tree vulnerability to drought. *We assembled available data on tropical forest tree stem mortality before, during, and after recent drought events, from 119 monitoring plots in 10 countries concentrated in Amazonia and Borneo. *In most sites, larger trees are disproportionately at risk. At least within Amazonia, low wood density trees are also at greater risk of drought-associated mortality, independent of size. For comparable drought intensities, trees in Borneo are more vulnerable than trees in the Amazon. There is some evidence for lagged impacts of drought, with mortality rates remaining elevated 2 yr after the meteorological event is over. *These findings indicate that repeated droughts would shift the functional composition of tropical forests toward smaller, denser-wooded trees. At very high drought intensities, the linear relationship between tree mortality and moisture stress apparently breaks down, suggesting the existence of moisture stress thresholds beyond which some tropical forests would suffer catastrophic tree mortality.

  2. A Student Guide to Tropical Forest Conservation

    Science.gov (United States)

    J. Louise Mastrantonio; John K. Francis

    1997-01-01

    Tropical forests, which circle the globe, are surprisingly diverse, ranging from rain forests to savannas. Tropical forests are disappearing at an alarming rate as they are converted to farmland and other uses. Modern forest management practices can help stem the tide by providing income and valuable products while maintaining forest cover. Puerto Rico has already gone...

  3. Pan-tropical monitoring of deforestation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Achard, F [Institute for Environment and Sustainability, Joint Research Centre of the European Commission, I-21020 Ispra (Italy); DeFries, R [Department of Geography and Earth System Science Interdisciplinary Center, University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742 (United States); Eva, H [Institute for Environment and Sustainability, Joint Research Centre of the European Commission, I-21020 Ispra (Italy); Hansen, M [Geographic Information Science Center of Excellence, South Dakota State University, Box 506B, Brookings, SD 57007 (United States); Mayaux, P [Institute for Environment and Sustainability, Joint Research Centre of the European Commission, I-21020 Ispra (Italy); Stibig, H-J [Institute for Environment and Sustainability, Joint Research Centre of the European Commission, I-21020 Ispra (Italy)

    2007-10-15

    This paper reviews the technical capabilities for monitoring deforestation from a pan-tropical perspective in response to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) process, which is studying the technical issues surrounding the ability to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from deforestation in developing countries. The successful implementation of such policies requires effective forest monitoring systems that are reproducible, provide consistent results, meet standards for mapping accuracy, and can be implemented from national to pan-tropical levels. Remotely sensed data, supported by ground observations, are crucial to such efforts. Recent developments in global to regional monitoring of forests can contribute to reducing the uncertainties in estimates of emissions from deforestation. Monitoring systems at national levels in developing countries can also benefit from pan-tropical and regional observations, mainly by identifying hot spots of change and prioritizing areas for monitoring at finer spatial scales. A pan-tropical perspective is also required to ensure consistency between different national monitoring systems. Data sources already exist to determine baseline periods in the 1990s as historical reference points. Key requirements for implementing such monitoring programs, both at pan-tropical and at national scales, are international commitment of resources to increase capacity, coordination of observations to ensure pan-tropical coverage, access to free or low-cost data, and standardized, consensus protocols for data interpretation and analysis.

  4. Pan-tropical monitoring of deforestation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Achard, F.; DeFries, R.; Eva, H.; Hansen, M.; Mayaux, P.; Stibig, H.-J.

    2007-10-01

    This paper reviews the technical capabilities for monitoring deforestation from a pan-tropical perspective in response to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) process, which is studying the technical issues surrounding the ability to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from deforestation in developing countries. The successful implementation of such policies requires effective forest monitoring systems that are reproducible, provide consistent results, meet standards for mapping accuracy, and can be implemented from national to pan-tropical levels. Remotely sensed data, supported by ground observations, are crucial to such efforts. Recent developments in global to regional monitoring of forests can contribute to reducing the uncertainties in estimates of emissions from deforestation. Monitoring systems at national levels in developing countries can also benefit from pan-tropical and regional observations, mainly by identifying hot spots of change and prioritizing areas for monitoring at finer spatial scales. A pan-tropical perspective is also required to ensure consistency between different national monitoring systems. Data sources already exist to determine baseline periods in the 1990s as historical reference points. Key requirements for implementing such monitoring programs, both at pan-tropical and at national scales, are international commitment of resources to increase capacity, coordination of observations to ensure pan-tropical coverage, access to free or low-cost data, and standardized, consensus protocols for data interpretation and analysis.

  5. Inventorying and Monitoring of Tropical Dry Forests Tree Diversity in Jalisco, Mexico Using a Geographical Information System

    Science.gov (United States)

    Efren Hernandez-Alvarez; Dieter R. Pelz; Carlos Rodriguez Franco

    2006-01-01

    Tropical dry forests in Mexico are an outstanding natural resource, due to the large surface area they cover. This ecosystem can be found from Baja California Norte to Chiapas on the eastern coast of the country. On the Gulf of Mexico side it grows from Tamaulipas to Yucatan. This is an ecosystem that is home to a wide diversity of plants, which include 114 tree...

  6. Monitoring tropical and montane forest dynamics and structure using remote sensing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Greenberg, Jonathan Asher

    Uncertainties in our understanding of the basic inputs and dynamics at work in the global carbon cycle severely restrict our ability to address why climate change is happening and how best to mitigate it. I focused on advances in regional and global climate change model inputs, addressing two major uncertainties: (1) what are the anthropogenic factors influencing deforestation and (2) what is the carbon load of an ecosystem? Analysis of anthropogenic factors leading to land use changes are presented in an evaluation of deforestation at the UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, Parque National Yasuni, located in the rainforest of eastern Ecuador, using multitemporal Landsat satellite imagery. Using survival analysis, I assessed current and future trends in deforestation rates and investigated the impact of spatial, cultural, and economic factors on deforestation. I found the annual rate of deforestation is currently only 0.11%, but is increasing with time, so that by 2063, 50% of the forest within 2 km of a major oil access road will be lost due to unhindered colonization and anthropogenic conversion. To improve accuracy in estimating landscape level carbon sequestration, I developed a new approach to generating regional aboveground biomass estimates for tree species of the Lake Tahoe Basin, California using hyperspatial (<1m2) remote sensing imagery. I demonstrate how, with accurate classification maps and allometric equations relating DBH or crown area to biomass, that crown parameters can be used to estimate regional biomass. I show that biomass estimated with fine-scale optical sensors does not saturate at high biomass levels as does coarse-scale optical and RADAR sensors. Finally, I address a technical problem to improve quantitative comparison of remote sensing datasets. I present a modification of the empirical line method for normalizing the radiance or reflectance scales of two images. Radiometric normalization of multitemporal remote sensing datasets is a critical

  7. Structural Dynamics of Tropical Moist Forest Gaps

    OpenAIRE

    Hunter, Maria O.; Michael Keller; Douglas Morton; Bruce Cook; Michael Lefsky; Mark Ducey; Scott Saleska; Raimundo Cosme de Oliveira; Juliana Schietti

    2015-01-01

    Gap phase dynamics are the dominant mode of forest turnover in tropical forests. However, gap processes are infrequently studied at the landscape scale. Airborne lidar data offer detailed information on three-dimensional forest structure, providing a means to characterize fine-scale (1 m) processes in tropical forests over large areas. Lidar-based estimates of forest structure (top down) differ from traditional field measurements (bottom up), and necessitate clear-cut definitions unencumbered...

  8. Tropical Forests. Global Issues Education Packet.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holm, Amy E.

    Tropical forests provide the world with many products and an incredible diversity of plant and animal life. These forests also provide watershed areas, soil control, climate regulation, and winter homes for migrating birds from North America. It is believed that about 40% of tropical forests have already been destroyed in the last 20-30 years,…

  9. The Tropical managed Forests Observatory: a research network addressing the future of tropical logged forests

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Sist, P.; Rutishauser, E.; Pena Claros, M.

    2015-01-01

    While attention on logging in the tropics has been increasing, studies on the long-term effects of silviculture on forest dynamics and ecology remain scare and spatially limited. Indeed, most of our knowledge on tropical forests arises from studies carried out in undisturbed tropical forests. This b

  10. SUSTAINING CARBON SINK POTENTIALS IN TROPICAL FOREST ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    HP

    Key words: Carbon sequestration, tropical forest, deforestation, conservation. INTRODUCTION ... to complex organic molecules which are then used by the whole plant. ..... Disturbances and structural development of natural forest ecosystems.

  11. Remotely sensed resilience of tropical forests

    Science.gov (United States)

    Verbesselt, Jan; Umlauf, Nikolaus; Hirota, Marina; Holmgren, Milena; van Nes, Egbert H.; Herold, Martin; Zeileis, Achim; Scheffer, Marten

    2016-11-01

    Recent work suggests that episodes of drought and heat can bring forests across climate zones to a threshold for massive tree mortality. As complex systems approach a threshold for collapse they tend to exhibit a loss of resilience, as reflected in declining recovery rates from perturbations. Trees may be no exception, as at the verge of drought-induced death, trees are found to be weakened in multiple ways, affecting their ability to recover from stress. Here we use worldwide time series of satellite images to show that temporal autocorrelation, an indicator of slow recovery rates, rises steeply as mean annual precipitation declines to levels known to be critical for tropical forests. This implies independent support for the idea that such forests may have a tipping point for collapse at drying conditions. Moreover, the demonstration that reduced rates of recovery (slowing down) may be detected from satellite data suggests a novel way to monitor resilience of tropical forests, as well as other ecosystems known to be vulnerable to collapse.

  12. Forensic forest ecology : unraveling the stand history of tropical forests

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Vlam, M.

    2014-01-01

    Tropical forests are occasionally hit by intense disturbances like hurricanes or droughts that kill many trees. We found evidence for such intense disturbances in a tree-ring study on tropical forests in Bolivia, Cameroon and Thailand. To reconstruct past disturbances we applied ‘forensic

  13. Forensic forest ecology : unraveling the stand history of tropical forests

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Vlam, M.

    2014-01-01

    Tropical forests are occasionally hit by intense disturbances like hurricanes or droughts that kill many trees. We found evidence for such intense disturbances in a tree-ring study on tropical forests in Bolivia, Cameroon and Thailand. To reconstruct past disturbances we applied ‘forensic fore

  14. Tropical forests and fragmentation: A case of South Garo Hills, Meghalaya, North East India

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ashish Kumar; Bruce Marcot; Rohitkumar Patel

    2017-01-01

    This study presents an ecological assessment of tropical forests at stand and landscape levels to provide knowledge, tools and, indicators to evaluate specific diversity patterns and related ecological processes happening in these tropical forest conditions; and for monitoring landscape changes for managing forest and wildlife resources of Jhum (shifting cultivation)...

  15. Forest structure in low diversity tropical forests: a study of Hawaiian wet and dry forests

    Science.gov (United States)

    R. Ostertag; F. Inman-Narahari; S. Cordell; C.P. Giardina; L. Sack

    2014-01-01

    The potential influence of diversity on ecosystem structure and function remains a topic of significant debate, especially for tropical forests where diversity can range widely. We used Center for Tropical Forest Science (CTFS) methodology to establish forest dynamics plots in montane wet forest and lowland dry forest on Hawai‘i Island. We compared the species...

  16. Functional ecology of tropical forest recovery

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Lohbeck, M.W.M.

    2014-01-01

    Electronic abstract of the thesis for the library for the acquisitions department of Wageningen UR library (published as a html file so hyperlinks may be included) In English, one or 2 pages. Functional ecology of tropical forest recovery Currently in the tropics, the area of second

  17. Tropical Forest Gain and Interactions amongst Agents of Forest Change

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sean Sloan

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available The tropical deforestation literature advocates multi-agent enquiry in recognition that key dynamics arise from inter-agent interactions. Studies of tropical forest-cover gain have lagged in this respect. This article explores the roles and key aspects of interactions shaping natural forest regeneration and active reforestation in Eastern Panama since 1990. It employs household surveys of agricultural landholders, interviews with community forest-restoration organisations, archival analysis of plantation reforestation interests, satellite image analysis of forest-cover change, and the consideration of State reforestation policies. Forest-cover gain reflected a convergence of interests and land-use trends amongst agents. Low social and economic costs of sustained interaction and organisation enabled extensive forest-cover gain, but low transaction costs did not. Corporate plantation reforestation rose to the fore of regional forest-cover gain via opportunistic land sales by ranchers and economic subsidies indicative of a State preference for autonomous, self-organising forest-cover gain. This reforestation follows a recent history of neoliberal frontier development in which State-backed loggers and ranchers similarly displaced agriculturalists. Community institutions, long neglected by the State, struggled to coordinate landholders and so effected far less forest-cover gain. National and international commitments to tropical forest restoration risk being similarly characterised as ineffective by a predominance of industrial plantation reforestation without greater State support for community forest management.

  18. The Impacts of Droughts in Tropical Forests.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Corlett, Richard T

    2016-07-01

    Tropical forests exchange more carbon dioxide (CO2) with the atmosphere than any other vegetation type and, thus, form a crucial component of the global carbon cycle. However, the impacts of anthropogenic climate change on drought occurrence and intensity could weaken the tropical forest carbon sink, with resulting feedback to future climates. We urgently need a better understanding of the mechanisms and processes involved to predict future responses of tropical forest carbon sequestration to climate change. Recent progress has been made in the study of drought responses at the molecular, cellular, organ, individual, species, community, and landscape levels. Although understanding of the mechanisms is incomplete, the models used to predict drought impacts could be significantly improved by incorporating existing knowledge. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  19. Tropical forests and the changing earth system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lewis, Simon L

    2006-01-29

    Tropical forests are global epicentres of biodiversity and important modulators of the rate of climate change. Recent research on deforestation rates and ecological changes within intact forests, both areas of recent research and debate, are reviewed, and the implications for biodiversity (species loss) and climate change (via the global carbon cycle) addressed. Recent impacts have most likely been: (i) a large source of carbon to the atmosphere, and major loss of species, from deforestation and (ii) a large carbon sink within remaining intact forest, accompanied by accelerating forest dynamism and widespread biodiversity changes. Finally, I look to the future, suggesting that the current carbon sink in intact forests is unlikely to continue, and that the tropical forest biome may even become a large net source of carbon, via one or more of four plausible routes: changing photosynthesis and respiration rates, biodiversity changes in intact forest, widespread forest collapse via drought, and widespread forest collapse via fire. Each of these scenarios risks potentially dangerous positive feedbacks with the climate system that could dramatically accelerate and intensify climate change. Given that continued land-use change alone is already thought to be causing the sixth mass extinction event in Earth's history, should such feedbacks occur, the resulting biodiversity and societal consequences would be even more severe.

  20. Road-networks, a practical indicator of human impacts on biodiversity in Tropical forests

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hosaka, T.; Yamada, T.; Okuda, T.

    2014-02-01

    Tropical forests sustain the most diverse plants and animals in the world, but are also being lost most rapidly. Rapid assessment and monitoring using remote sensing on biodiversity of tropical forests is needed to predict and evaluate biodiversity loss by human activities. Identification of reliable indicators of forest biodiversity and/or its loss is an urgent issue. In the present paper, we propose the density of road networks in tropical forests can be a good and practical indicator of human impacts on biodiversity in tropical forests through reviewing papers and introducing our preliminary survey in peninsular Malaysia. Many previous studies suggest a strong negative impact of forest roads on biodiversity in tropical rainforests since they changes microclimate, soil properties, drainage patterns, canopy openness and forest accessibility. Moreover, our preliminary survey also showed that even a narrow logging road (6 m wide) significantly lowered abundance of dung beetles (well-known bio-indicator in biodiversity survey in tropical forests) near the road. Since these road networks are readily to be detected with remote sensing approach such as aerial photographs and Lider, regulation and monitoring of the road networks using remote sensing techniques is a key to slow down the rate of biodiversity loss due to forest degradation in tropical forests.

  1. Forest structure in low-diversity tropical forests: a study of Hawaiian wet and dry forests.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ostertag, Rebecca; Inman-Narahari, Faith; Cordell, Susan; Giardina, Christian P; Sack, Lawren

    2014-01-01

    The potential influence of diversity on ecosystem structure and function remains a topic of significant debate, especially for tropical forests where diversity can range widely. We used Center for Tropical Forest Science (CTFS) methodology to establish forest dynamics plots in montane wet forest and lowland dry forest on Hawai'i Island. We compared the species diversity, tree density, basal area, biomass, and size class distributions between the two forest types. We then examined these variables across tropical forests within the CTFS network. Consistent with other island forests, the Hawai'i forests were characterized by low species richness and very high relative dominance. The two Hawai'i forests were floristically distinct, yet similar in species richness (15 vs. 21 species) and stem density (3078 vs. 3486/ha). While these forests were selected for their low invasive species cover relative to surrounding forests, both forests averaged 5->50% invasive species cover; ongoing removal will be necessary to reduce or prevent competitive impacts, especially from woody species. The montane wet forest had much larger trees, resulting in eightfold higher basal area and above-ground biomass. Across the CTFS network, the Hawaiian montane wet forest was similar to other tropical forests with respect to diameter distributions, density, and aboveground biomass, while the Hawai'i lowland dry forest was similar in density to tropical forests with much higher diversity. These findings suggest that forest structural variables can be similar across tropical forests independently of species richness. The inclusion of low-diversity Pacific Island forests in the CTFS network provides an ∼80-fold range in species richness (15-1182 species), six-fold variation in mean annual rainfall (835-5272 mm yr(-1)) and 1.8-fold variation in mean annual temperature (16.0-28.4°C). Thus, the Hawaiian forest plots expand the global forest plot network to enable testing of ecological theory for

  2. Design considerations for tropical forest inventories

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ronald Edward McRoberts

    2013-06-01

    Full Text Available Forests contribute substantially to maintaining the global greenhouse gas balance, primarily because among the five economic sectors identified by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, only the forestry sector has the potential to remove greenhouse gas emissions from the atmosphere. In this context, development of national forest carbon accounting systems, particularly in countries with tropical forests, has emerged as an international priority. Because these systems are often developed as components of or in parallel with national forest inventories, a brief review of statistical issues related to the development of forest ground sampling designs is provided. This overview addresses not only the primary issues of plot configurations and sampling designs, but also to a lesser extent the emerging roles of remote sensing and uncertainty assessment. Basic inventory principles are illustrated for two case studies, the national forest inventory of Brazil with special emphasis on the state of Santa Catarina, and an inventory for Tanzania.

  3. Defaunation affects carbon storage in tropical forests.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bello, Carolina; Galetti, Mauro; Pizo, Marco A; Magnago, Luiz Fernando S; Rocha, Mariana F; Lima, Renato A F; Peres, Carlos A; Ovaskainen, Otso; Jordano, Pedro

    2015-12-01

    Carbon storage is widely acknowledged as one of the most valuable forest ecosystem services. Deforestation, logging, fragmentation, fire, and climate change have significant effects on tropical carbon stocks; however, an elusive and yet undetected decrease in carbon storage may be due to defaunation of large seed dispersers. Many large tropical trees with sizeable contributions to carbon stock rely on large vertebrates for seed dispersal and regeneration, however many of these frugivores are threatened by hunting, illegal trade, and habitat loss. We used a large data set on tree species composition and abundance, seed, fruit, and carbon-related traits, and plant-animal interactions to estimate the loss of carbon storage capacity of tropical forests in defaunated scenarios. By simulating the local extinction of trees that depend on large frugivores in 31 Atlantic Forest communities, we found that defaunation has the potential to significantly erode carbon storage even when only a small proportion of large-seeded trees are extirpated. Although intergovernmental policies to reduce carbon emissions and reforestation programs have been mostly focused on deforestation, our results demonstrate that defaunation, and the loss of key ecological interactions, also poses a serious risk for the maintenance of tropical forest carbon storage.

  4. Structural Dynamics of Tropical Moist Forest Gaps

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hunter, Maria O.; Keller, Michael; Morton, Douglas; Cook, Bruce; Lefsky, Michael; Ducey, Mark; Saleska, Scott; de Oliveira, Raimundo Cosme; Schietti, Juliana

    2015-01-01

    Gap phase dynamics are the dominant mode of forest turnover in tropical forests. However, gap processes are infrequently studied at the landscape scale. Airborne lidar data offer detailed information on three-dimensional forest structure, providing a means to characterize fine-scale (1 m) processes in tropical forests over large areas. Lidar-based estimates of forest structure (top down) differ from traditional field measurements (bottom up), and necessitate clear-cut definitions unencumbered by the wisdom of a field observer. We offer a new definition of a forest gap that is driven by forest dynamics and consistent with precise ranging measurements from airborne lidar data and tall, multi-layered tropical forest structure. We used 1000 ha of multi-temporal lidar data (2008, 2012) at two sites, the Tapajos National Forest and Ducke Reserve, to study gap dynamics in the Brazilian Amazon. Here, we identified dynamic gaps as contiguous areas of significant growth, that correspond to areas > 10 m2, with height <10 m. Applying the dynamic definition at both sites, we found over twice as much area in gap at Tapajos National Forest (4.8 %) as compared to Ducke Reserve (2.0 %). On average, gaps were smaller at Ducke Reserve and closed slightly more rapidly, with estimated height gains of 1.2 m y-1 versus 1.1 m y-1 at Tapajos. At the Tapajos site, height growth in gap centers was greater than the average height gain in gaps (1.3 m y-1 versus 1.1 m y-1). Rates of height growth between lidar acquisitions reflect the interplay between gap edge mortality, horizontal ingrowth and gap size at the two sites. We estimated that approximately 10 % of gap area closed via horizontal ingrowth at Ducke Reserve as opposed to 6 % at Tapajos National Forest. Height loss (interpreted as repeat damage and/or mortality) and horizontal ingrowth accounted for similar proportions of gap area at Ducke Reserve (13 % and 10 %, respectively). At Tapajos, height loss had a much stronger signal (23

  5. Structural Dynamics of Tropical Moist Forest Gaps.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maria O Hunter

    Full Text Available Gap phase dynamics are the dominant mode of forest turnover in tropical forests. However, gap processes are infrequently studied at the landscape scale. Airborne lidar data offer detailed information on three-dimensional forest structure, providing a means to characterize fine-scale (1 m processes in tropical forests over large areas. Lidar-based estimates of forest structure (top down differ from traditional field measurements (bottom up, and necessitate clear-cut definitions unencumbered by the wisdom of a field observer. We offer a new definition of a forest gap that is driven by forest dynamics and consistent with precise ranging measurements from airborne lidar data and tall, multi-layered tropical forest structure. We used 1000 ha of multi-temporal lidar data (2008, 2012 at two sites, the Tapajos National Forest and Ducke Reserve, to study gap dynamics in the Brazilian Amazon. Here, we identified dynamic gaps as contiguous areas of significant growth, that correspond to areas > 10 m2, with height <10 m. Applying the dynamic definition at both sites, we found over twice as much area in gap at Tapajos National Forest (4.8% as compared to Ducke Reserve (2.0%. On average, gaps were smaller at Ducke Reserve and closed slightly more rapidly, with estimated height gains of 1.2 m y-1 versus 1.1 m y-1 at Tapajos. At the Tapajos site, height growth in gap centers was greater than the average height gain in gaps (1.3 m y-1 versus 1.1 m y-1. Rates of height growth between lidar acquisitions reflect the interplay between gap edge mortality, horizontal ingrowth and gap size at the two sites. We estimated that approximately 10% of gap area closed via horizontal ingrowth at Ducke Reserve as opposed to 6% at Tapajos National Forest. Height loss (interpreted as repeat damage and/or mortality and horizontal ingrowth accounted for similar proportions of gap area at Ducke Reserve (13% and 10%, respectively. At Tapajos, height loss had a much stronger signal

  6. Structural Dynamics of Tropical Moist Forest Gaps.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hunter, Maria O; Keller, Michael; Morton, Douglas; Cook, Bruce; Lefsky, Michael; Ducey, Mark; Saleska, Scott; de Oliveira, Raimundo Cosme; Schietti, Juliana

    2015-01-01

    Gap phase dynamics are the dominant mode of forest turnover in tropical forests. However, gap processes are infrequently studied at the landscape scale. Airborne lidar data offer detailed information on three-dimensional forest structure, providing a means to characterize fine-scale (1 m) processes in tropical forests over large areas. Lidar-based estimates of forest structure (top down) differ from traditional field measurements (bottom up), and necessitate clear-cut definitions unencumbered by the wisdom of a field observer. We offer a new definition of a forest gap that is driven by forest dynamics and consistent with precise ranging measurements from airborne lidar data and tall, multi-layered tropical forest structure. We used 1000 ha of multi-temporal lidar data (2008, 2012) at two sites, the Tapajos National Forest and Ducke Reserve, to study gap dynamics in the Brazilian Amazon. Here, we identified dynamic gaps as contiguous areas of significant growth, that correspond to areas > 10 m2, with height <10 m. Applying the dynamic definition at both sites, we found over twice as much area in gap at Tapajos National Forest (4.8%) as compared to Ducke Reserve (2.0%). On average, gaps were smaller at Ducke Reserve and closed slightly more rapidly, with estimated height gains of 1.2 m y-1 versus 1.1 m y-1 at Tapajos. At the Tapajos site, height growth in gap centers was greater than the average height gain in gaps (1.3 m y-1 versus 1.1 m y-1). Rates of height growth between lidar acquisitions reflect the interplay between gap edge mortality, horizontal ingrowth and gap size at the two sites. We estimated that approximately 10% of gap area closed via horizontal ingrowth at Ducke Reserve as opposed to 6% at Tapajos National Forest. Height loss (interpreted as repeat damage and/or mortality) and horizontal ingrowth accounted for similar proportions of gap area at Ducke Reserve (13% and 10%, respectively). At Tapajos, height loss had a much stronger signal (23% versus 6

  7. Secondary Forest Age and Tropical Forest Biomass Estimation Using TM

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nelson, R. F.; Kimes, D. S.; Salas, W. A.; Routhier, M.

    1999-01-01

    The age of secondary forests in the Amazon will become more critical with respect to the estimation of biomass and carbon budgets as tropical forest conversion continues. Multitemporal Thematic Mapper data were used to develop land cover histories for a 33,000 Square kM area near Ariquemes, Rondonia over a 7 year period from 1989-1995. The age of the secondary forest, a surrogate for the amount of biomass (or carbon) stored above-ground, was found to be unimportant in terms of biomass budget error rates in a forested TM scene which had undergone a 20% conversion to nonforest/agricultural cover types. In such a situation, the 80% of the scene still covered by primary forest accounted for over 98% of the scene biomass. The difference between secondary forest biomass estimates developed with and without age information were inconsequential relative to the estimate of biomass for the entire scene. However, in futuristic scenarios where all of the primary forest has been converted to agriculture and secondary forest (55% and 42% respectively), the ability to age secondary forest becomes critical. Depending on biomass accumulation rate assumptions, scene biomass budget errors on the order of -10% to +30% are likely if the age of the secondary forests are not taken into account. Single-date TM imagery cannot be used to accurately age secondary forests into single-year classes. A neural network utilizing TM band 2 and three TM spectral-texture measures (bands 3 and 5) predicted secondary forest age over a range of 0-7 years with an RMSE of 1.59 years and an R(Squared) (sub actual vs predicted) = 0.37. A proposal is made, based on a literature review, to use satellite imagery to identify general secondary forest age groups which, within group, exhibit relatively constant biomass accumulation rates.

  8. Forest composition modifies litter dynamics and decomposition in regenerating tropical dry forest.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schilling, Erik M; Waring, Bonnie G; Schilling, Jonathan S; Powers, Jennifer S

    2016-09-01

    We investigated how forest composition, litter quality, and rainfall interact to affect leaf litter decomposition across three successional tropical dry forests in Costa Rica. We monitored litter stocks and bulk litter turnover in 18 plots that exhibit substantial variation in soil characteristics, tree community structure, fungal communities (including forests dominated by ecto- or arbuscular mycorrhizal host trees), and forest age. Simultaneously, we decomposed three standard litter substrates over a 6-month period spanning an unusually intense drought. Decay rates of standard substrates depended on the interaction between litter identity and forest type. Decomposition rates were correlated with tree and soil fungal community composition as well as soil fertility, but these relationships differed among litter types. In low fertility soils dominated by ectomycorrhizal oak trees, bulk litter turnover rates were low, regardless of soil moisture. By contrast, in higher fertility soils that supported mostly arbuscular mycorrhizal trees, bulk litter decay rates were strongly dependent on seasonal water availability. Both measures of decomposition increased with forest age, as did the frequency of termite-mediated wood decay. Taken together, our results demonstrate that soils and forest age exert strong control over decomposition dynamics in these tropical dry forests, either directly through effects on microclimate and nutrients, or indirectly by affecting tree and microbial community composition and traits, such as litter quality.

  9. issues of tropical forest transformation in ashanti region, ghana

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    User

    global discourse of tropical deforestation obscures the more complex process that contributes to ... more effective ways of engaging in sustainable tropical forest management in the Ashanti Re- .... Institutional surveys using structured question-.

  10. Forest structure in low-diversity tropical forests: a study of Hawaiian wet and dry forests.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rebecca Ostertag

    Full Text Available The potential influence of diversity on ecosystem structure and function remains a topic of significant debate, especially for tropical forests where diversity can range widely. We used Center for Tropical Forest Science (CTFS methodology to establish forest dynamics plots in montane wet forest and lowland dry forest on Hawai'i Island. We compared the species diversity, tree density, basal area, biomass, and size class distributions between the two forest types. We then examined these variables across tropical forests within the CTFS network. Consistent with other island forests, the Hawai'i forests were characterized by low species richness and very high relative dominance. The two Hawai'i forests were floristically distinct, yet similar in species richness (15 vs. 21 species and stem density (3078 vs. 3486/ha. While these forests were selected for their low invasive species cover relative to surrounding forests, both forests averaged 5->50% invasive species cover; ongoing removal will be necessary to reduce or prevent competitive impacts, especially from woody species. The montane wet forest had much larger trees, resulting in eightfold higher basal area and above-ground biomass. Across the CTFS network, the Hawaiian montane wet forest was similar to other tropical forests with respect to diameter distributions, density, and aboveground biomass, while the Hawai'i lowland dry forest was similar in density to tropical forests with much higher diversity. These findings suggest that forest structural variables can be similar across tropical forests independently of species richness. The inclusion of low-diversity Pacific Island forests in the CTFS network provides an ∼80-fold range in species richness (15-1182 species, six-fold variation in mean annual rainfall (835-5272 mm yr(-1 and 1.8-fold variation in mean annual temperature (16.0-28.4°C. Thus, the Hawaiian forest plots expand the global forest plot network to enable testing of ecological

  11. Tropical forest transitions: structural changes in forest area, composition and landscape

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Wiersum, K.F.

    2014-01-01

    Most studies on tropical forest dynamics focus on the processes of deforestation and forest degradation and its associated ecological impacts; comparatively little attention is given to the emergence of forest transitions. This review gives an overview of forest transitions in the tropics as

  12. Degraded tropical rain forests possess valuable carbon storage opportunities in a complex, forested landscape

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alamgir, Mohammed; Campbell, Mason J.; Turton, Stephen M.; Pert, Petina L.; Edwards, Will; Laurance, William F.

    2016-01-01

    Tropical forests are major contributors to the terrestrial global carbon pool, but this pool is being reduced via deforestation and forest degradation. Relatively few studies have assessed carbon storage in degraded tropical forests. We sampled 37,000 m2 of intact rainforest, degraded rainforest and sclerophyll forest across the greater Wet Tropics bioregion of northeast Australia. We compared aboveground biomass and carbon storage of the three forest types, and the effects of forest structural attributes and environmental factors that influence carbon storage. Some degraded forests were found to store much less aboveground carbon than intact rainforests, whereas others sites had similar carbon storage to primary forest. Sclerophyll forests had lower carbon storage, comparable to the most heavily degraded rainforests. Our findings indicate that under certain situations, degraded forest may store as much carbon as intact rainforests. Strategic rehabilitation of degraded forests could enhance regional carbon storage and have positive benefits for tropical biodiversity. PMID:27435389

  13. Degraded tropical rain forests possess valuable carbon storage opportunities in a complex, forested landscape

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alamgir, Mohammed; Campbell, Mason J.; Turton, Stephen M.; Pert, Petina L.; Edwards, Will; Laurance, William F.

    2016-07-01

    Tropical forests are major contributors to the terrestrial global carbon pool, but this pool is being reduced via deforestation and forest degradation. Relatively few studies have assessed carbon storage in degraded tropical forests. We sampled 37,000 m2 of intact rainforest, degraded rainforest and sclerophyll forest across the greater Wet Tropics bioregion of northeast Australia. We compared aboveground biomass and carbon storage of the three forest types, and the effects of forest structural attributes and environmental factors that influence carbon storage. Some degraded forests were found to store much less aboveground carbon than intact rainforests, whereas others sites had similar carbon storage to primary forest. Sclerophyll forests had lower carbon storage, comparable to the most heavily degraded rainforests. Our findings indicate that under certain situations, degraded forest may store as much carbon as intact rainforests. Strategic rehabilitation of degraded forests could enhance regional carbon storage and have positive benefits for tropical biodiversity.

  14. Degraded tropical rain forests possess valuable carbon storage opportunities in a complex, forested landscape.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alamgir, Mohammed; Campbell, Mason J; Turton, Stephen M; Pert, Petina L; Edwards, Will; Laurance, William F

    2016-07-20

    Tropical forests are major contributors to the terrestrial global carbon pool, but this pool is being reduced via deforestation and forest degradation. Relatively few studies have assessed carbon storage in degraded tropical forests. We sampled 37,000 m(2) of intact rainforest, degraded rainforest and sclerophyll forest across the greater Wet Tropics bioregion of northeast Australia. We compared aboveground biomass and carbon storage of the three forest types, and the effects of forest structural attributes and environmental factors that influence carbon storage. Some degraded forests were found to store much less aboveground carbon than intact rainforests, whereas others sites had similar carbon storage to primary forest. Sclerophyll forests had lower carbon storage, comparable to the most heavily degraded rainforests. Our findings indicate that under certain situations, degraded forest may store as much carbon as intact rainforests. Strategic rehabilitation of degraded forests could enhance regional carbon storage and have positive benefits for tropical biodiversity.

  15. Guidance on Monitoring of Gross Changes in Forest Area

    OpenAIRE

    Achard, Frederic; DeFries, Ruth; Herold, Martin; Mollicone, Danilo; Pandey, Devendra; Souza, Carlos

    2008-01-01

    This chapter presents the state of the art for data and approaches to be used for monitoring forest area changes at the national scale in tropical countries using remote sensing imagery. It includes approaches and data for monitoring both deforestation and forest degradation and for establishing historical reference scenarios. The chapter presents the minimum requirements to develop first order national deforestation databases, using typical and internationally accepted methods. There are ...

  16. Diversity and carbon storage across the tropical forest biome

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sullivan, Martin J. P.; Talbot, Joey; Lewis, Simon L.; Phillips, Oliver L.; Qie, Lan; Begne, Serge K.; Chave, Jerôme; Cuni-Sanchez, Aida; Hubau, Wannes; Lopez-Gonzalez, Gabriela; Miles, Lera; Monteagudo-Mendoza, Abel; Sonké, Bonaventure; Sunderland, Terry; Ter Steege, Hans; White, Lee J. T.; Affum-Baffoe, Kofi; Aiba, Shin-Ichiro; de Almeida, Everton Cristo; de Oliveira, Edmar Almeida; Alvarez-Loayza, Patricia; Dávila, Esteban Álvarez; Andrade, Ana; Aragão, Luiz E. O. C.; Ashton, Peter; Aymard C., Gerardo A.; Baker, Timothy R.; Balinga, Michael; Banin, Lindsay F.; Baraloto, Christopher; Bastin, Jean-Francois; Berry, Nicholas; Bogaert, Jan; Bonal, Damien; Bongers, Frans; Brienen, Roel; Camargo, José Luís C.; Cerón, Carlos; Moscoso, Victor Chama; Chezeaux, Eric; Clark, Connie J.; Pacheco, Álvaro Cogollo; Comiskey, James A.; Valverde, Fernando Cornejo; Coronado, Eurídice N. Honorio; Dargie, Greta; Davies, Stuart J.; de Canniere, Charles; Djuikouo K., Marie Noel; Doucet, Jean-Louis; Erwin, Terry L.; Espejo, Javier Silva; Ewango, Corneille E. N.; Fauset, Sophie; Feldpausch, Ted R.; Herrera, Rafael; Gilpin, Martin; Gloor, Emanuel; Hall, Jefferson S.; Harris, David J.; Hart, Terese B.; Kartawinata, Kuswata; Kho, Lip Khoon; Kitayama, Kanehiro; Laurance, Susan G. W.; Laurance, William F.; Leal, Miguel E.; Lovejoy, Thomas; Lovett, Jon C.; Lukasu, Faustin Mpanya; Makana, Jean-Remy; Malhi, Yadvinder; Maracahipes, Leandro; Marimon, Beatriz S.; Junior, Ben Hur Marimon; Marshall, Andrew R.; Morandi, Paulo S.; Mukendi, John Tshibamba; Mukinzi, Jaques; Nilus, Reuben; Vargas, Percy Núñez; Camacho, Nadir C. Pallqui; Pardo, Guido; Peña-Claros, Marielos; Pétronelli, Pascal; Pickavance, Georgia C.; Poulsen, Axel Dalberg; Poulsen, John R.; Primack, Richard B.; Priyadi, Hari; Quesada, Carlos A.; Reitsma, Jan; Réjou-Méchain, Maxime; Restrepo, Zorayda; Rutishauser, Ervan; Salim, Kamariah Abu; Salomão, Rafael P.; Samsoedin, Ismayadi; Sheil, Douglas; Sierra, Rodrigo; Silveira, Marcos; Slik, J. W. Ferry; Steel, Lisa; Taedoumg, Hermann; Tan, Sylvester; Terborgh, John W.; Thomas, Sean C.; Toledo, Marisol; Umunay, Peter M.; Gamarra, Luis Valenzuela; Vieira, Ima Célia Guimarães; Vos, Vincent A.; Wang, Ophelia; Willcock, Simon; Zemagho, Lise

    2017-01-01

    Tropical forests are global centres of biodiversity and carbon storage. Many tropical countries aspire to protect forest to fulfil biodiversity and climate mitigation policy targets, but the conservation strategies needed to achieve these two functions depend critically on the tropical forest tree diversity-carbon storage relationship. Assessing this relationship is challenging due to the scarcity of inventories where carbon stocks in aboveground biomass and species identifications have been simultaneously and robustly quantified. Here, we compile a unique pan-tropical dataset of 360 plots located in structurally intact old-growth closed-canopy forest, surveyed using standardised methods, allowing a multi-scale evaluation of diversity-carbon relationships in tropical forests. Diversity-carbon relationships among all plots at 1 ha scale across the tropics are absent, and within continents are either weak (Asia) or absent (Amazonia, Africa). A weak positive relationship is detectable within 1 ha plots, indicating that diversity effects in tropical forests may be scale dependent. The absence of clear diversity-carbon relationships at scales relevant to conservation planning means that carbon-centred conservation strategies will inevitably miss many high diversity ecosystems. As tropical forests can have any combination of tree diversity and carbon stocks both require explicit consideration when optimising policies to manage tropical carbon and biodiversity.

  17. Diversity and carbon storage across the tropical forest biome

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sullivan, Martin J. P.; Talbot, Joey; Lewis, Simon L.; Phillips, Oliver L.; Qie, Lan; Begne, Serge K.; Chave, Jerôme; Cuni-Sanchez, Aida; Hubau, Wannes; Lopez-Gonzalez, Gabriela; Miles, Lera; Monteagudo-Mendoza, Abel; Sonké, Bonaventure; Sunderland, Terry; ter Steege, Hans; White, Lee J. T.; Affum-Baffoe, Kofi; Aiba, Shin-ichiro; de Almeida, Everton Cristo; de Oliveira, Edmar Almeida; Alvarez-Loayza, Patricia; Dávila, Esteban Álvarez; Andrade, Ana; Aragão, Luiz E. O. C.; Ashton, Peter; Aymard C., Gerardo A.; Baker, Timothy R.; Balinga, Michael; Banin, Lindsay F.; Baraloto, Christopher; Bastin, Jean-Francois; Berry, Nicholas; Bogaert, Jan; Bonal, Damien; Bongers, Frans; Brienen, Roel; Camargo, José Luís C.; Cerón, Carlos; Moscoso, Victor Chama; Chezeaux, Eric; Clark, Connie J.; Pacheco, Álvaro Cogollo; Comiskey, James A.; Valverde, Fernando Cornejo; Coronado, Eurídice N. Honorio; Dargie, Greta; Davies, Stuart J.; De Canniere, Charles; Djuikouo K., Marie Noel; Doucet, Jean-Louis; Erwin, Terry L.; Espejo, Javier Silva; Ewango, Corneille E. N.; Fauset, Sophie; Feldpausch, Ted R.; Herrera, Rafael; Gilpin, Martin; Gloor, Emanuel; Hall, Jefferson S.; Harris, David J.; Hart, Terese B.; Kartawinata, Kuswata; Kho, Lip Khoon; Kitayama, Kanehiro; Laurance, Susan G. W.; Laurance, William F.; Leal, Miguel E.; Lovejoy, Thomas; Lovett, Jon C.; Lukasu, Faustin Mpanya; Makana, Jean-Remy; Malhi, Yadvinder; Maracahipes, Leandro; Marimon, Beatriz S.; Junior, Ben Hur Marimon; Marshall, Andrew R.; Morandi, Paulo S.; Mukendi, John Tshibamba; Mukinzi, Jaques; Nilus, Reuben; Vargas, Percy Núñez; Camacho, Nadir C. Pallqui; Pardo, Guido; Peña-Claros, Marielos; Pétronelli, Pascal; Pickavance, Georgia C.; Poulsen, Axel Dalberg; Poulsen, John R.; Primack, Richard B.; Priyadi, Hari; Quesada, Carlos A.; Reitsma, Jan; Réjou-Méchain, Maxime; Restrepo, Zorayda; Rutishauser, Ervan; Salim, Kamariah Abu; Salomão, Rafael P.; Samsoedin, Ismayadi; Sheil, Douglas; Sierra, Rodrigo; Silveira, Marcos; Slik, J. W. Ferry; Steel, Lisa; Taedoumg, Hermann; Tan, Sylvester; Terborgh, John W.; Thomas, Sean C.; Toledo, Marisol; Umunay, Peter M.; Gamarra, Luis Valenzuela; Vieira, Ima Célia Guimarães; Vos, Vincent A.; Wang, Ophelia; Willcock, Simon; Zemagho, Lise

    2017-01-01

    Tropical forests are global centres of biodiversity and carbon storage. Many tropical countries aspire to protect forest to fulfil biodiversity and climate mitigation policy targets, but the conservation strategies needed to achieve these two functions depend critically on the tropical forest tree diversity-carbon storage relationship. Assessing this relationship is challenging due to the scarcity of inventories where carbon stocks in aboveground biomass and species identifications have been simultaneously and robustly quantified. Here, we compile a unique pan-tropical dataset of 360 plots located in structurally intact old-growth closed-canopy forest, surveyed using standardised methods, allowing a multi-scale evaluation of diversity-carbon relationships in tropical forests. Diversity-carbon relationships among all plots at 1 ha scale across the tropics are absent, and within continents are either weak (Asia) or absent (Amazonia, Africa). A weak positive relationship is detectable within 1 ha plots, indicating that diversity effects in tropical forests may be scale dependent. The absence of clear diversity-carbon relationships at scales relevant to conservation planning means that carbon-centred conservation strategies will inevitably miss many high diversity ecosystems. As tropical forests can have any combination of tree diversity and carbon stocks both require explicit consideration when optimising policies to manage tropical carbon and biodiversity. PMID:28094794

  18. Radar remote sensing to support tropical forest management.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Sanden, van der J.J.

    1997-01-01

    This text describes an investigation into the potential of radar remote sensing for application to tropical forest management. The information content of various radar images is compared and assessed with regard to the information requirements of parties involved in tropical forest management at the

  19. CTFS/ForestGEO: A global network to monitor forest interactions with a changing climate

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anderson-Teixeira, K. J.; Muller-Landau, H.; McMahon, S.; Davies, S. J.

    2013-12-01

    Forests are an influential component of the global carbon cycle and strongly influence Earth's climate. Climate change is altering the dynamics of forests globally, which may result in significant climate feedbacks. Forest responses to climate change entail both short-term ecophysiological responses and longer-term directional shifts in community composition. These short- and long-term responses of forest communities to climate change may be better understood through long-term monitoring of large forest plots globally using standardized methodology. Here, we describe a global network of forest research plots (CTFS/ForestGEO) of utility for understanding forest responses to climate change and consequent feedbacks to the climate system. CTFS/ForestGEO is an international network consisting of 51 sites ranging in size from 2-150 ha (median size: 25 ha) and spanning from 25°S to 52°N latitude. At each site, every individual > 1cm DBH is mapped and identified, and recruitment, growth, and mortality are monitored every 5 years. Additional measurements include aboveground productivity, carbon stocks, soil nutrients, plant functional traits, arthropod and vertebrates monitoring, DNA barcoding, airborne and ground-based LiDAR, micrometeorology, and weather monitoring. Data from this network are useful for understanding how forest ecosystem structure and function respond to spatial and temporal variation in abiotic drivers, parameterizing and evaluating ecosystem and earth system models, aligning airborne and ground-based measurements, and identifying directional changes in forest productivity and composition. For instance, CTFS/ForestGEO data have revealed that solar radiation and night-time temperature are important drivers of aboveground productivity in moist tropical forests; that tropical forests are mixed in terms of productivity and biomass trends over the past couple decades; and that the composition of Panamanian forests has shifted towards more drought

  20. Lacunarity as a texture measure for a tropical forest landscape

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Su, Haiping; Krummel, J.

    1996-01-01

    Fragmentation and loss of tropical forest cover alters terrestrial plant and animal population dynamics, reduces biodiversity and carbon storage capacity, and, as a global phenomenon could affect regional and global climate patterns. Lacunarity as a texture measure can offer a simple solution to characterize the texture of tropical forest landscape and determine spatial patterns associated with ecological processes. Lacunarity quantifies the deviation from translational invariance by describing the distribution of gaps within a binary image at multiple scales. As lacunarity increases, the spatial arrangement of tropical forest gaps will also increase. In this study, we used the Spatial Modeler in Imagine as a graphic programming tool to calculate lacunarity indices for a tropical forest landscape in Southern Mexico and Northern Guatemala. Lacunarity indices were derived from classified Landsat MSS images acquired in 1974 and 1984. Random-generated binary images were also used to derive lacunarity indices and compared with the lacunarity of forest patterns derived from the classified MSS images. Tropical forest area declined about 17%, with most of the forest areas converted into pasture/grassland for grazing. During this period, lacunarity increased about 25%. Results of this study suggest that tropical forest fragmentation could be quantified with lacunarity measures. The study also demonstrated that the Spatial Modeler can be useful as a programming tool to quantify spatial patterns of tropical forest landscape by using remotely sensed data.

  1. Community ecology of tropical forest snails: 30 years after Solem

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Schilthuizen, M.

    2011-01-01

    Since Solem’s provocative claim in the early 1980s that land snails in tropical forests are neither abundant nor diverse, at least 30 quantitative-ecological papers on tropical land snail communities have appeared. Jointly, these papers have shown that site diversity is, in fact, high in tropical fo

  2. Poverty and corruption compromise tropical forest reserves.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wright, S Joseph; Sanchez-Azofeifa, G Arturo; Portillo-Quintero, Carlos; Davies, Diane

    2007-07-01

    We used the global fire detection record provided by the satellite-based Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) to determine the number of fires detected inside 823 tropical and subtropical moist forest reserves and for contiguous buffer areas 5, 10, and 15 km wide. The ratio of fire detection densities (detections per square kilometer) inside reserves to their contiguous buffer areas provided an index of reserve effectiveness. Fire detection density was significantly lower inside reserves than in paired, contiguous buffer areas but varied by five orders of magnitude among reserves. The buffer: reserve detection ratio varied by up to four orders of magnitude among reserves within a single country, and median values varied by three orders of magnitude among countries. Reserves tended to be least effective at reducing fire frequency in many poorer countries and in countries beset by corruption. Countries with the most successful reserves include Costa Rica, Jamaica, Malaysia, and Taiwan and the Indonesian island of Java. Countries with the most problematic reserves include Cambodia, Guatemala, Paraguay, and Sierra Leone and the Indonesian portion of Borneo. We provide fire detection density for 3964 tropical and subtropical reserves and their buffer areas in the hope that these data will expedite further analyses that might lead to improved management of tropical reserves.

  3. Mapping Clearances in Tropical Dry Forests Using Breakpoints, Trend, and Seasonal Components from MODIS Time Series: Does Forest Type Matter?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kenneth Grogan

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available Tropical environments present a unique challenge for optical time series analysis, primarily owing to fragmented data availability, persistent cloud cover and atmospheric aerosols. Additionally, little is known of whether the performance of time series change detection is affected by diverse forest types found in tropical dry regions. In this paper, we develop a methodology for mapping forest clearing in Southeast Asia using a study region characterised by heterogeneous forest types. Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS time series are decomposed using Breaks For Additive Season and Trend (BFAST and breakpoints, trend, and seasonal components are combined in a binomial probability model to distinguish between cleared and stable forest. We found that the addition of seasonality and trend information improves the change model performance compared to using breakpoints alone. We also demonstrate the value of considering forest type in disturbance mapping in comparison to the more common approach that combines all forest types into a single generalised forest class. By taking a generalised forest approach, there is less control over the error distribution in each forest type. Dry-deciduous and evergreen forests are especially sensitive to error imbalances using a generalised forest model i.e., clearances were underestimated in evergreen forest, and overestimated in dry-deciduous forest. This suggests that forest type needs to be considered in time series change mapping, especially in heterogeneous forest regions. Our approach builds towards improving large-area monitoring of forest-diverse regions such as Southeast Asia. The findings of this study should also be transferable across optical sensors and are therefore relevant for the future availability of dense time series for the tropics at higher spatial resolutions.

  4. Operational Application of Envisat ASAR in Tropical Production Forest

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raimadoya, M.; Trisasongko, B.

    2003-04-01

    A joint research between European Space Agency (ESA) and Bogor Agricultural University (IPB), Indonesia, has been approved under Envisat AO (AO-ID 869). The research is intended to study the operational application of Advanced Synthetic-Aperture Radar (ASAR) for production forest management in Indonesia. Two test sites in forest plantation area of PT Riau Andalan Pulp and Paper (Riaupulp) in Riau Province, Central Sumatera, Indonesia, have been selected recently for the implementation of this joint research. This paper briefs the recent progress of this two-year research (2002-2004) activity. The main objective is to explore the potential of ASAR image analysis application, including POLINSAR, for better and more efficient operational management of tropical plantation forest and its environment. Several interesting operational applications have been identified for the test sites. First application is vegetative cover classification of Acacias, mixed hardwoods, shrubs, oil palms and bare lands. The second is biomass-related application, which study Envisat data on biomass monitoring related to forest plantation. The third is environmental study particularly for site degradation, including issues on monitoring of water bodies and burn site.

  5. Fire Regime and Stability of the West African Tropical Forest

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dwomoh, F. K.; Wimberly, M. C.

    2014-12-01

    Ecological discussions concerning alternative stable states theory suggest that tropical forest ecosystems could shift to qualitatively different alternative states upon catastrophic disturbances which exceed forest resilience. In this regard, it is expected that changes in the fire regime facilitated by climate and land use alterations could lead to rapid forest cover loss, creating conditions likely to push tropical forests to tipping points, beyond which forest resilience is lost. However, there is a dearth of empirical examples of fire-driven alternative stable states involving tropical forests. Key among the constraints for this scarcity are the requirements for large scale disturbances and long-term data, both of which are scarce. However, in the West African tropical forest (referred to as the Upper Guinean forest, UGF) a number of protected areas were impacted by large fire events during the 1980s El Niño-driven droughts, providing an opportunity for testing hypotheses concerning alternative stable states in tropical forest ecosystems. This paper aims to demonstrate fire-driven alternative stable states in the deciduous forest zone of the UGF by analyzing fire activity and forest recovery in fire-impacted forest reserves. We analyzed historical Landsat and MODIS imagery to map and quantify vegetation cover change, fire frequency and fire severity patterns. Our analyses suggest that the historic fires in the 1980s were catastrophic enough to remove forest canopy, thereby triggering a landscape-scale alternative stable states. Forest cover declined substantially becoming replaced by a novel ecosystem with low tree density. Our results also indicate the establishment of a positive fire-vegetation feedback effect, such that the new vegetation which displaced severely burned forests is more pyrogenic and maintained through frequent burns. This study expands our knowledge on the vulnerability of tropical forest ecosystems to state transitions in response to fire

  6. Fate of Deposited Nitrogen in Tropical Forests in Southern China

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Gurmesa, Geshere Abdisa

    Tropical forests are generally regarded as naturally nitrogen (N)-rich ecosystems where N availability is in excess of biological demands. These forests are usually characterized by increased soil N cycling rates such as mineralization and nitrification causing loss of N through leaching...... these negative consequences. Thus, an improved understanding of how increased atmospheric N deposition impacts N retention efficiency of tropical forests is needed. However, the fate of deposited N in tropical forest ecosystems and its retention mechanisms remains elusive. This PhD thesis used the stable...... nitrogen (N) isotope 15N to uncover two aspects of N cycling in tropical forests: i) the patterns of ecosystem natural 15N abundance (δ15N) in relation to the 15N signature of deposition N, and its response to increased N deposition; ii) the fate of ambient and increased N deposition in the same forests...

  7. Erosion on tropical rain-forest terrain: a re-evaluation in the light of long-term monitoring, aerial photographic evidence and sediment fingerprinting in Borneo

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walsh, Rory; Bidin, Kawi; Blake, William; Clarke, Michelle; Sayer, Aimee; Ghazali, Rosmadi; Annammala, Kogila; Chappell, Nick; Douglas, Ian

    2010-05-01

    Rain-forest vegetation is generally considered to be highly protective against erosion, but with disturbance via logging leading to major, but relatively short-lived increases in erosion for a 2-year period until rapid revegetation of slopes has occurred. This paper questions and re-assesses these views using a combination of long-term monitoring, GIS-assisted aerial photograph analysis and multi-proxy sediment fingerprinting in primary rainforest and adjacent terrain that was selectively logged either in 1988-89 or in 1992-93 within the Segama catchment in eastern Sabah, Malaysian Borneo. In primary forest areas, repeat measurements using the erosion bridge technique over the 20-year period 1990-2010 demonstrate how slopewash rates are significant, but concentrated in extreme events and increasing sharply with slope angle. Continuous monitoring of suspended sediment, coupled with repeat erosion bridge measurement, however, demonstrate that pipe erosion is at least as important even on moderate terrain and landsliding is an important process on steep terrain. In the selectively logged Baru catchment, a combination of long-term monitoring of suspended sediment and repeat measurements at an erosion bridge network has demonstrated that the erosional impact of logging is longer-term than formerly thought, with a major secondary peak in erosion 5-10 years after logging due to road-linked landslides and the decay of logs in debris dams; analysis of current bed-sediment and floodplain cores using a multi-proxy sediment fingerprinting approach demonstrates that sources of sediment are still different to those in primary forest over 20 years after logging ceased. Sediment fingerprinting at the large catchment scale (focussing on the analysis of lateral bench and floodplain sediment cores compared with upstream tributary sediment inputs), together with GIS-assisted analysis of aerial photographic evidence of spatial differences in landslide occurrence, demonstrates the key

  8. Estimating tropical forest structure using discrete return lidar data and a locally trained synthetic forest algorithm

    Science.gov (United States)

    Palace, M. W.; Sullivan, F. B.; Ducey, M.; Czarnecki, C.; Zanin Shimbo, J.; Mota e Silva, J.

    2012-12-01

    Forests are complex ecosystems with diverse species assemblages, crown structures, size class distributions, and historical disturbances. This complexity makes monitoring, understanding and forecasting carbon dynamics difficult. Still, this complexity is also central in carbon cycling of terrestrial vegetation. Lidar data often is used solely to associate plot level biomass measurements with canopy height models. There is much more that may be gleaned from examining the full profile from lidar data. Using discrete return airborne light detection and ranging (lidar) data collected in 2009 by the Tropical Ecology Assessment and Monitoring Network (TEAM), we compared synthetic vegetation profiles to lidar-derived relative vegetation profiles (RVPs) in La Selva, Costa Rica. To accomplish this, we developed RVPs to describe the vertical distribution of plant material on 20 plots at La Selva by transforming cumulative lidar observations to account for obscured plant material. Hundreds of synthetic profiles were developed for forests containing approximately 200,000 trees with random diameter at breast height (DBH), assuming a Weibull distribution with a shape of 1.0, and mean DBH ranging from 0cm to 500cm. For each tree in the synthetic forests, crown shape (width, depth) and total height were estimated using previously developed allometric equations for tropical forests. Profiles for each synthetic forest were generated and compared to TEAM lidar data to determine the best fitting synthetic profile to lidar profiles for each of 20 field plots at La Selva. After determining the best fit synthetic profile using the minimum sum of squared differences, we are able to estimate forest structure (diameter distribution, height, and biomass) and to compare our estimates to field data for each of the twenty field plots. Our preliminary results show promise for estimating forest structure and biomass using lidar data and computer modeling.

  9. Network of Environmental Sensors in Tropical Rain Forests

    Science.gov (United States)

    von Randow, C.; Dos Santos, R. D.; Da Rocha, H.

    2010-12-01

    The interaction between the Earth’s atmosphere and the terrestrial biosphere plays a fundamental role in the climate system and in biogeochemical and hydrological cycles, through the exchange of energy and mass (for example, water and carbon), between the vegetation and the atmospheric boundary layer, and the main focus of many environmental studies is to quantify this exchange over several terrestrial biomes. Over natural surfaces like the tropical forests, factors like spatial variations in topography or in the vegetation cover can significantly affect the air flow and pose big challenges for the monitoring of the regional carbon budget of terrestrial biomes. It is hardly possible to understand the air flow and reduce the uncertainties of flux measurements in complex terrains like tropical forests without an approach that recognizes the complexity of the spatial variability of the environmental variables. With this motivation, a partnership involving Microsoft Research, Johns Hopkins University, University of São Paulo and Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas Espaciais (INPE, the Brazilian national institute for space research) has been developing research activities to test the use of prototypes of environmental sensors (geosensors) in the Atlantic coastal and in the Amazonian rain forests in Brazil, forming sensor networks with high spatial and temporal resolution, and to develop software tools for data quality control and integration. The main premise is that the geosensors should have relatively low cost, what enables the formation of monitoring networks with a large number of sensors spatially distributed. A pilot study deployed 200+ sensors over the Atlantic coastal forest in Sao Paulo state, Brazil. Here we present the results from this study, highlighting the current discussions on applications of this type of measurements in studies of biosphere-atmosphere interaction in the tropics. Envisioning a possible wide deployment of geosensors in Amazonia in the

  10. A contemporary assessment of change in humid tropical forests.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Asner, Gregory P; Rudel, Thomas K; Aide, T Mitchell; Defries, Ruth; Emerson, Ruth

    2009-12-01

    In recent decades the rate and geographic extent of land-use and land-cover change has increased throughout the world's humid tropical forests. The pan-tropical geography of forest change is a challenge to assess, and improved estimates of the human footprint in the tropics are critical to understanding potential changes in biodiversity. We combined recently published and new satellite observations, along with images from Google Earth and a literature review, to estimate the contemporary global extent of deforestation, selective logging, and secondary regrowth in humid tropical forests. Roughly 1.4% of the biome was deforested between 2000 and 2005. As of 2005, about half of the humid tropical forest biome contained 50% or less tree cover. Although not directly comparable to deforestation, geographic estimates of selective logging indicate that at least 20% of the humid tropical forest biome was undergoing some level of timber harvesting between 2000 and 2005. Forest recovery estimates are even less certain, but a compilation of available reports suggests that at least 1.2% of the humid tropical forest biome was in some stage of long-term secondary regrowth in 2000. Nearly 70% of the regrowth reports indicate forest regeneration in hilly, upland, and mountainous environments considered marginal for large-scale agriculture and ranching. Our estimates of the human footprint are conservative because they do not resolve very small-scale deforestation, low-intensity logging, and unreported secondary regrowth, nor do they incorporate other impacts on tropical forest ecosystems, such as fire and hunting. Our results highlight the enormous geographic extent of forest change throughout the humid tropics and the considerable limitations of the science and technology available for such a synthesis.

  11. Impacts of roads and linear clearings on tropical forests.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Laurance, William F; Goosem, Miriam; Laurance, Susan G W

    2009-12-01

    Linear infrastructure such as roads, highways, power lines and gas lines are omnipresent features of human activity and are rapidly expanding in the tropics. Tropical species are especially vulnerable to such infrastructure because they include many ecological specialists that avoid even narrow (forest edges, as well as other species that are susceptible to road kill, predation or hunting by humans near roads. In addition, roads have a major role in opening up forested tropical regions to destructive colonization and exploitation. Here, we synthesize existing research on the impacts of roads and other linear clearings on tropical rainforests, and assert that such impacts are often qualitatively and quantitatively different in tropical forests than in other ecosystems. We also highlight practical measures to reduce the negative impacts of roads and other linear infrastructure on tropical species.

  12. Aboveground Biomass Modeling from Field and LiDAR Data in Brazilian Amazon Tropical Rain Forest

    Science.gov (United States)

    Silva, C. A.; Hudak, A. T.; Vierling, L. A.; Keller, M. M.; Klauberg Silva, C. K.

    2015-12-01

    Tropical forests are an important component of global carbon stocks, but tropical forest responses to climate change are not sufficiently studied or understood. Among remote sensing technologies, airborne LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) may be best suited for quantifying tropical forest carbon stocks. Our objective was to estimate aboveground biomass (AGB) using airborne LiDAR and field plot data in Brazilian tropical rain forest. Forest attributes such as tree density, diameter at breast height, and heights were measured at a combination of square plots and linear transects (n=82) distributed across six different geographic zones in the Amazon. Using previously published allometric equations, tree AGB was computed and then summed to calculate total AGB at each sample plot. LiDAR-derived canopy structure metrics were also computed at each sample plot, and random forest regression modelling was applied to predict AGB from selected LiDAR metrics. The LiDAR-derived AGB model was assessed using the random forest explained variation, adjusted coefficient of determination (Adj. R²), root mean square error (RMSE, both absolute and relative) and BIAS (both absolute and relative). Our findings showed that the 99th percentile of height and height skewness were the best LiDAR metrics for AGB prediction. The AGB model using these two best predictors explained 59.59% of AGB variation, with an Adj. R² of 0.92, RMSE of 33.37 Mg/ha (20.28%), and bias of -0.69 (-0.42%). This study showed that LiDAR canopy structure metrics can be used to predict AGC stocks in Tropical Forest with acceptable precision and accuracy. Therefore, we conclude that there is good potential to monitor carbon sequestration in Brazilian Tropical Rain Forest using airborne LiDAR data, large field plots, and the random forest algorithm.

  13. Deadwood biomass: an underestimated carbon stock in degraded tropical forests?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pfeifer, Marion; Lefebvre, Veronique; Turner, Edgar; Cusack, Jeremy; Khoo, MinSheng; Chey, Vun K.; Peni, Maria; Ewers, Robert M.

    2015-04-01

    Despite a large increase in the area of selectively logged tropical forest worldwide, the carbon stored in deadwood across a tropical forest degradation gradient at the landscape scale remains poorly documented. Many carbon stock studies have either focused exclusively on live standing biomass or have been carried out in primary forests that are unaffected by logging, despite the fact that coarse woody debris (deadwood with ≥10 cm diameter) can contain significant portions of a forest’s carbon stock. We used a field-based assessment to quantify how the relative contribution of deadwood to total above-ground carbon stock changes across a disturbance gradient, from unlogged old-growth forest to severely degraded twice-logged forest, to oil palm plantation. We measured in 193 vegetation plots (25 × 25 m), equating to a survey area of >12 ha of tropical humid forest located within the Stability of Altered Forest Ecosystems Project area, in Sabah, Malaysia. Our results indicate that significant amounts of carbon are stored in deadwood across forest stands. Live tree carbon storage decreased exponentially with increasing forest degradation 7-10 years after logging while deadwood accounted for >50% of above-ground carbon stocks in salvage-logged forest stands, more than twice the proportion commonly assumed in the literature. This carbon will be released as decomposition proceeds. Given the high rates of deforestation and degradation presently occurring in Southeast Asia, our findings have important implications for the calculation of current carbon stocks and sources as a result of human-modification of tropical forests. Assuming similar patterns are prevalent throughout the tropics, our data may indicate a significant global challenge to calculating global carbon fluxes, as selectively-logged forests now represent more than one third of all standing tropical humid forests worldwide.

  14. Environmental control of natural gap size distribution in tropical forests

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goulamoussène, Youven; Bedeau, Caroline; Descroix, Laurent; Linguet, Laurent; Hérault, Bruno

    2017-01-01

    Natural disturbances are the dominant form of forest regeneration and dynamics in unmanaged tropical forests. Monitoring the size distribution of treefall gaps is important to better understand and predict the carbon budget in response to land use and other global changes. In this study, we model the size frequency distribution of natural canopy gaps with a discrete power law distribution. We use a Bayesian framework to introduce and test, using Monte Carlo Markov chain and Kuo-Mallick algorithms, the effect of local physical environment on gap size distribution. We apply our methodological framework to an original light detecting and ranging dataset in which natural forest gaps were delineated over 30 000 ha of unmanaged forest. We highlight strong links between gap size distribution and environment, primarily hydrological conditions and topography, with large gaps being more frequent on floodplains and in wind-exposed areas. In the future, we plan to apply our methodological framework on a larger scale using satellite data. Additionally, although gap size distribution variation is clearly under environmental control, variation in gap size distribution in time should be tested against climate variability.

  15. Phosphate addition enhanced soil inorganic nutrients to a large extent in three tropical forests.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhu, Feifei; Lu, Xiankai; Liu, Lei; Mo, Jiangming

    2015-01-21

    Elevated nitrogen (N) deposition may constrain soil phosphorus (P) and base cation availability in tropical forests, for which limited evidence have yet been available. In this study, we reported responses of soil inorganic nutrients to full factorial N and P treatments in three tropical forests different in initial soil N status (N-saturated old-growth forest and two less-N-rich younger forests). Responses of microbial biomass, annual litterfall production and nutrient input were also monitored. Results showed that N treatments decreased soil inorganic nutrients (except N) in all three forests, but the underlying mechanisms varied depending on forests: through inhibition on litter decomposition in the old-growth forest and through Al(3+) replacement of Ca(2+) in the two younger forests. In contrast, besides great elevation in soil available P, P treatments induced 60%, 50%, 26% increases in sum of exchangeable (K(+)+Ca(2+)+Mg(2+)) in the old-growth and the two younger forests, respectively. These positive effects of P were closely related to P-stimulated microbial biomass and litter nutrient input, implying possible stimulation of nutrient return. Our results suggest that N deposition may result in decreases in soil inorganic nutrients (except N) and that P addition can enhance soil inorganic nutrients to support ecosystem processes in these tropical forests.

  16. Trailblazing the Carbon Cycle of Tropical Forests from Puerto Rico

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sandra Brown

    2017-03-01

    Full Text Available We review the literature that led to clarifying the role of tropical forests in the global carbon cycle from a time when they were considered sources of atmospheric carbon to the time when they were found to be atmospheric carbon sinks. This literature originates from work conducted by US Forest Service scientists in Puerto Rico and their collaborators. It involves the classification of forests by life zones, estimation of carbon density by forest type, assessing carbon storage changes with ecological succession and land use/land cover type, describing the details of the carbon cycle of forests at stand and landscape levels, assessing global land cover by forest type and the complexity of land use change in tropical regions, and assessing the ecological fluxes and storages that contribute to net carbon accumulation in tropical forests. We also review recent work that couples field inventory data, remote sensing technology such as LIDAR, and GIS analysis in order to more accurately determine the role of tropical forests in the global carbon cycle and point out new avenues of carbon research that address the responses of tropical forests to environmental change.

  17. Overview of the Existing Forest Area Changes Monitoring Systems

    OpenAIRE

    Achard, Frederic; DeFries, Ruth; Pandey, Devendra; Souza, Carlos

    2009-01-01

    This chapter presents an overview of the existing forest area changes monitoring systems at the national scale in tropical countries using remote sensing imagery. Section 3.2.2 describes national case studies: the Brazilian system which produces annual estimates of deforestation in the legal Amazon, the Indian National biannual forest cover assessment, an example of a sampling approach in the Congo basin and an example of wall-to-wall approach in Cameroon.

  18. Standardized Assessment of Biodiversity Trends in Tropical Forest Protected Areas: The End Is Not in Sight

    Science.gov (United States)

    O'Brien, Timothy; Alvarez-Loayza, Patricia; Boekee, Kelly; Campos-Arceiz, Ahimsa; Eichberg, David; Espinosa, Santiago; Fegraus, Eric; Fletcher, Christine; Gajapersad, Krisna; Hallam, Chris; Hurtado, Johanna; Jansen, Patrick A.; Kumar, Amit; Larney, Eileen; Lima, Marcela Guimarães Moreira; Mahony, Colin; Martin, Emanuel H.; McWilliam, Alex; Mugerwa, Badru; Ndoundou-Hockemba, Mireille; Razafimahaimodison, Jean Claude; Romero-Saltos, Hugo; Rovero, Francesco; Salvador, Julia; Santos, Fernanda; Sheil, Douglas; Spironello, Wilson R.; Willig, Michael R.; Winarni, Nurul L.; Zvoleff, Alex; Andelman, Sandy J.

    2016-01-01

    Extinction rates in the Anthropocene are three orders of magnitude higher than background and disproportionately occur in the tropics, home of half the world’s species. Despite global efforts to combat tropical species extinctions, lack of high-quality, objective information on tropical biodiversity has hampered quantitative evaluation of conservation strategies. In particular, the scarcity of population-level monitoring in tropical forests has stymied assessment of biodiversity outcomes, such as the status and trends of animal populations in protected areas. Here, we evaluate occupancy trends for 511 populations of terrestrial mammals and birds, representing 244 species from 15 tropical forest protected areas on three continents. For the first time to our knowledge, we use annual surveys from tropical forests worldwide that employ a standardized camera trapping protocol, and we compute data analytics that correct for imperfect detection. We found that occupancy declined in 22%, increased in 17%, and exhibited no change in 22% of populations during the last 3–8 years, while 39% of populations were detected too infrequently to assess occupancy changes. Despite extensive variability in occupancy trends, these 15 tropical protected areas have not exhibited systematic declines in biodiversity (i.e., occupancy, richness, or evenness) at the community level. Our results differ from reports of widespread biodiversity declines based on aggregated secondary data and expert opinion and suggest less extreme deterioration in tropical forest protected areas. We simultaneously fill an important conservation data gap and demonstrate the value of large-scale monitoring infrastructure and powerful analytics, which can be scaled to incorporate additional sites, ecosystems, and monitoring methods. In an era of catastrophic biodiversity loss, robust indicators produced from standardized monitoring infrastructure are critical to accurately assess population outcomes and identify

  19. Standardized Assessment of Biodiversity Trends in Tropical Forest Protected Areas: The End Is Not in Sight.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lydia Beaudrot

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Extinction rates in the Anthropocene are three orders of magnitude higher than background and disproportionately occur in the tropics, home of half the world's species. Despite global efforts to combat tropical species extinctions, lack of high-quality, objective information on tropical biodiversity has hampered quantitative evaluation of conservation strategies. In particular, the scarcity of population-level monitoring in tropical forests has stymied assessment of biodiversity outcomes, such as the status and trends of animal populations in protected areas. Here, we evaluate occupancy trends for 511 populations of terrestrial mammals and birds, representing 244 species from 15 tropical forest protected areas on three continents. For the first time to our knowledge, we use annual surveys from tropical forests worldwide that employ a standardized camera trapping protocol, and we compute data analytics that correct for imperfect detection. We found that occupancy declined in 22%, increased in 17%, and exhibited no change in 22% of populations during the last 3-8 years, while 39% of populations were detected too infrequently to assess occupancy changes. Despite extensive variability in occupancy trends, these 15 tropical protected areas have not exhibited systematic declines in biodiversity (i.e., occupancy, richness, or evenness at the community level. Our results differ from reports of widespread biodiversity declines based on aggregated secondary data and expert opinion and suggest less extreme deterioration in tropical forest protected areas. We simultaneously fill an important conservation data gap and demonstrate the value of large-scale monitoring infrastructure and powerful analytics, which can be scaled to incorporate additional sites, ecosystems, and monitoring methods. In an era of catastrophic biodiversity loss, robust indicators produced from standardized monitoring infrastructure are critical to accurately assess population outcomes

  20. Standardized Assessment of Biodiversity Trends in Tropical Forest Protected Areas: The End Is Not in Sight.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beaudrot, Lydia; Ahumada, Jorge A; O'Brien, Timothy; Alvarez-Loayza, Patricia; Boekee, Kelly; Campos-Arceiz, Ahimsa; Eichberg, David; Espinosa, Santiago; Fegraus, Eric; Fletcher, Christine; Gajapersad, Krisna; Hallam, Chris; Hurtado, Johanna; Jansen, Patrick A; Kumar, Amit; Larney, Eileen; Lima, Marcela Guimarães Moreira; Mahony, Colin; Martin, Emanuel H; McWilliam, Alex; Mugerwa, Badru; Ndoundou-Hockemba, Mireille; Razafimahaimodison, Jean Claude; Romero-Saltos, Hugo; Rovero, Francesco; Salvador, Julia; Santos, Fernanda; Sheil, Douglas; Spironello, Wilson R; Willig, Michael R; Winarni, Nurul L; Zvoleff, Alex; Andelman, Sandy J

    2016-01-01

    Extinction rates in the Anthropocene are three orders of magnitude higher than background and disproportionately occur in the tropics, home of half the world's species. Despite global efforts to combat tropical species extinctions, lack of high-quality, objective information on tropical biodiversity has hampered quantitative evaluation of conservation strategies. In particular, the scarcity of population-level monitoring in tropical forests has stymied assessment of biodiversity outcomes, such as the status and trends of animal populations in protected areas. Here, we evaluate occupancy trends for 511 populations of terrestrial mammals and birds, representing 244 species from 15 tropical forest protected areas on three continents. For the first time to our knowledge, we use annual surveys from tropical forests worldwide that employ a standardized camera trapping protocol, and we compute data analytics that correct for imperfect detection. We found that occupancy declined in 22%, increased in 17%, and exhibited no change in 22% of populations during the last 3-8 years, while 39% of populations were detected too infrequently to assess occupancy changes. Despite extensive variability in occupancy trends, these 15 tropical protected areas have not exhibited systematic declines in biodiversity (i.e., occupancy, richness, or evenness) at the community level. Our results differ from reports of widespread biodiversity declines based on aggregated secondary data and expert opinion and suggest less extreme deterioration in tropical forest protected areas. We simultaneously fill an important conservation data gap and demonstrate the value of large-scale monitoring infrastructure and powerful analytics, which can be scaled to incorporate additional sites, ecosystems, and monitoring methods. In an era of catastrophic biodiversity loss, robust indicators produced from standardized monitoring infrastructure are critical to accurately assess population outcomes and identify

  1. Estimating Tropical Forest Structure Using a Terrestrial Lidar

    OpenAIRE

    Michael Palace; Sullivan, Franklin B; Mark Ducey; Christina Herrick

    2016-01-01

    Forest structure comprises numerous quantifiable biometric components and characteristics, which include tree geometry and stand architecture. These structural components are important in the understanding of the past and future trajectories of these biomes. Tropical forests are often considered the most structurally complex and yet least understood of forested ecosystems. New technologies have provided novel avenues for quantifying biometric properties of forested ecosystems, one of which is...

  2. Ten Years of Rainfall and Community-Based Streamflow Monitoring in the Tropical Montane Cloud Forest Region of Central Veracruz, Mexico: What Do These Data Tell Us?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holwerda, F.; Aranda-Delgado, E.; Castilleja-Delgado, E.; Munoz-Villers, L.

    2016-12-01

    Montane ecosystems and the water resources provided by them play a crucial role in the development and growth of cities and the productive sector in Mexico. For the planning and sustainable management of these resources, it is necessary to quantify the key hydrological components and have (at least some) basic understanding of the water cycle at the operational watershed-scale. However, the difficulty of implementing and maintaining rainfall-discharge observation networks due to the lack of financial resources and well-trained personnel, coupled with poor accessibility and safety, as well as the complexity of the biophysical and climatic conditions in montane regions have hampered progress in hydrological research and the generation of basic knowledge for the benefit of society. In 2005, research-motivated measurements of rainfall (P) and community-based observations of streamflow (Q) were initiated independently in the tropical montane cloud forest (TMCF) region of central Veracruz, Mexico. In this presentation, we will explore these data to study the seasonal and annual P inputs and Q outputs of the ca. 11,000 ha Pixquiac river watershed as observed during the past ten years (2005-2015). The P data used in this analysis include continuous measurements from the major recharge zone within the study area (2000-2300 m asl), supplemented with observations from lower and higher altitudes to determine the P-elevation relationship. The Q data of the Pixquiac river consist of monthly measurements made near the outlet of the watershed (1300-1400 m asl) by citizen volunteers using the Global Water Watch methodology. We expect that these observations will contribute to an improved understanding of the hydrometeorology of mesoscale TMCF watersheds in central Veracruz, which is a prerequisite for sustainable planning and management of the water resources in this region.

  3. Autochthonous white rot fungi from the tropical forest: Potential of ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    STORAGESEVER

    2008-06-17

    Jun 17, 2008 ... Autochthonous white rot fungi from the tropical forest: Potential of Cuban ... organo-pollutants structurally similar to lignin (Pointing,. 2001). It has also ..... potentially have a positive action against complex pollution situations.

  4. Andean grasslands are as productive as tropical cloud forests

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Oliveras Menor, I.; Girardin, C.; Doughty, C.E.; Cahuana, N.; Arenas, C.E.; Oliver, V.; Huaraca Huasco, W.; Malhi, Y.

    2014-01-01

    We aim to assess net primary productivity (NPP) and carbon cycling in Andean tropical alpine grasslands (puna) and compare it with NPP of tropical montane cloud forests. We ask the following questions: (1) how do NPP and soil respiration of grasslands vary over the seasonal cycle? (2) how do burning

  5. Averting biodiversity collapse in tropical forest protected areas

    Science.gov (United States)

    W.F. Laurance; D.C. Useche; J. Rendeiro; and others NO-VALUE; Ariel Lugo

    2012-01-01

    The rapid disruption of tropical forests probably imperils global biodiversity more than any other contemporary phenomenon1–3. With deforestation advancing quickly, protected areas are increasingly becoming final refuges for threatened species and natural ecosystem processes. However, many protected areas in the tropics are themselves vulnerable to human encroachment...

  6. Ectomycorrhizal fungi in Amazonian tropical forests in Colombia

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Vasco Palacios, A.M.

    2016-01-01

    The ectomycorrhizal (EcM) symbiosis was assumed to be restricted to the temperate regions where forests are dominated by EcM host plants, and the tropics were supposed to be dominated by endomycorrhizal fungi. However, evidence of the presence of EcM symbiosis in tropical lowland ecosystems has been

  7. Tropical-Forest Structure and Biomass Dynamics from TanDEM-X Radar Interferometry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robert Treuhaft; Yang Lei; Fabio Gonçalves; Michael Keller; João Santos; Maxim Neumann; André Almeida

    2017-01-01

    Changes in tropical-forest structure and aboveground biomass (AGB) contribute directly to atmospheric changes in CO2, which, in turn, bear on global climate. This paper demonstrates the capability of radar-interferometric phase-height time series at X-band (wavelength = 3 cm) to monitor changes in vertical structure and AGB, with sub-hectare and monthly spatial and...

  8. Urgent need for warming experiments in tropical forests

    Science.gov (United States)

    Calaveri, Molly A.; Reed, Sasha C.; Smith, W. Kolby; Wood, Tana E.

    2015-01-01

    Although tropical forests account for only a fraction of the planet's terrestrial surface, they exchange more carbon dioxide with the atmosphere than any other biome on Earth, and thus play a disproportionate role in the global climate. In the next 20 years, the tropics will experience unprecedented warming, yet there is exceedingly high uncertainty about their potential responses to this imminent climatic change. Here, we prioritize research approaches given both funding and logistical constraints in order to resolve major uncertainties about how tropical forests function and also to improve predictive capacity of earth system models. We investigate overall model uncertainty of tropical latitudes and explore the scientific benefits and inevitable trade-offs inherent in large-scale manipulative field experiments. With a Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 5 analysis, we found that model variability in projected net ecosystem production was nearly 3 times greater in the tropics than for any other latitude. Through a review of the most current literature, we concluded that manipulative warming experiments are vital to accurately predict future tropical forest carbon balance, and we further recommend the establishment of a network of comparable studies spanning gradients of precipitation, edaphic qualities, plant types, and/or land use change. We provide arguments for long-term, single-factor warming experiments that incorporate warming of the most biogeochemically active ecosystem components (i.e. leaves, roots, soil microbes). Hypothesis testing of underlying mechanisms should be a priority, along with improving model parameterization and constraints. No single tropical forest is representative of all tropical forests; therefore logistical feasibility should be the most important consideration for locating large-scale manipulative experiments. Above all, we advocate for multi-faceted research programs, and we offer arguments for what we consider the most

  9. Landsat Pathfinder tropical forest information management system

    Science.gov (United States)

    Salas, W.; Chomentowski, W.; Harville, J.; Skole, D.; Vellekamp, K.

    1994-01-01

    A Tropical Forest Information Management System_(TFIMS) has been designed to fulfill the needs of HTFIP in such a way that it tracks all aspects of the generation and analysis of the raw satellite data and the derived deforestation dataset. The system is broken down into four components: satellite image selection, processing, data management and archive management. However, as we began to think of how the TFIMS could also be used to make the data readily accessible to all user communities we realized that the initial system was too project oriented and could only be accessed locally. The new system needed development in the areas of data ingest and storage, while at the same time being implemented on a server environment with a network interface accessible via Internet. This paper summarizes the overall design of the existing prototype (version 0) information management system and then presents the design of the new system (version 1). The development of version 1 of the TFIMS is ongoing. There are no current plans for a gradual transition from version 0 to version 1 because the significant changes are in how the data within the HTFIP will be made accessible to the extended community of scientists, policy makers, educators, and students and not in the functionality of the basic system.

  10. Global demand for gold is another threat for tropical forests

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alvarez-Berríos, Nora L.; Aide, T. Mitchell

    2015-01-01

    The current global gold rush, driven by increasing consumption in developing countries and uncertainty in financial markets, is an increasing threat for tropical ecosystems. Gold mining causes significant alteration to the environment, yet mining is often overlooked in deforestation analyses because it occupies relatively small areas. As a result, we lack a comprehensive assessment of the spatial extent of gold mining impacts on tropical forests. In this study, we provide a regional assessment of gold mining deforestation in the tropical moist forest biome of South America. Specifically, we analyzed the patterns of forest change in gold mining sites between 2001 and 2013, and evaluated the proximity of gold mining deforestation to protected areas (PAs). The forest cover maps were produced using the Land Mapper web application and images from the MODIS satellite MOD13Q1 vegetation indices 250 m product. Annual maps of forest cover were used to model the incremental change in forest in ˜1600 potential gold mining sites between 2001-2006 and 2007-2013. Approximately 1680 km2 of tropical moist forest was lost in these mining sites between 2001 and 2013. Deforestation was significantly higher during the 2007-2013 period, and this was associated with the increase in global demand for gold after the international financial crisis. More than 90% of the deforestation occurred in four major hotspots: Guianan moist forest ecoregion (41%), Southwest Amazon moist forest ecoregion (28%), Tapajós-Xingú moist forest ecoregion (11%), and Magdalena Valley montane forest and Magdalena-Urabá moist forest ecoregions (9%). In addition, some of the more active zones of gold mining deforestation occurred inside or within 10 km of ˜32 PAs. There is an urgent need to understand the ecological and social impacts of gold mining because it is an important cause of deforestation in the most remote forests in South America, and the impacts, particularly in aquatic systems, spread well

  11. Tropical dry forest recovery : processes and causes of change

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Lebrija Trejos, E.E.

    2009-01-01

    Seasonally dry areas are one of the preferred zones for human inhabitance in the tropics. Large forest areas are converted to other land uses and many are covered by secondary forests that grow naturally after cessation of disturbance. Surprisingly, secondary succession in these strongly seasonal an

  12. Trial by fire : Postfire development of a tropical dipterocarp forest

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Nieuwstadt, Mark Geerten Lambertus van

    2002-01-01

    Over the past decades, uncontrolled forest fires have formed an increasing threat for tropical forests, often causing large-scale ecological and economic damage. My research shows that, even though the damage caused by the fire is enormous, a single fire does not cause the complete destruction of a

  13. Restoring biodiversity and forest ecosystem services in degraded tropical landscapes

    Science.gov (United States)

    John A. Parrotta

    2010-01-01

    Over the past century, an estimated 850 million ha of the world’s tropical forests have been lost or severely degraded, with serious impacts on local and regional biodiversity. A significant proportion of these lands were originally cleared of their forest cover for agricultural development or other economic uses. Today, however, they provide few if any environmental...

  14. Lianas and trees in tropical forests in south China

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Cai, Z.Q.

    2007-01-01

    Lianas (woody climbers) and trees are the most important life-forms in most tropical forests. In many of these forests lianas are abundant and diverse and their presence is often a key physiognomic feature. Lianas contribute substantially to the floristic, structural and functional diversity of trop

  15. Lianas and trees in tropical forests in south China

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Cai, Z.Q.

    2007-01-01

    Lianas (woody climbers) and trees are the most important life-forms in most tropical forests. In many of these forests lianas are abundant and diverse and their presence is often a key physiognomic feature. Lianas contribute substantially to the floristic, structural and functional diversity of trop

  16. Tropical forest conservation versus conversion trade-offs

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Mutoko, M.C.; Hein, Lars; Shisanya, Chris A.

    2015-01-01

    Ecosystem services provided by tropical forests are becoming scarcer due to continued deforestation as demand for forest benefits increases with the growing population. There is need for comprehensive valuation of key ecosystem services in order to inform policy and implement better management sy

  17. Beyond equitable data sharing to improve tropical forest management

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ruslandi, A.; Roopsind, A.; Sist, P.; Pena Claros, M.; Thomas, R.; Putz, F.E.

    2014-01-01

    Tropical forest management and policy decisions are hampered by lack of reliable information about forest responses to timber harvesting and other silvicultural interventions. Although the necessary raw data from permanent sample plots (PSPs) mostly exist, the relevant results are generally unavaila

  18. Lianas and trees in tropical forests in south China

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Cai, Z.Q.

    2007-01-01

    Lianas (woody climbers) and trees are the most important life-forms in most tropical forests. In many of these forests lianas are abundant and diverse and their presence is often a key physiognomic feature. Lianas contribute substantially to the floristic, structural and functional diversity of

  19. Measurements of trace gases above the tropical forests....

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nicolas-Perea, V.; Monks, P. S.

    2009-04-01

    Measurements of trace gases above the tropical forests; A comparison between ozone levels in the forest and the oil palm plantation areas using the BAe -146 aircraft. The atmospheric composition of Sabah region (Borneo) was sampled using the FAAM BAE-146 instrumented aircraft during July 2008 as part of the OP3 (Oxidant particle photochemical processes above a South East Asia tropical rain forest) project. Tropical forests play an important role in the carbon and energy balance of the Earth (which determine global climate) and are themselves vulnerable to climate change. The tropical biosphere is one of the main sources of reactive trace gas emissions into the global atmosphere, and understanding the role of ozone in these areas is of major importance given the rapid changes in land-use in the tropics. This poster presents preliminary ozone concentrations results collected using the FAAM BAE 146 instrumented aircraft over some of Malaysia most extended oil palm plantations; comparing these with the results recorded when flying over forest areas. Oil palm is becoming one of the most widespread tropical crops; in Malaysia 13% of the land area (4.3Mha) is now oil palm plantations (MPOCP, 2008) compared with 1% in 1974 (FAO, 2005). This poster is expected to show very significant ozone concentrations over the two different landscapes. The set-up of the instruments, the specific sampling sites, as well as the land cover areas will be described.

  20. Nitrogen deposition in tropical forests from deforestation and savanna fires

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Y.; Randerson, J. T.; van der Werf, G.; Morton, D. C.; Kasibhatla, P. S.

    2009-12-01

    Tropical forests account for nearly half of global net primary production (NPP) and may contribute substantially to contemporary and future land carbon (C) sinks. We used satellite-derived estimates of global fire emissions and a chemical transport model to estimate atmospheric nitrogen (N) fluxes from deforestation and savanna fires in tropical ecosystems. N emissions and deposition led to a substantial net transport of N equatorward, from savannas and areas undergoing deforestation to tropical forests. On average, N emissions from fires were equivalent to approximately 28% of biological N fixation (BNF) in savannas (4.8 kg N ha-1 yr-1) and 38% of BNF from ecosystems at the deforestation frontier (9.1 kg N ha-1 yr-1). N deposition occurred in interior tropical forests at a rate equivalent to 4% of their BNF (1.1 kg N ha-1 yr-1). This percentage was highest for African tropical forests in the Congo Basin (16%; 3.7 kg N ha-1 yr-1) owing to equatorward transport from northern and southern savannas. These results suggest that land use change, including deforestation fires, may be enhancing nutrient availability and carbon sequestration in nearby tropical forest ecosystems.

  1. Fate of Deposited Nitrogen in Tropical Forests in Southern China

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Gurmesa, Geshere Abdisa

    as N export in soil water in tropical forests. Total annual atmospheric deposition of N to the forest in the study period was 51 kg N ha-1yr-1. Nitrogen deposition was dominated by NH4-N due to intensive agricultural NH3 emissions in nearby areas. Nitrate dominated leaching loss from the soil......Tropical forests are generally regarded as naturally nitrogen (N)-rich ecosystems where N availability is in excess of biological demands. These forests are usually characterized by increased soil N cycling rates such as mineralization and nitrification causing loss of N through leaching...... and denitrification from the ecosystem. Loss of N, in turn, has many negative consequences, including soil and surface water acidification, plant nutrient imbalances and related adverse effects on biological diversities. Increased atmospheric N deposition that is anticipated for tropical regions may further aggravate...

  2. Soil phosphorus and the ecology of lowland tropical forests

    Science.gov (United States)

    Turner, Ben

    2016-04-01

    In this presentation I will explore the extent to which phosphorus influences the productivity, diversity, and distribution of plant species in tropical forests. I will highlight the range of soils that occur in tropical forests and will argue that pedogenesis and associated phosphorus depletion is a primary driver of forest diversity over long timescales. I will draw on data from a regional-scale network of forest dynamics plots in Panama to show that tree species distributions are determined predominantly as a function of dry season intensity and soil phosphorus availability, and will suggest potential mechanistic explanations for this pattern in relation to phosphorus acquisition. Finally, I will present observational and experimental evidence from Panama to show how phosphorus, nitrogen, and potassium, limit plant productivity and microbial communities on strongly-weathered soils in the lowland tropics.

  3. Soil Effects on Forest Structure and Diversity in a Moist and a Dry Tropical Forest

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Peña-Claros, M.; Poorter, L.; Alarcon, A.; Blate, G.; Choque, U.; Fredericksen, T.S.; Justiniano, J.; Leaño, C.; Licona, J.C.; Pariona, W.; Putz, F.E.; Quevedo, L.; Toledo, M.

    2012-01-01

    Soil characteristics are important drivers of variation in wet tropical forest structure and diversity, but few studies have evaluated these relationships in drier forest types. Using tree and soil data from 48 and 32 1 ha plots, respectively, in a Bolivian moist and dry forest, we asked how soil co

  4. Weak Environmental Controls of Tropical Forest Canopy Height in the Guiana Shield

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Youven Goulamoussène

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available Canopy height is a key variable in tropical forest functioning and for regional carbon inventories. We investigate the spatial structure of the canopy height of a tropical forest, its relationship with environmental physical covariates, and the implication for tropical forest height variation mapping. Making use of high-resolution maps of LiDAR-derived Digital Canopy Model (DCM and environmental covariates from a Digital Elevation Model (DEM acquired over 30,000 ha of tropical forest in French Guiana, we first show that forest canopy height is spatially correlated up to 2500 m. Forest canopy height is significantly associated with environmental variables, but the degree of correlation varies strongly with pixel resolution. On the whole, bottomland forests generally have lower canopy heights than hillslope or hilltop forests. However, this global picture is very noisy at local scale likely because of the endogenous gap-phase forest dynamic processes. Forest canopy height has been predictively mapped across a pixel resolution going from 6 m to 384 m mimicking a low resolution case of 3 points·km − 2 . Results of canopy height mapping indicated that the error for spatial model with environment effects decrease from 8.7 m to 0.91 m, depending of the pixel resolution. Results suggest that, outside the calibration plots, the contribution of environment in shaping the global canopy height distribution is quite limited. This prevents accurate canopy height mapping based only on environmental information, and suggests that precise canopy height maps, for local management purposes, can only be obtained with direct LiDAR monitoring.

  5. Effects of tropical montane forest disturbance on epiphytic macrolichens

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Benitez, Angel [Instituto de Ecologia, Herbario HUTPL, Universidad Tecnica Particular de Loja, San Cayetano s/n, Loja (Ecuador); Prieto, Maria, E-mail: maria.prieto@urjc.es [Area de Biodiversidad y Conservacion, ESCET, Universidad Rey Juan Carlos, Mostoles, E-28933, Madrid (Spain); Gonzalez, Yadira [Instituto de Ecologia, Herbario HUTPL, Universidad Tecnica Particular de Loja, San Cayetano s/n, Loja (Ecuador); Aragon, Gregorio [Area de Biodiversidad y Conservacion, ESCET, Universidad Rey Juan Carlos, Mostoles, E-28933, Madrid (Spain)

    2012-12-15

    The high diversity of epiphytes typical of undisturbed montane tropical forests has been negatively affected by continuous deforestation and forest conversion to secondary vegetation. Macrolichens are an important component of these epiphytes. Because their physiology is strongly coupled to humidity and solar radiation, we hypothesized that microclimatic changes derived from forest clearing and logging can affect the diversity of these poikilohydric organisms. In southern Ecuador, we examined three types of forests according to a disturbance gradient (primary forests, secondary forests, and monospecific forests of Alnus acuminata) for the presence/absence and coverage of epiphytic macrolichens that we identified on 240 trees. We found that total richness tended to decrease when the range of the disturbance increased. The impoverishment was particularly drastic for 'shade-adapted lichens', while the richness of 'heliophytic lichens' increased in the drier conditions of secondary growth. Epiphytic composition also differed significantly among the three types of forests, and the similarity decreased when the range of the disturbance was greater. We concluded that a span of 40 years of recovery by secondary vegetation was not enough to regenerate the diversity of epiphytic macrolichens that was lost due to forest disturbances. -- Highlights: Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Tropical montane forest disturbance drastically reduced macrolichen diversity. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Species loss was most severe for the 'shade-adapted lichens' because high radiation is harmful to them. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer In secondary forests lichen diversity of native forests was not regenerated. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer The protection of remnants of primary tropical forest might help to preserve a diverse community of epiphytic macrolichens.

  6. Maintaining ecosystem function and services in logged tropical forests.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Edwards, David P; Tobias, Joseph A; Sheil, Douglas; Meijaard, Erik; Laurance, William F

    2014-09-01

    Vast expanses of tropical forests worldwide are being impacted by selective logging. We evaluate the environmental impacts of such logging and conclude that natural timber-production forests typically retain most of their biodiversity and associated ecosystem functions, as well as their carbon, climatic, and soil-hydrological ecosystem services. Unfortunately, the value of production forests is often overlooked, leaving them vulnerable to further degradation including post-logging clearing, fires, and hunting. Because logged tropical forests are extensive, functionally diverse, and provide many ecosystem services, efforts to expand their role in conservation strategies are urgently needed. Key priorities include improving harvest practices to reduce negative impacts on ecosystem functions and services, and preventing the rapid conversion and loss of logged forests.

  7. Lianas reduce carbon accumulation and storage in tropical forests.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van der Heijden, Geertje M F; Powers, Jennifer S; Schnitzer, Stefan A

    2015-10-27

    Tropical forests store vast quantities of carbon, account for one-third of the carbon fixed by photosynthesis, and are a major sink in the global carbon cycle. Recent evidence suggests that competition between lianas (woody vines) and trees may reduce forest-wide carbon uptake; however, estimates of the impact of lianas on carbon dynamics of tropical forests are crucially lacking. Here we used a large-scale liana removal experiment and found that, at 3 y after liana removal, lianas reduced net above-ground carbon uptake (growth and recruitment minus mortality) by ∼76% per year, mostly by reducing tree growth. The loss of carbon uptake due to liana-induced mortality was four times greater in the control plots in which lianas were present, but high variation among plots prevented a significant difference among the treatments. Lianas altered how aboveground carbon was stored. In forests where lianas were present, the partitioning of forest aboveground net primary production was dominated by leaves (53.2%, compared with 39.2% in liana-free forests) at the expense of woody stems (from 28.9%, compared with 43.9%), resulting in a more rapid return of fixed carbon to the atmosphere. After 3 y of experimental liana removal, our results clearly demonstrate large differences in carbon cycling between forests with and without lianas. Combined with the recently reported increases in liana abundance, these results indicate that lianas are an important and increasing agent of change in the carbon dynamics of tropical forests.

  8. Community characteristics of tropical montane evergreen forest and tropical montane dwarf forest in Bawangling National Nature Reserve on Hainan Island, South China

    OpenAIRE

    Wenxing Long; Runguo Zang; Yi Ding

    2011-01-01

    Both tropical montane evergreen forest (TMEF) and tropical montane dwarf forest (TMDF) are typical tropical cloud forests on Hainan Island. To compare community structure and species diversity be-tween these two forest types, we established eight and ten plots (each with 2,500 m2 in area) in TMEF and TMDF, respectively, in Bawangling National Nature Reserve on Hainan Island, South China. We investigated each individual plant with diameter at breast height (DBH) ≥1 cm including trees, shrubs a...

  9. A Comparison of Runoff Pathways and Nutrient Export in Small Tropical Forest Catchments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hamann, H. B.; Stallard, R. F.; Pullen, N. H.

    2004-12-01

    The Center for Tropical Forest Research (CTFS), a program of the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI), has coordinated a global network of 17 tropical forest dynamics plots of approximately 50 hectares in order to collect baseline information and to monitor forest changes. Missing from most past studies of these plots is an integrated soil hydrology and water chemistry component. To fill this gap, we have developed and are testing rapid assessment methods to measure soil and hydrological properties for tropical forest catchments. This assessment includes gaging and sampling first to third order headwater streams with high frequency over several storm events within a 2-4 week period. Detailed flow separations enable us to test Elsenbeer's (2001) functional classification continuum for tropical soils and allow us to test the hypothesis that forest sites with greater overland flow experience greater nutrient loss during storm events. Data from a storm event for the steep Lutz Creek Catchment on Barro Colorado Island, Panama in September 1990 demonstrate that Na+ and Si, typical of most solutes, decrease in concentration with increasing discharge. In contrast, the nutrients, K+ and NO3- increase in concentration with increasing discharge. Results from a 20 ha catchment in Yasuni National Park, Ecuador from November 2003 show a similar pattern during several small events on relatively impermeable soils. Data collected from a more permeable 20 ha catchment in Lambir Hills National Park, Malaysia in July 2004 also show nutrient export, but suggest that rainfall amount, intensity and duration may play a large role in the magnitude of nutrient concentrations. Elsenbeer, H., 2001. Hydrological flowpaths in tropical rain forest soilscapes-a review. Hydrological Processes, 15: 1751-1759.

  10. A tale of two "forests": random forest machine learning AIDS tropical forest carbon mapping.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mascaro, Joseph; Asner, Gregory P; Knapp, David E; Kennedy-Bowdoin, Ty; Martin, Roberta E; Anderson, Christopher; Higgins, Mark; Chadwick, K Dana

    2014-01-01

    Accurate and spatially-explicit maps of tropical forest carbon stocks are needed to implement carbon offset mechanisms such as REDD+ (Reduced Deforestation and Degradation Plus). The Random Forest machine learning algorithm may aid carbon mapping applications using remotely-sensed data. However, Random Forest has never been compared to traditional and potentially more reliable techniques such as regionally stratified sampling and upscaling, and it has rarely been employed with spatial data. Here, we evaluated the performance of Random Forest in upscaling airborne LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging)-based carbon estimates compared to the stratification approach over a 16-million hectare focal area of the Western Amazon. We considered two runs of Random Forest, both with and without spatial contextual modeling by including--in the latter case--x, and y position directly in the model. In each case, we set aside 8 million hectares (i.e., half of the focal area) for validation; this rigorous test of Random Forest went above and beyond the internal validation normally compiled by the algorithm (i.e., called "out-of-bag"), which proved insufficient for this spatial application. In this heterogeneous region of Northern Peru, the model with spatial context was the best preforming run of Random Forest, and explained 59% of LiDAR-based carbon estimates within the validation area, compared to 37% for stratification or 43% by Random Forest without spatial context. With the 60% improvement in explained variation, RMSE against validation LiDAR samples improved from 33 to 26 Mg C ha(-1) when using Random Forest with spatial context. Our results suggest that spatial context should be considered when using Random Forest, and that doing so may result in substantially improved carbon stock modeling for purposes of climate change mitigation.

  11. A tale of two "forests": random forest machine learning AIDS tropical forest carbon mapping.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joseph Mascaro

    Full Text Available Accurate and spatially-explicit maps of tropical forest carbon stocks are needed to implement carbon offset mechanisms such as REDD+ (Reduced Deforestation and Degradation Plus. The Random Forest machine learning algorithm may aid carbon mapping applications using remotely-sensed data. However, Random Forest has never been compared to traditional and potentially more reliable techniques such as regionally stratified sampling and upscaling, and it has rarely been employed with spatial data. Here, we evaluated the performance of Random Forest in upscaling airborne LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging-based carbon estimates compared to the stratification approach over a 16-million hectare focal area of the Western Amazon. We considered two runs of Random Forest, both with and without spatial contextual modeling by including--in the latter case--x, and y position directly in the model. In each case, we set aside 8 million hectares (i.e., half of the focal area for validation; this rigorous test of Random Forest went above and beyond the internal validation normally compiled by the algorithm (i.e., called "out-of-bag", which proved insufficient for this spatial application. In this heterogeneous region of Northern Peru, the model with spatial context was the best preforming run of Random Forest, and explained 59% of LiDAR-based carbon estimates within the validation area, compared to 37% for stratification or 43% by Random Forest without spatial context. With the 60% improvement in explained variation, RMSE against validation LiDAR samples improved from 33 to 26 Mg C ha(-1 when using Random Forest with spatial context. Our results suggest that spatial context should be considered when using Random Forest, and that doing so may result in substantially improved carbon stock modeling for purposes of climate change mitigation.

  12. Forest health monitoring: 2006 national technical report

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mark J. Ambrose; Barbara L. Conkling

    2009-01-01

    The Forest Health Monitoring Program’s annual national technical reportpresents results of forest health analyses from a national perspective usingdata from a variety of sources. The report is organized according to the

  13. The structure of tropical forests and sphere packings.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Taubert, Franziska; Jahn, Markus Wilhelm; Dobner, Hans-Jürgen; Wiegand, Thorsten; Huth, Andreas

    2015-12-01

    The search for simple principles underlying the complex architecture of ecological communities such as forests still challenges ecological theorists. We use tree diameter distributions--fundamental for deriving other forest attributes--to describe the structure of tropical forests. Here we argue that tree diameter distributions of natural tropical forests can be explained by stochastic packing of tree crowns representing a forest crown packing system: a method usually used in physics or chemistry. We demonstrate that tree diameter distributions emerge accurately from a surprisingly simple set of principles that include site-specific tree allometries, random placement of trees, competition for space, and mortality. The simple static model also successfully predicted the canopy structure, revealing that most trees in our two studied forests grow up to 30-50 m in height and that the highest packing density of about 60% is reached between the 25- and 40-m height layer. Our approach is an important step toward identifying a minimal set of processes responsible for generating the spatial structure of tropical forests.

  14. Land crabs as key drivers in tropical coastal forest recruitment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lindquist, E.S.; Krauss, K.W.; Green, P.T.; O'Dowd, D. J.; Sherman, P.M.; Smith, T. J.

    2009-01-01

    Plant populations are regulated by a diverse assortment of abiotic and biotic factors that influence seed dispersal and viability, and seedling establishment and growth at the microsite. Rarely does one animal guild exert as significant an influence on different plant assemblages as land crabs. We review three tropical coastal ecosystems-mangroves, island maritime forests, and mainland coastal terrestrial forests-where land crabs directly influence forest composition by limiting tree establishment and recruitment. Land crabs differentially prey on seeds, propagules and seedlings along nutrient, chemical and physical environmental gradients. In all of these ecosystems, but especially mangroves, abiotic gradients are well studied, strong and influence plant species distributions. However, we suggest that crab predation has primacy over many of these environmental factors by acting as the first limiting factor of tropical tree recruitment to drive the potential structural and compositional organisation of coastal forests. We show that the influence of crabs varies relative to tidal gradient, shoreline distance, canopy position, time, season, tree species and fruiting periodicity. Crabs also facilitate forest growth and development through such activities as excavation of burrows, creation of soil mounds, aeration of soils, removal of leaf litter into burrows and creation of carbon-rich soil microhabitats. For all three systems, land crabs influence the distribution, density and size-class structure of tree populations. Indeed, crabs are among the major drivers of tree recruitment in tropical coastal forest ecosystems, and their conservation should be included in management plans of these forests. ?? 2009 Cambridge Philosophical Society.

  15. Intact tropical forests, new evidence they uptake carbon actively

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    2009-03-01

    Full Text Available According to a paper recently published on Nature, tropical forests play as active carbon sink, absorbing 1.3·109 tons of carbon per year on a global scale. Functional interpretation is not clear yet, but a point is quite easy to realize: tropical forests accumulate and contain more carbon than any other vegetation cover and, if their disruption goes on at current rates, these ecosystems could revert to be a “carbon bomb”, releasing huge amount of CO2 to the atmosphere.

  16. Climate and Edaphic Controls on Humid Tropical Forest Tree Height

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Y.; Saatchi, S. S.; Xu, L.

    2014-12-01

    Uncertainty in the magnitude and spatial variations of forest carbon density in tropical regions is due to under sampling of forest structure from inventory plots and the lack of regional allometry to estimate the carbon density from structure. Here we quantify the variation of tropical forest structure by using more than 2.5 million measurements of canopy height from systematic sampling of Geoscience Laser Altimeter System (GLAS) satellite observations between 2004 to 2008 and examine the climate and edaphic variables influencing the variations. We used top canopy height of GLAS footprints (~ 0.25 ha) to grid the statistical mean and 90 percentile of samples at 0.5 degrees to capture the regional variability of large trees in tropics. GLAS heights were also aggregated based on a stratification of tropical regions using soil, elevation, and forest types. Both approaches provided consistent patterns of statistically dominant large trees and the least heterogeneity, both as strong drivers of distribution of high biomass forests. Statistical models accounting for spatial autocorrelation suggest that climate, soil and spatial features together can explain more than 60% of the variations in observed tree height information, while climate-only variables explains about one third of the first-order changes in tree height. Soil basics, including physical compositions such as clay and sand contents, chemical properties such as PH values and cation-exchange capacity, as well as biological variables such as organic matters, all present independent but statistically significant relationships to tree height variations. The results confirm other landscape and regional studies that soil fertility, geology and climate may jointly control a majority of the regional variations of forest structure in pan-tropics and influencing both biomass stocks and dynamics. Consequently, other factors such as biotic and disturbance regimes, not included in this study, may have less influence on

  17. Airborne observations reveal elevational gradient in tropical forest isoprene emissions

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Gu, Dasa; Guenther, Alex B.; Shilling, John E.; Yu, Haofei; Huang, Maoyi; Zhao, Chun; Yang, Qing; Martin, Scot T.; Artaxo, Paulo; Kim, Saewung; Seco, Roger; Stavrakou, T.; Longo, Karla; Tota, Julio; Augusto Ferreira de Souza, Rodrigo; Vega, Oscar; Liu, Ying; Shrivastava, ManishKumar B.; Alves, Eliane; Cavalcante Dos Santos, Fernando; Leng, Guoyong; Hu, Zhiyuan

    2017-05-23

    Isoprene dominates global non-methane volatile organic compound emissions, and impacts tropospheric chemistry by influencing oxidants and aerosols. Isoprene emission rates vary over several orders of magnitude for different plants, and characterizing this immense biological chemodiversity is a challenge for estimating isoprene emission from tropical forests. Here we present the isoprene emission estimates from aircraft eddy covariance measurements over the Amazonian forest. We report isoprene emission rates that are three times higher than satellite top-down estimates and 35% higher than model predictions. The results reveal strong correlations between observed isoprene emission rates and terrain elevations, which are confirmed by similar correlations between satellite-derived isoprene emissions and terrain elevations. We propose that the elevational gradient in the Amazonian forest isoprene emission capacity is determined by plant species distributions and can substantially explain isoprene emission variability in tropical forests, and use a model to demonstrate the resulting impacts on regional air quality.

  18. Humid tropical forest clearing from 2000 to 2005 quantified by using multitemporal and multiresolution remotely sensed data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hansen, M.C.; Stehman, S.V.; Potapov, P.V.; Loveland, T.R.; Townshend, J.R.G.; DeFries, R.S.; Pittman, K.W.; Arunarwati, B.; Stolle, F.; Steininger, M.K.; Carroll, M.; DiMiceli, C.

    2008-01-01

    Forest cover is an important input variable for assessing changes to carbon stocks, climate and hydrological systems, biodiversity richness, and other sustainability science disciplines. Despite incremental improvements in our ability to quantify rates of forest clearing, there is still no definitive understanding on global trends. Without timely and accurate forest monitoring methods, policy responses will be uninformed concerning the most basic facts of forest cover change. Results of a feasible and cost-effective monitoring strategy are presented that enable timely, precise, and internally consistent estimates of forest clearing within the humid tropics. A probability-based sampling approach that synergistically employs low and high spatial resolution satellite datasets was used to quantify humid tropical forest clearing from 2000 to 2005. Forest clearing is estimated to be 1.39% (SE 0.084%) of the total biome area. This translates to an estimated forest area cleared of 27.2 million hectares (SE 2.28 million hectares), and represents a 2.36% reduction in area of humid tropical forest. Fifty-five percent of total biome clearing occurs within only 6% of the biome area, emphasizing the presence of forest clearing 'hotspots.' Forest loss in Brazil accounts for 47.8% of total biome clearing, nearly four times that of the next highest country, Indonesia, which accounts for 12.8%. Over three-fifths of clearing occurs in Latin America and over one-third in Asia. Africa contributes 5.4% to the estimated loss of humid tropical forest cover, reflecting the absence of current agro-industrial scale clearing in humid tropical Africa. ?? 2008 by The National Academy of Sciences of the USA.

  19. Humid tropical forest clearing from 2000 to 2005 quantified by using multitemporal and multiresolution remotely sensed data.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hansen, Matthew C; Stehman, Stephen V; Potapov, Peter V; Loveland, Thomas R; Townshend, John R G; DeFries, Ruth S; Pittman, Kyle W; Arunarwati, Belinda; Stolle, Fred; Steininger, Marc K; Carroll, Mark; Dimiceli, Charlene

    2008-07-08

    Forest cover is an important input variable for assessing changes to carbon stocks, climate and hydrological systems, biodiversity richness, and other sustainability science disciplines. Despite incremental improvements in our ability to quantify rates of forest clearing, there is still no definitive understanding on global trends. Without timely and accurate forest monitoring methods, policy responses will be uninformed concerning the most basic facts of forest cover change. Results of a feasible and cost-effective monitoring strategy are presented that enable timely, precise, and internally consistent estimates of forest clearing within the humid tropics. A probability-based sampling approach that synergistically employs low and high spatial resolution satellite datasets was used to quantify humid tropical forest clearing from 2000 to 2005. Forest clearing is estimated to be 1.39% (SE 0.084%) of the total biome area. This translates to an estimated forest area cleared of 27.2 million hectares (SE 2.28 million hectares), and represents a 2.36% reduction in area of humid tropical forest. Fifty-five percent of total biome clearing occurs within only 6% of the biome area, emphasizing the presence of forest clearing "hotspots." Forest loss in Brazil accounts for 47.8% of total biome clearing, nearly four times that of the next highest country, Indonesia, which accounts for 12.8%. Over three-fifths of clearing occurs in Latin America and over one-third in Asia. Africa contributes 5.4% to the estimated loss of humid tropical forest cover, reflecting the absence of current agro-industrial scale clearing in humid tropical Africa.

  20. Humus forms in two secondary semi-evergreen tropical forests

    OpenAIRE

    Loranger, Gladys; Ponge, Jean-François; Lavelle,Patrick

    2003-01-01

    International audience; The dynamics and function of humus forms in tropical forests are still poorly understood. Humus profiles in two secondary semi-evergreen woodlands in Guadeloupe (French West Indies) were analysed micromorphologically. The humus forms are described under the canopy of five dominant tree species at two sites: under Pisonia subcordata and Bursera simaruba in a secondary forest on a Leptosol (Rendzina), and under Swietenia macrophylla, Tabebuia heterophylla and B. simaruba...

  1. Monitor Forest Fires with FY Serial Satellites

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2003-01-01

    Remote sensing as the measure to monitor disasters has the advantage of temporal resolution and large scale. Since "5.6 catastrophe" in 1987, China began to monitor forest fires broadly. In the summer of 2002, many forest/grass fires occurred in the Daxing'anling Mountains, and the damage was very heavy. In the forest fires fighting, the meteorological satellites play an important role in monitoring the fires. Especially the FY serial meteorological satellites have the advantage of large scale monitorin...

  2. Tree rings in the tropics: a study on growth and ages of Bolivian rain forest trees

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Brienen, Roel Jacobus Wilhelmus

    2005-01-01

    Detailed information on long-term growth rates and ages of tropical rain forest trees is important to obtain a better understanding of the functioning of tropical rain forests. Nevertheless, little is known about long-term growth or ages of tropical forest trees, due to a supposed lack of annual tre

  3. A 70-year perspective on tropical forest regeneration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abbas, Sawaid; Nichol, Janet E; Fischer, Gunter A

    2016-02-15

    Forested areas of the world decreased by 129 million hectare during the past quarter-century, and only 35 % of remainder is primary forest. Secondary forests are therefore relatively more important for biodiversity conservation, catchment protection, climate control, and the ecological services they provide. Many governments expend large resources on afforestation projects, which may not be supported by objective data on rates and pathways of natural succession in secondary forest. This paper describes a 70-year succession of tropical forest in Hong Kong under different management regimes including afforestation programs, frequent fire, and fire protection. From complete destruction of its forest during the Second World War, forest has established rapidly in areas where a shrub cover was able to colonize. The practice of afforestation as a nursery stage on degraded hillsides, for establishment of forest seedlings by natural invasion is not supported by the evidence, as when the native Pinus massoniana plantations were eliminated by disease during the 1970s, no forest or woody species were seen in the areas affected. In fact there was a reversion to grassland, which persisted there for almost three decades, until recent shrub invasion. The fastest period of forest regeneration, at 10.9% annually between 1989 and 2001, occurred when shrubland edge was greatest and forest was able to colonize across interfluves between linear-shaped riparian shrublands in valley bottoms. After 2001, succession to forest was slower, at 7.8% annually, as forest patches consolidated and edge habitats reduced. Effective forest management policies could include seeding of native shrubs extending linearly from established forest, to maximize edge length between woody species and grasslands, and planting of late successional species in areas where forest pioneers are in decline.

  4. National forest inventory contributions to forest biodiversity monitoring

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Chirici, Cherardo; McRoberts, Ronald; Winter, Susanne

    2012-01-01

    Forests are the most biodiverse terrestrial ecosystems. National forest inventories (NFIs) are the main source of information on the status and trends of forests, but they have traditionally been designed to assess land coverage and the production value of forests rather than forest biodiversity....... The primary international processes dealing with biodiversity and sustainable forest management, the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), Forest Europe, Streamlining European Biodiversity Indicators 2010 of the European Environmental Agency, and the Montréal Process, all include indicators related...... to forest biodiversity. The scope of this article is to review and present possibilities offered by NFIs to harmonize estimation of indicators useful for international forest biodiversity monitoring and reporting. We summarize key findings from Working Group 3 of Action E43 (“Harmonisation of National...

  5. Estimating Tropical Forest Structure Using a Terrestrial Lidar.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Palace, Michael; Sullivan, Franklin B; Ducey, Mark; Herrick, Christina

    2016-01-01

    Forest structure comprises numerous quantifiable biometric components and characteristics, which include tree geometry and stand architecture. These structural components are important in the understanding of the past and future trajectories of these biomes. Tropical forests are often considered the most structurally complex and yet least understood of forested ecosystems. New technologies have provided novel avenues for quantifying biometric properties of forested ecosystems, one of which is LIght Detection And Ranging (lidar). This sensor can be deployed on satellite, aircraft, unmanned aerial vehicles, and terrestrial platforms. In this study we examined the efficacy of a terrestrial lidar scanner (TLS) system in a tropical forest to estimate forest structure. Our study was conducted in January 2012 at La Selva, Costa Rica at twenty locations in a predominantly undisturbed forest. At these locations we collected field measured biometric attributes using a variable plot design. We also collected TLS data from the center of each plot. Using this data we developed relative vegetation profiles (RVPs) and calculated a series of parameters including entropy, Fast Fourier Transform (FFT), number of layers and plant area index to develop statistical relationships with field data. We developed statistical models using a series of multiple linear regressions, all of which converged on significant relationships with the strongest relationship being for mean crown depth (r2 = 0.88, p lidar metrics (r2 = 0.75, p forest structure.

  6. Above ground biomass and tree species richness estimation with airborne lidar in tropical Ghana forests

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vaglio Laurin, Gaia; Puletti, Nicola; Chen, Qi; Corona, Piermaria; Papale, Dario; Valentini, Riccardo

    2016-10-01

    Estimates of forest aboveground biomass are fundamental for carbon monitoring and accounting; delivering information at very high spatial resolution is especially valuable for local management, conservation and selective logging purposes. In tropical areas, hosting large biomass and biodiversity resources which are often threatened by unsustainable anthropogenic pressures, frequent forest resources monitoring is needed. Lidar is a powerful tool to estimate aboveground biomass at fine resolution; however its application in tropical forests has been limited, with high variability in the accuracy of results. Lidar pulses scan the forest vertical profile, and can provide structure information which is also linked to biodiversity. In the last decade the remote sensing of biodiversity has received great attention, but few studies focused on the use of lidar for assessing tree species richness in tropical forests. This research aims at estimating aboveground biomass and tree species richness using discrete return airborne lidar in Ghana forests. We tested an advanced statistical technique, Multivariate Adaptive Regression Splines (MARS), which does not require assumptions on data distribution or on the relationships between variables, being suitable for studying ecological variables. We compared the MARS regression results with those obtained by multilinear regression and found that both algorithms were effective, but MARS provided higher accuracy either for biomass (R2 = 0.72) and species richness (R2 = 0.64). We also noted strong correlation between biodiversity and biomass field values. Even if the forest areas under analysis are limited in extent and represent peculiar ecosystems, the preliminary indications produced by our study suggest that instrument such as lidar, specifically useful for pinpointing forest structure, can also be exploited as a support for tree species richness assessment.

  7. Annual Proxy Records from Tropical Cloud Forest Trees in the Monteverde Cloud Forest, Costa Rica

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anchukaitis, K. J.; Evans, M. N.; Wheelwright, N. T.; Schrag, D. P.

    2005-12-01

    The extinction of the Golden Toad (Bufo periglenes) from Costa Rica's Monteverde Cloud Forest prompted research into the causes of ecological change in the montane forests of Costa Rica. Subsequent analysis of meteorological data has suggested that warmer global surface and tropical Pacific sea surface temperatures contribute to an observed decrease in cloud cover at Monteverde. However, while recent studies may have concluded that climate change is already having an effect on cloud forest environments in Costa Rica, without the context provided by long-term climate records, it is difficult to confidently conclude that the observed ecological changes are the result of anthropogenic climate forcing, land clearance in the lowland rainforest, or natural variability in tropical climate. To address this, we develop high-resolution proxy paleoclimate records from trees without annual rings in the Monteverde Cloud Forest in Costa Rica. Calibration of an age model in these trees is a fundamental prerequisite for proxy paleoclimate reconstructions. Our approach exploits the isotopic seasonality in the δ18O of water sources (fog versus rainfall) used by trees over the course of a single year. Ocotea tenera individuals of known age and measured annual growth increments were sampled in long-term monitored plantation sites in order to test this proposed age model. High-resolution (200μm increments) stable isotope measurements on cellulose reveal distinct, coherent δ18O cycles of 6 to 10‰. The calculated growth rates derived from the isotope timeseries match those observed from basal growth increment measurements. Spatial fidelity in the age model and climate signal is examined by using multiple cores from multiple trees and multiple sites. These data support our hypothesis that annual isotope cycles in these trees can be used to provide chronological control in the absence of rings. The ability of trees to record interannual climate variability in local hydrometeorology

  8. Tropical rain-forest matrix quality affects bat assemblage structure in secondary forest patches

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Vleut, I.; Levy-Tacher, I.; Galindo-Gonzalez, J.; Boer, de W.F.; Ramirez-Marcial, N.

    2012-01-01

    We studied Phyllostomidae bat assemblage structure in patches of secondary forest dominated by the pioneer tree Ochroma pyramidale, largely (.85%) or partially (,35%) surrounded by a matrix of tropical rain forest, to test 3 hypotheses: the highest bat diversity and richness is observed in the matri

  9. Tropical rain-forest matrix quality affects bat assemblage structure in secondary forest patches

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Vleut, I.; Levy-Tacher, I.; Galindo-Gonzalez, J.; Boer, de W.F.; Ramirez-Marcial, N.

    2012-01-01

    We studied Phyllostomidae bat assemblage structure in patches of secondary forest dominated by the pioneer tree Ochroma pyramidale, largely (.85%) or partially (,35%) surrounded by a matrix of tropical rain forest, to test 3 hypotheses: the highest bat diversity and richness is observed in the matri

  10. Large trees drive forest aboveground biomass variation in moist lowland forests across the tropics

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Slik, J.W.Ferry; Paoli, Gary; McGuire, Krista

    2013-01-01

    Aim Large trees (d.b.h. ≥ 70 cm) store large amounts of biomass. Several studies suggest that large trees may be vulnerable to changing climate, potentially leading to declining forest biomass storage. Here we determine the importance of large trees for tropical forest biomass storage and explore...

  11. Atmospheric oxidation capacity sustained by a tropical forest

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Lelieveld, J.; Butler, T.; Crowley, J.N.; Dillon, T.J.; Fischer, H.; Ganzeveld, L.N.; Harder, H.; Lawrence, M.G.; Martinez, M.; Taraborelli, D.; Williams, J.

    2008-01-01

    Terrestrial vegetation, especially tropical rain forest, releases vast quantities of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) to the atmosphere1, 2, 3, which are removed by oxidation reactions and deposition of reaction products4, 5, 6. The oxidation is mainly initiated by hydroxyl radicals (OH), primarily

  12. Canopy dynamics of a tropical rain forest in French Guiana.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Meer, van der P.J.

    1995-01-01

    The canopy dynamics (i.e. the formation and closure of canopy gaps) of a tropical rain forest in French Guiana are described. The formation of canopy gaps is investigated. The difficulties with gap size measurements are studied, and causes and consequences of treefalls and branchfalls are examined.

  13. Scientists Urge Protection of Tropical Forests in Asia

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2006-01-01

    @@ The nations of tropical Asia should expand the number and size of protected areas within their borders, especially for forest types and ecoregions that are poorly protected in existing reserves,and for the increasingly rare areas that still retain their highly vulnerable megafauna, urges a declaration of more than 300 biologists from about 40 countries and regions.

  14. Canopy dynamics of a tropical rain forest in French Guiana

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Meer, van der P.J.

    1995-01-01

    The canopy dynamics (i.e. the formation and closure of canopy gaps) of a tropical rain forest in French Guiana are described. The formation of canopy gaps is investigated. The difficulties with gap size measurements are studied, and causes and consequences of treefalls and branchfalls are

  15. Forest health monitoring: 2003 national technical report

    Science.gov (United States)

    John W. Coulston; Mark J. Ambrose; Kurt H. Riitters; Barbara L. Conkling; William D. Smith

    2005-01-01

    The Forest Health Monitoring Program’s annual national reports present results from forest health data analyses focusing on a national perspective. The Criteria and Indicators for the Conservation and Sustainable Management of Temperate and Boreal Forests are used as a reporting framework. This report has five main sections. The first contains introductory material....

  16. Forest health monitoring: 2001 national technical report

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barbara L. Conkling; John W. Coulston; Mark J. Ambrose

    2005-01-01

    The Forest Health Monitoring (FHM) Program’s annual national report uses FHM data, as well as data from a variety of other programs, to provide an overview of forest health based on the criteria and indicators of sustainable forestry framework of the Santiago Declaration. It presents information about the status of and trends in various forest health indicators...

  17. NABU Forest and Climate Monitoring Final Report

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    DeVries, B.R.; Herold, M.

    2014-01-01

    This report outlines results of the Forest and Climate Monitoring sub-component of the project entitled “Climate Protection and Preservation of Primary Forests – A Management Model using the Wild Coffee Forests in Ethiopia as an Example” implemented by The Nature and Biodiversity Conservation Union

  18. Low Carbon Costs of Nitrogen Fixation in Tropical Dry Forests

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gei, M. G.; Powers, J. S.

    2015-12-01

    Legume tree species with the ability to fix nitrogen (N) are highly diverse and widespread across tropical forests but in particular in the dry tropics. Their ecological success in lower latitudes has been called a "paradox": soil N in the tropics is thought to be high, while acquiring N through fixation incurs high energetic costs. However, the long held assumptions that N fixation is limited by photosynthate and that N fixation penalizes plant productivity have rarely been tested, particularly in legume tree species. We show results from three different experiments where we grew eleven species of tropical dry forest legumes. We quantified plant biomass and N fixation using nodulation and the 15N natural isotope abundance (Ndfa or nitrogen derived from fixation). These data show little evidence for costs of N fixation in seedlings grown under different soil fertility, light regimes, and with different microbial communities. Seedling productivity did not incur major costs because of N fixation: indeed, the average slope between Ndfa and biomass was positive (range in slopes: -0.03 to 0.3). Moreover, foliar N, which varied among species, was tightly constrained and not correlated with Ndfa. This finding implies that legume species have a target N that does not change depending on N acquisition strategies. The process of N fixation in tropical legumes may be more carbon efficient than previously thought. This view is more consistent with the hyperabundance of members of this family in tropical ecosystems.

  19. Lidar Estimation of Aboveground Biomass in a Tropical Coastal Forest of Gabon

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meyer, V.; Saatchi, S. S.; Poulsen, J.; Clark, C.; Lewis, S.; White, L.

    2012-12-01

    Estimation of tropical forest carbon stocks is a critical yet challenging problem from both ground surveys and remote sensing measurements. However, with its increasing importance in global climate mitigation and carbon cycle assessment, there is a need to develop new techniques to measure forest carbon stocks at landscape scales. Progresses have been made in terms of above ground biomass (AGB) monitoring techniques using ground measurements, with the development of tree allometry techniques. Besides, studies have shown that new remote sensing technologies such as Lidar can give accurate information on tree height and forest structure at a landscape level and can be very useful to estimate AGB. This study examines the ability of small footprint Lidar to estimate above ground biomass in Mondah forest, Gabon. Mondah forest is a coastal tropical forest that is partially flooded and includes areas of mangrove. Its mean annual temperature is 18.8C and mean annual precipitation is 2631mm/yr. Its proximity to the capital of Gabon, Libreville, makes it particularly subject to environmental pressure. The analysis is based on small footprint Lidar waveform information and relative height (RH) metrics that correspond to the percentiles of energy of the signal (25%, 50%, 75% and 100%). AGB estimation is calibrated with ground measurements. Ground-estimated AGB is calculated using allometric equations based on tree diameter, wood density and tree height. Lidar-derived AGB is calculated using a linear regression model between the four Lidar RH metrics and ground-estimated AGB and using available models developed in other tropical regions that use one height metric, average wood density, and tree stocking number. We present uncertainty of different approaches and discuss the universality of lidar biomass estimation models in tropical forests.

  20. Generalist birds promote tropical forest regeneration and increase plant diversity via rare-biased seed dispersal.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carlo, Tomás A; Morales, Juan M

    2016-07-01

    Regenerated forests now compose over half of the world's tropical forest cover and are increasingly important as providers of ecosystem services, freshwater, and biodiversity conservation. Much of the value and functionality of regenerating forests depends on the plant diversity they contain. Tropical forest diversity is strongly shaped by mutualistic interactions between plants and fruit-eating animals (frugivores) that disperse seeds. Here we show how seed dispersal by birds can influence the speed and diversity of early successional forests in Puerto Rico. For two years, we monitored the monthly fruit production of bird-dispersed plants on a fragmented landscape, and measured seed dispersal activity of birds and plant establishment in experimental plots located in deforested areas. Two predominantly omnivorous bird species, the Northern Mockingbird (Mimus polyglottos) and the Gray Kingbird (Tyrannus dominicensis), proved critical for speeding up the establishment of woody plants and increasing the species richness and diversity of the seed rain in deforested areas. Seed dispersal by these generalists increased the odds for rare plant species to disperse and establish in experimental forest-regeneration plots. Results indicate that birds that mix fruit and insects in their diets and actively forage across open and forested habitats can play keystone roles in the regeneration of mutualistic plant-animal communities. Furthermore, our analyses reveal that rare-biased (antiapostatic) frugivory and seed dispersal is the mechanism responsible for increasing plant diversity in the early-regenerating community. © 2016 by the Ecological Society of America.

  1. Channel Islands, Kelp Forest Monitoring, Sea Temperature

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This dataset from the Channel Islands National Park's Kelp Forest Monitoring Program has subtidal temperature data taken at permanent monitoring sites. Since 1993,...

  2. Export-oriented deforestation in Mato Grosso: harbinger or exception for other tropical forests?

    Science.gov (United States)

    DeFries, Ruth; Herold, Martin; Verchot, Louis; Macedo, Marcia N; Shimabukuro, Yosio

    2013-06-05

    The Brazilian state of Mato Grosso was a global deforestation hotspot in the early 2000s. Deforested land is used predominantly to produce meat for distal consumption either through cattle ranching or soya bean for livestock feed. Deforestation declined dramatically in the latter part of the decade through a combination of market forces, policies, enforcement and improved monitoring. This study assesses how representative the national-level drivers underlying Mato Grosso's export-oriented deforestation are in other tropical forest countries based on agricultural exports, commercial agriculture and urbanization. We also assess how pervasive the governance and technical monitoring capacity that enabled Mato Grosso's decline in deforestation is in other countries. We find that between 41 and 54 per cent of 2000-2005 deforestation in tropical forest countries (other than Brazil) occurred in countries with drivers similar to Brazil. Very few countries had national-level governance and capacity similar to Brazil. Results suggest that the ecological, hydrological and social consequences of land-use change for export-oriented agriculture as discussed in this Theme Issue were applicable in about one-third of all tropical forest countries in 2000-2005. However, the feasibility of replicating Mato Grosso's success with controlling deforestation is more limited. Production landscapes to support distal consumption similar to Mato Grosso are likely to become more prevalent and are unlikely to follow a land-use transition model with increasing forest cover.

  3. Thresholds of logging intensity to maintain tropical forest biodiversity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burivalova, Zuzana; Sekercioğlu, Cağan Hakkı; Koh, Lian Pin

    2014-08-18

    Primary tropical forests are lost at an alarming rate, and much of the remaining forest is being degraded by selective logging. Yet, the impacts of logging on biodiversity remain poorly understood, in part due to the seemingly conflicting findings of case studies: about as many studies have reported increases in biodiversity after selective logging as have reported decreases. Consequently, meta-analytical studies that treat selective logging as a uniform land use tend to conclude that logging has negligible effects on biodiversity. However, selectively logged forests might not all be the same. Through a pantropical meta-analysis and using an information-theoretic approach, we compared and tested alternative hypotheses for key predictors of the richness of tropical forest fauna in logged forest. We found that the species richness of invertebrates, amphibians, and mammals decreases as logging intensity increases and that this effect varies with taxonomic group and continental location. In particular, mammals and amphibians would suffer a halving of species richness at logging intensities of 38 m(3) ha(-1) and 63 m(3) ha(-1), respectively. Birds exhibit an opposing trend as their total species richness increases with logging intensity. An analysis of forest bird species, however, suggests that this pattern is largely due to an influx of habitat generalists into heavily logged areas while forest specialist species decline. Our study provides a quantitative analysis of the nuanced responses of species along a gradient of logging intensity, which could help inform evidence-based sustainable logging practices from the perspective of biodiversity conservation.

  4. Pervasive defaunation of forest remnants in a tropical biodiversity hotspot.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gustavo R Canale

    Full Text Available Tropical deforestation and forest fragmentation are among the most important biodiversity conservation issues worldwide, yet local extinctions of millions of animal and plant populations stranded in unprotected forest remnants remain poorly explained. Here, we report unprecedented rates of local extinctions of medium to large-bodied mammals in one of the world's most important tropical biodiversity hotspots. We scrutinized 8,846 person-years of local knowledge to derive patch occupancy data for 18 mammal species within 196 forest patches across a 252,669-km(2 study region of the Brazilian Atlantic Forest. We uncovered a staggering rate of local extinctions in the mammal fauna, with only 767 from a possible 3,528 populations still persisting. On average, forest patches retained 3.9 out of 18 potential species occupancies, and geographic ranges had contracted to 0-14.4% of their former distributions, including five large-bodied species that had been extirpated at a regional scale. Forest fragments were highly accessible to hunters and exposed to edge effects and fires, thereby severely diminishing the predictive power of species-area relationships, with the power model explaining only ~9% of the variation in species richness per patch. Hence, conventional species-area curves provided over-optimistic estimates of species persistence in that most forest fragments had lost species at a much faster rate than predicted by habitat loss alone.

  5. Pervasive defaunation of forest remnants in a tropical biodiversity hotspot.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Canale, Gustavo R; Peres, Carlos A; Guidorizzi, Carlos E; Gatto, Cassiano A Ferreira; Kierulff, Maria Cecília M

    2012-01-01

    Tropical deforestation and forest fragmentation are among the most important biodiversity conservation issues worldwide, yet local extinctions of millions of animal and plant populations stranded in unprotected forest remnants remain poorly explained. Here, we report unprecedented rates of local extinctions of medium to large-bodied mammals in one of the world's most important tropical biodiversity hotspots. We scrutinized 8,846 person-years of local knowledge to derive patch occupancy data for 18 mammal species within 196 forest patches across a 252,669-km(2) study region of the Brazilian Atlantic Forest. We uncovered a staggering rate of local extinctions in the mammal fauna, with only 767 from a possible 3,528 populations still persisting. On average, forest patches retained 3.9 out of 18 potential species occupancies, and geographic ranges had contracted to 0-14.4% of their former distributions, including five large-bodied species that had been extirpated at a regional scale. Forest fragments were highly accessible to hunters and exposed to edge effects and fires, thereby severely diminishing the predictive power of species-area relationships, with the power model explaining only ~9% of the variation in species richness per patch. Hence, conventional species-area curves provided over-optimistic estimates of species persistence in that most forest fragments had lost species at a much faster rate than predicted by habitat loss alone.

  6. Tolerance of frugivorous birds to habitat disturbance in a tropical cloud forest

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Gomes, L.G.L.; Oostra, V.; Nijman, V.; Cleef, A.M.; Kappelle, M.

    2008-01-01

    In view of the continued decline in tropical forest cover around the globe, forest restoration has become a key tool in tropical rainforest conservation. One of the main - and least expensive - restoration strategies is natural forest regeneration. By aiding forest seed influx both into disturbed an

  7. Sprinting, climbing and persisting: Light interception and carbon gain in a secondary tropical forest succession

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Selaya Garvizú, N.G.

    2007-01-01

    In the tropics human induced forest disturbance, i.e. timber extraction or forest slash and burn for agriculture is leading to an increase of secondary forest area. Therefore, people in the tropics, especially the poor, will rely on secondary forests for good and services. Pioneer trees (short-and l

  8. Mixed Effectiveness of Africa's Tropical Protected Areas for Maintaining Forest Cover: Insights from a Global Forest Change Dataset

    Science.gov (United States)

    De Vos, A.; Bowker, J.; Ament, J.; Cumming, G.

    2016-12-01

    The effectiveness of parks for forest conservation is widely debated in Africa, where increasing human pressure, insufficient funding, and lack of management capacity frequently place significant demands on forest habitats. Tropical forests house a significant portion of the world's remaining biodiversity and are being heavily impacted by anthropogenic activity. We used Hansen et al.'s (2013) global forest change dataset to analyse park effectiveness at the individual (224 parks) and national (23 countries) level across Africa by comparing the extent of forest loss (as a proxy for deforestation) inside parks to matched unprotected control samples. We found that, although significant geographical variation exists between parks, the majority of African parks experienced significantly lower deforestation within their boundaries. Accessibility was a significant driver of deforestation, with less accessible areas having a higher probability of forest loss in ineffective parks and more accessible areas having a higher probability of forest loss in effective parks. Smaller parks were less effective at preventing forest loss inside park boundaries than larger parks, and older parks were less effective than younger parks. Our analysis, which is the first individual and national assessment of park effectiveness across Africa, demonstrates the complexity of factors influencing the ability of a park to curb deforestation within its boundaries and highlights the potential of web-based remote sensing technology in monitoring protected area effectiveness.

  9. Molybdenum limitation of asymbiotic nitrogen fixation in tropical forest soils

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barron, Alexander R.; Wurzburger, Nina; Bellenger, Jean Phillipe; Wright, S. Joseph; Kraepiel, Anne M. L.; Hedin, Lars O.

    2009-01-01

    Nitrogen fixation, the biological conversion of di-nitrogen to plant-available ammonium, is the primary natural input of nitrogen to ecosystems, and influences plant growth and carbon exchange at local to global scales. The role of this process in tropical forests is of particular concern, as these ecosystems harbour abundant nitrogen-fixing organisms and represent one third of terrestrial primary production. Here we show that the micronutrient molybdenum, a cofactor in the nitrogen-fixing enzyme nitrogenase, limits nitrogen fixation by free-living heterotrophic bacteria in soils of lowland Panamanian forests. We measured the fixation response to long-term nutrient manipulations in intact forests, and to short-term manipulations in soil microcosms. Nitrogen fixation increased sharply in treatments of molybdenum alone, in micronutrient treatments that included molybdenum by design and in treatments with commercial phosphorus fertilizer, in which molybdenum was a `hidden' contaminant. Fixation did not respond to additions of phosphorus that were not contaminated by molybdenum. Our findings show that molybdenum alone can limit asymbiotic nitrogen fixation in tropical forests and raise new questions about the role of molybdenum and phosphorus in the tropical nitrogen cycle. We suggest that molybdenum limitation may be common in highly weathered acidic soils, and may constrain the ability of some forests to acquire new nitrogen in response to CO2 fertilization.

  10. Assessing aboveground tropical forest biomass using Google Earth canopy images.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ploton, Pierre; Pélissier, Raphaël; Proisy, Christophe; Flavenot, Théo; Barbier, Nicolas; Rai, S N; Couteron, Pierre

    2012-04-01

    Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD) in efforts to combat climate change requires participating countries to periodically assess their forest resources on a national scale. Such a process is particularly challenging in the tropics because of technical difficulties related to large aboveground forest biomass stocks, restricted availability of affordable, appropriate remote-sensing images, and a lack of accurate forest inventory data. In this paper, we apply the Fourier-based FOTO method of canopy texture analysis to Google Earth's very-high-resolution images of the wet evergreen forests in the Western Ghats of India in order to (1) assess the predictive power of the method on aboveground biomass of tropical forests, (2) test the merits of free Google Earth images relative to their native commercial IKONOS counterparts and (3) highlight further research needs for affordable, accurate regional aboveground biomass estimations. We used the FOTO method to ordinate Fourier spectra of 1436 square canopy images (125 x 125 m) with respect to a canopy grain texture gradient (i.e., a combination of size distribution and spatial pattern of tree crowns), benchmarked against virtual canopy scenes simulated from a set of known forest structure parameters and a 3-D light interception model. We then used 15 1-ha ground plots to demonstrate that both texture gradients provided by Google Earth and IKONOS images strongly correlated with field-observed stand structure parameters such as the density of large trees, total basal area, and aboveground biomass estimated from a regional allometric model. Our results highlight the great potential of the FOTO method applied to Google Earth data for biomass retrieval because the texture-biomass relationship is only subject to 15% relative error, on average, and does not show obvious saturation trends at large biomass values. We also provide the first reliable map of tropical forest aboveground biomass predicted

  11. Mirror image hydrocarbons from Tropical and Boreal forests

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. Williams

    2007-01-01

    Full Text Available Monoterpenes, emitted in large quantities by trees to attract pollinators and repel herbivores, can exist in mirror image forms called enantiomers. In this study such enantiomeric pairs have been measured in ambient air over extensive forest ecosystems in South America and northern Europe. For the dominant monoterpene, α-pinene, the (−-form was measured in large excess over the (+-form over the Tropical rainforest, whereas the reverse was observed over the Boreal forest. Interestingly, over the Tropical forest (−-α-pinene did not correlate with its own enantiomer, but correlated well with isoprene. The results indicate a remarkable ecosystem scale enantiomeric fingerprint and a nexus between the biosphere and atmosphere.

  12. Arthropod diversity in a tropical forest

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Basset, Yves; Cizek, Lukas; Cuénoud, Philippe

    2012-01-01

    Most eukaryotic organisms are arthropods. Yet, their diversity in rich terrestrial ecosystems is still unknown. Here we produce tangible estimates of the total species richness of arthropods in a tropical rainforest. Using a comprehensive range of structured protocols, we sampled the phylogenetic...

  13. Carbon sequestration potential of second-growth forest regeneration in the Latin American tropics

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Chazdon, R.L.; Broadbent, E.N.; Rozendaal, Danae; Bongers, F.; Jakovac, A.C.; Braga Junqueira, A.; Lohbeck, M.W.M.; Pena Claros, M.; Poorter, L.

    2016-01-01

    Regrowth of tropical secondary forests following complete or nearly complete removal of forest vegetation actively stores carbon in aboveground biomass, partially counterbalancing carbon emissions from deforestation, forest degradation, burning of fossil fuels, and other anthropogenic sources. We

  14. Carbon sequestration potential of second-growth forest regeneration in the Latin American tropics

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Chazdon, R.L.; Broadbent, E.N.; Rozendaal, Danae; Bongers, F.; Jakovac, A.C.; Braga Junqueira, A.; Lohbeck, M.W.M.; Pena Claros, M.; Poorter, L.

    2016-01-01

    Regrowth of tropical secondary forests following complete or nearly complete removal of forest vegetation actively stores carbon in aboveground biomass, partially counterbalancing carbon emissions from deforestation, forest degradation, burning of fossil fuels, and other anthropogenic sources. We es

  15. Effects of tropical montane forest disturbance on epiphytic macrolichens.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Benítez, Angel; Prieto, María; González, Yadira; Aragón, Gregorio

    2012-12-15

    The high diversity of epiphytes typical of undisturbed montane tropical forests has been negatively affected by continuous deforestation and forest conversion to secondary vegetation. Macrolichens are an important component of these epiphytes. Because their physiology is strongly coupled to humidity and solar radiation, we hypothesized that microclimatic changes derived from forest clearing and logging can affect the diversity of these poikilohydric organisms. In southern Ecuador, we examined three types of forests according to a disturbance gradient (primary forests, secondary forests, and monospecific forests of Alnus acuminata) for the presence/absence and coverage of epiphytic macrolichens that we identified on 240 trees. We found that total richness tended to decrease when the range of the disturbance increased. The impoverishment was particularly drastic for "shade-adapted lichens", while the richness of "heliophytic lichens" increased in the drier conditions of secondary growth. Epiphytic composition also differed significantly among the three types of forests, and the similarity decreased when the range of the disturbance was greater. We concluded that a span of 40 years of recovery by secondary vegetation was not enough to regenerate the diversity of epiphytic macrolichens that was lost due to forest disturbances. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  16. Deforestation trends of tropical dry forests in central Brazil

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bianchi, Carlos A.; Haig, Susan M.

    2013-01-01

    Tropical dry forests are the most threatened forest type in the world yet a paucity of research about them stymies development of appropriate conservation actions. The Paranã River Basin has the most significant dry forest formations in the Cerrado biome of central Brazil and is threatened by intense land conversion to pastures and agriculture. We examined changes in Paranã River Basin deforestation rates and fragmentation across three time intervals that covered 31 yr using Landsat imagery. Our results indicated a 66.3 percent decrease in forest extent between 1977 and 2008, with an annual rate of forest cover change of 3.5 percent. Landscape metrics further indicated severe forest loss and fragmentation, resulting in an increase in the number of fragments and reduction in patch sizes. Forest fragments in flatlands have virtually disappeared and the only significant forest remnants are mostly found over limestone outcrops in the eastern part of the basin. If current patterns persist, we project that these forests will likely disappear within 25 yr. These patterns may be reversed with creation of protected areas and involvement of local people to preserve small fragments that can be managed for restoration.

  17. Tropical forest soil microbial communities couple iron and carbon biogeochemistry

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Dubinsky, E.A.; Silver, W.L.; Firestone, M.K.

    2009-10-15

    We report that iron-reducing bacteria are primary mediators of anaerobic carbon oxidation in upland tropical soils spanning a rainfall gradient (3500 - 5000 mm yr-1) in northeast Puerto Rico. The abundant rainfall and high net primary productivity of these tropical forests provide optimal soil habitat for iron-reducing and iron-oxidizing bacteria. Spatially and temporally dynamic redox conditions make iron-transforming microbial communities central to the belowground carbon cycle in these wet tropical forests. The exceedingly high abundance of iron-reducing bacteria (up to 1.2 x 10{sup 9} cells per gram soil) indicated that they possess extensive metabolic capacity to catalyze the reduction of iron minerals. In soils from the higher rainfall sites, measured rates of ferric iron reduction could account for up to 44 % of organic carbon oxidation. Iron reducers appeared to compete with methanogens when labile carbon availability was limited. We found large numbers of bacteria that oxidize reduced iron at sites with high rates of iron reduction and large numbers of iron-reducers. the coexistence of large populations of ironreducing and iron-oxidizing bacteria is evidence for rapid iron cycling between its reduced and oxidized states, and suggests that mutualistic interactions among these bacteria ultimately fuel organic carbon oxidation and inhibit CH4 production in these upland tropical forests.

  18. Biological Nitrogen Fixation in Two Tropical Forests: Ecosystem-Level Patterns and Effects of Nitrogen Fertilization

    OpenAIRE

    Cusack, Daniela F.; Silver, Whendee; McDowell, William H.

    2009-01-01

    Humid tropical forests are often characterized by large nitrogen (N) pools, and are known to have large potential N losses. Although rarely measured, tropical forests likely maintain considerable biological N fixation (BNF) to balance N losses. We estimated inputs of N via BNF by free-living microbes for two tropical forests in Puerto Rico, and assessed the response to increased N availability using an on-going N fertilization experiment. Nitrogenase activity was measured across forest strata...

  19. Effectiveness of Africa's tropical protected areas for maintaining forest cover.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bowker, J N; De Vos, A; Ament, J M; Cumming, G S

    2017-06-01

    The effectiveness of parks for forest conservation is widely debated in Africa, where increasing human pressure, insufficient funding, and lack of management capacity frequently place significant demands on forests. Tropical forests house a substantial portion of the world's remaining biodiversity and are heavily affected by anthropogenic activity. We analyzed park effectiveness at the individual (224 parks) and national (23 countries) level across Africa by comparing the extent of forest loss (as a proxy for deforestation) inside parks to matched unprotected control sites. Although significant geographical variation existed among parks, the majority of African parks had significantly less forest loss within their boundaries (e.g., Mahale Park had 34 times less forest loss within its boundary) than control sites. Accessibility was a significant driver of forest loss. Relatively inaccessible areas had a higher probability (odds ratio >1, p < 0.001) of forest loss but only in ineffective parks, and relatively accessible areas had a higher probability of forest loss but only in effective parks. Smaller parks less effectively prevented forest loss inside park boundaries than larger parks (T = -2.32, p < 0.05), and older parks less effectively prevented forest loss inside park boundaries than younger parks (F2,154 = -4.11, p < 0.001). Our analyses, the first individual and national assessment of park effectiveness across Africa, demonstrated the complexity of factors (such as geographical variation, accessibility, and park size and age) influencing the ability of a park to curb forest loss within its boundaries. © 2016 Society for Conservation Biology.

  20. Innovative GIS technology for forest monitoring: ForestLink

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Innovative GIS technology for forest monitoring: ForestLink ... activities. To support them in doing so, British NGO The Rainforest Foundation UK and the ... smartphone or digital tablet connected to a satellite communication network. ... an isolated or a regular occurrence, its author, possible causes and observed impacts, etc.

  1. Mapping and Monitoring Forest Degradation in Indonesia Using Landsat time-series data sets from 1990 to 2010

    Science.gov (United States)

    Margono, B. A.; Potapov, P. V.; Hansen, M. C.

    2011-12-01

    Tropical deforestation and forest degradation accounts for over 18% of CO2 emissions globally. Timely and accurate information on forest extent and change is required for monitoring such changes to tropical forest. Remote sensing is perhaps the only effective means for tropical forest exploitation monitoring. Indonesian forests account for 2.3% of global forest cover, but monitoring in Indonesia faces challenges due to (i) unavailability of cloud free days due to climatic conditions, (ii) rapid reestablishment of tree cover by timber plantations, palm estates and subsequent secondary re-growth, and (iii) uncertainties in fractional land cover types in uneven terrain. A hybrid approach is presented here where an Intact Forest Landscape methodology, based on GIS-based buffering of observable disturbances is coupled with a per pixel mapping of old growth forest stands. Forest cover loss from 1990 to 2010 is mapped independently and trends in intact and degraded forest are quantified. Results advance the monitoring of forest cover and the carbon cycle required for UNFCCC REDD objectives to mitigate climate change by reducing carbon emissions from tropical forest exploitation.

  2. Tropical forest loss and its multitrophic effects on insect herbivory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morante-Filho, José Carlos; Arroyo-Rodríguez, Víctor; Lohbeck, Madelon; Tscharntke, Teja; Faria, Deborah

    2016-12-01

    Forest loss threatens biodiversity, but its potential effects on multitrophic ecological interactions are poorly understood. Insect herbivory depends on complex bottom-up (e.g., resource availability and plant antiherbivore defenses) and top-down forces (e.g., abundance of predators and herbivorous), but its determinants in human-altered tropical landscapes are largely unknown. Using structural equation models, we assessed the direct and indirect effects of forest loss on insect herbivory in 40 landscapes (115 ha each) from two regions with contrasting land-use change trajectories in the Brazilian Atlantic rainforest. We considered landscape forest cover as an exogenous predictor and (1) forest structure, (2) abundance of predators (birds and arthropods), and (3) abundance of herbivorous arthropods as endogenous predictors of insect leaf damage. From 12 predicted pathways, 11 were significant and showed that (1) leaf damage increases with forest loss (direct effect); (2) leaf damage increases with forest loss through the simplification of vegetation structure and its associated dominance of herbivorous insects (indirect effect); and further demonstrate (3) a lack of top-down control of herbivores by predators (birds and arthropods). We conclude that forest loss favors insect herbivory by undermining the bottom-up control (presumably reduced plant antiherbivore defense mechanisms) in forests dominated by fast-growing pioneer plant species, and by improving the conditions required for herbivores proliferation. © 2016 by the Ecological Society of America.

  3. Long-term growth decline in Toona ciliata in a moist tropical forest in Bangladesh: Impact of global warming

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rahman, Mizanur; Islam, Rofiqul; Islam, Mahmuda

    2017-04-01

    Tropical forests are carbon rich ecosystems and small changes in tropical forest tree growth substantially influence the global carbon cycle. Forest monitoring studies report inconsistent growth changes in tropical forest trees over the past decades. Most of the studies highlighted changes in the forest level carbon gain, neglecting the species-specific growth changes which ultimately determine community-level responses. Tree-ring analysis can provide historical data on species-specific tree growth with annual resolution. Such studies are inadequate in Bangladesh, which is one of the most climate sensitive regions in the tropics. In this study, we investigated long-term growth rates of Toona ciliata in a moist tropical forest of Bangladesh by using tree-ring analysis. We sampled 50 trees of varying size, obtained increment cores from these trees and measured tree-ring width. Analyses of growth patterns revealed size-dependent growth increments. After correcting for the effect of tree size on tree growth (ontogenetic changes) by two different methods we found declining growth rates in T. ciliata from 1960 to 2013. Standardized ring-width index (RWI) was strongly negatively correlated with annual mean and maximum temperatures suggesting that rising temperature might cause the observed growth decline in T. ciliata. Assuming that global temperatures will rise at the current rate, the observed growth decline is assumed to continue. The analysis of stable carbon and oxygen isotopes may reveal more insight on the physiological response of this species to future climatic changes.

  4. A Near Real-time Decision Support System Improving Forest Management in the Tropics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tabor, K.; Musinsky, J.; Ledezma, J.; Rasolohery, A.; Mendoza, E.; Kistler, H.; Steininger, M.; Morton, D. C.; Melton, F. S.; Manwell, J.; Koenig, K.

    2013-12-01

    Conservation International (CI) has a decade of experience developing near real-time fire and deforestation monitoring and forecasting systems that channel monitoring information from satellite observations directly to national and sub-national government agencies, Non-Government Organizations (NGOs), and local communities. These systems are used to strengthen forest surveillance and monitoring, fire management and prevention, protected areas management and sustainable land use planning. With support from a NASA Wildland Fires grant, in September 2013 CI will launch a brand new near real-time alert system (FIRECAST) to better meet the outstanding needs and challenges users face in addressing ecosystem degradation from wildland fire and illegal forest activities. Outreach efforts and user feedback have indicated the need for seasonal fire forecasts for effective land use planning, faster alert delivery to enhance response to illegal forest activities, and expanded forest monitoring capabilities that enable proactive responses and that strengthen forest conservation and sustainable development actions. The new FIRECAST system addresses these challenges by integrating the current fire alert and deforestation systems and adding improved ecological forecasting of fire risk; expanding data exchange capabilities with mobile technologies; and delivering a deforestation alert product that can inform policies related to land use management and Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation (REDD+). In addition to demonstrating the capabilities of this new real-time alert system, we also highlight how coordination with host-country institutions enhances the system's capacity to address the implementation needs of REDD+ forest carbon projects, improve tropical forest management, strengthen environmental law enforcement, and facilitate the uptake of near real-time satellite monitoring data into business practices of these national/sub-national institutions.

  5. Use of forest inventories and geographic information systems to estimate biomass density of tropical forests: Application to tropical Africa.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brown, S; Gaston, G

    1995-01-01

    One of the most important databases needed for estimating emissions of carbon dioxide resulting from changes in the cover, use, and management of tropical forests is the total quantity of biomass per unit area, referred to as biomass density. Forest inventories have been shown to be valuable sources of data for estimating biomass density, but inventories for the tropics are few in number and their quality is poor. This lack of reliable data has been overcome by use of a promising approach that produces geographically referenced estimates by modeling in a geographic information system (GIS). This approach has been used to produce geographically referenced, spatial distributions of potential and actual (circa 1980) aboveground biomass density of all forests types in tropical Africa. Potential and actual biomass density estimates ranged from 33 to 412 Mg ha(-1) (10(6)g ha(-1)) and 20 to 299 Mg ha(-1), respectively, for very dry lowland to moist lowland forests and from 78 to 197 Mg ha(-1) and 37 to 105 Mg ha(-1), respectively, for montane-seasonal to montane-moist forests. Of the 37 countries included in this study, more than half (51%) contained forests that had less than 60% of their potential biomass. Actual biomass density for forest vegetation was lowest in Botswana, Niger, Somalia, and Zimbabwe (about 10 to 15 Mg ha(-1)). Highest estimates for actual biomass density were found in Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, and Liberia (305 to 344 Mg ha(-1)). Results from this research effort can contribute to reducing uncertainty in the inventory of country-level emission by providing consistent estimates of biomass density at subnational scales that can be used with other similarly scaled databases on change in land cover and use.

  6. Abiotic Controls on Macroscale Variations of Humid Tropical Forest Height

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yan Yang

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available Spatial variation of tropical forest tree height is a key indicator of ecological processes associated with forest growth and carbon dynamics. Here we examine the macroscale variations of tree height of humid tropical forests across three continents and quantify the climate and edaphic controls on these variations. Forest tree heights are systematically sampled across global humid tropical forests with more than 2.5 million measurements from Geoscience Laser Altimeter System (GLAS satellite observations (2004–2008. We used top canopy height (TCH of GLAS footprints to grid the statistical mean and variance and the 90 percentile height of samples at 0.5 degrees to capture the regional variability of average and large trees globally. We used the spatial regression method (spatial eigenvector mapping-SEVM to evaluate the contributions of climate, soil and topography in explaining and predicting the regional variations of forest height. Statistical models suggest that climate, soil, topography, and spatial contextual information together can explain more than 60% of the observed forest height variation, while climate and soil jointly explain 30% of the height variations. Soil basics, including physical compositions such as clay and sand contents, chemical properties such as PH values and cation-exchange capacity, as well as biological variables such as the depth of organic matter, all present independent but statistically significant relationships to forest height across three continents. We found significant relations between the precipitation and tree height with shorter trees on the average in areas of higher annual water stress, and large trees occurring in areas with low stress and higher annual precipitation but with significant differences across the continents. Our results confirm other landscape and regional studies by showing that soil fertility, topography and climate may jointly control a significant variation of forest height and

  7. Experimental evidence for extreme dispersal limitation in tropical forest birds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moore, R P; Robinson, W D; Lovette, I J; Robinson, T R

    2008-09-01

    Movements of organisms between habitat remnants can affect metapopulation structure, community assembly dynamics, gene flow and conservation strategy. In the tropical landscapes that support the majority of global biodiversity and where forest fragmentation is accelerating, there is particular urgency to understand how dispersal across habitats mediates the demography, distribution and differentiation of organisms. By employing unique dispersal challenge experiments coupled with exhaustive inventories of birds in a Panamanian lacustrine archipelago, we show that the ability to fly even short distances (birds, and that this variation correlates strongly with species' extinction histories and current distributions across the archipelago. This extreme variation in flight capability indicates that species' persistence in isolated forest remnants will be differentially mediated by their respective dispersal abilities, and that corridors connecting such fragments will be essential for the maintenance of avian diversity in fragmented tropical landscapes.

  8. Multiple antibiotic resistant Escherichia coli from a tropical rain forest stream

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Carrasco, C.E.; Alvarez, H.J.; Ortiz, N.; Bisbal, M.; Arias, W.; Baerga, C. [Univ. of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras (Puerto Rico). Dept. of Biology; Hazen, T.C. [E.I. DuPont de Nemours and Co., Aiken, SC (United States). Savannah River Lab.

    1988-12-31

    High densities of fecal coliforms were obtained from a pristine site and sewage contaminated site in a tropical rain forest watershed in Puerto Rico. Confirmation of fecal coliform isolates as Escherichia coli was significantly lower than for temperate waters. Antibiotic resistance and multiple antibiotic resistance were common for isolates at both sites; however, the site receiving sewage effluent had a greater proportion of multiple antibiotic resistant isolates. R. plasmids were recovered from 4 MAR isolates, 2 from each site. All recovered plasmids were approximately 1 kilobase. The recovered plasmid were also capable of transforming E. coli HB101 in vitro. The high concentrations of enterobacteriaceae, small R-plasmid size, R-plasmid transformability, and long term survival of fecal origin bacteria in tropical freshwater environments give increasing importance to adequate sewage treatment, and better indicator monitoring methods for tropical areas.

  9. Towards ground-truthing of spaceborne estimates of above-ground biomass and leaf area index in tropical rain forests

    OpenAIRE

    Köhler, P.; Huth, A.

    2010-01-01

    The canopy height of forests is a key variable which can be obtained using air- or spaceborne remote sensing techniques such as radar interferometry or lidar. If new allometric relationships between canopy height and the biomass stored in the vegetation can be established this would offer the possibility for a global monitoring of the above-ground carbon content on land. In the absence of adequate field data we use simulation results of a tropical rain forest growth model to propose what degr...

  10. An Ecologically Based System for Sustainable Agroforestry in Sub-Tropical and Tropical Forests

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yuan Sun

    2017-03-01

    Full Text Available Forests in tropical and sub-tropical countries face severe pressures due to a combination of poverty and environment degradation. To be effective, measures to protect these forests must therefore consider both economic and ecological dimensions synergistically. The purpose of this paper was to synthesize our long-term work (1994–2015 on a Ginkgo (Ginkgo biloba L. agroforestry system and demonstrate its potential for achieving both goals, and discuss its wider application in tropical and sub-tropical countries. The performance of various ecological, economic, and social indicators was compared among five Ginkgo agroforestry systems. Two additional indicators, Harmony Degree (HD and Development Degree (DD, were also used to show the integrated performance of these indicators. Ginkgo-Wheat-Peanut (G+W+P and Ginkgo-Rapeseed-Peanut (G+R+P are the best systems when compared to pure and mixed Ginkgo plantations, or pure agricultural crops. Results demonstrate that it is possible to achieve both economic development and environmental protection through implementation of sustainable agroforestry systems in sub-tropical regions.

  11. Biological Nitrogen Fixation In Tropical Dry Forests Of Costa Rica

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gei, M. G.; Powers, J. S.

    2012-12-01

    Evidence suggests that tropical dry forests (TDF) are not nitrogen (N) deficient. This evidence includes: high losses of gaseous nitrogen during the rainy season, high ecosystem soil N stocks and high N concentrations in leaves and litterfall. Its been commonly hypothesized that biological nitrogen fixation is responsible for the high availability of N in tropical soils. However, the magnitude of this flux has rarely if ever been measured in tropical dry forests. Because of the high cost of fixing N and the ubiquity of N fixing legume trees in the TDF, at the individual tree level symbiotic fixation should be a strategy down-regulated by the plant. Our main goal was to determine the rates of and controls over symbiotic N fixation. We hypothesized that legume tree species employ a facultative strategy of nitrogen fixation and that this process responds to changes in light availability, soil moisture and nutrient supply. We tested this hypothesis both on naturally established trees in a forest and under controlled conditions in a shade house by estimating the quantities of N fixed annually using the 15N natural abundance method, counting nodules, and quantifying (field) or manipulating (shade house) the variation in important environmental variables (soil nutrients, soil moisture, and light). We found that in both in our shade house experiment and in the forest, nodulation varied among different legume species. For both settings, the 15N natural abundance approach successfully detected differences in nitrogen fixation among species. The legume species that we studied were able to regulate fixation depending on the environmental conditions. They showed to have different strategies of nitrogen fixation that follow a gradient of facultative to obligate fixation. Our data suggest that there exists a continuum of nitrogen fixation strategies among species. Any efforts to define tropical legume trees as a functional group need to incorporate this variation.

  12. Tree height integrated into pan-tropical forest biomass estimates

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    T. R. Feldpausch

    2012-03-01

    Full Text Available Above-ground tropical tree biomass and carbon storage estimates commonly ignore tree height. We estimate the effect of incorporating height (H on forest biomass estimates using 37 625 concomitant H and diameter measurements (n = 327 plots and 1816 harvested trees (n = 21 plots tropics-wide to answer the following questions:

    1. For trees of known biomass (from destructive harvests which H-model form and geographic scale (plot, region, and continent most reduces biomass estimate uncertainty?

    2. How much does including H relationship estimates derived in (1 reduce uncertainty in biomass estimates across 327 plots spanning four continents?

    3. What effect does the inclusion of H in biomass estimates have on plot- and continental-scale forest biomass estimates?

    The mean relative error in biomass estimates of the destructively harvested trees was half (mean 0.06 when including H, compared to excluding H (mean 0.13. The power- and Weibull-H asymptotic model provided the greatest reduction in uncertainty, with the regional Weibull-H model preferred because it reduces uncertainty in smaller-diameter classes that contain the bulk of biomass per hectare in most forests. Propagating the relationships from destructively harvested tree biomass to each of the 327 plots from across the tropics shows errors are reduced from 41.8 Mg ha−1 (range 6.6 to 112.4 to 8.0 Mg ha−1 (−2.5 to 23.0 when including $H$. For all plots, above-ground live biomass was 52.2±17.3 Mg ha−1 lower when including H estimates (13%, with the greatest reductions in estimated biomass in Brazilian Shield forests and relatively no change in the Guyana Shield, central Africa and southeast Asia. We show fundamentally different stand structure across the four forested tropical continents, which affects biomass reductions due to $H

  13. Tropical forest fragmentation limits pollination of a keystone understory herb.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hadley, Adam S; Frey, Sarah J K; Robinson, W Douglas; Kress, W John; Betts, Matthew G

    2014-08-01

    Loss of native vegetation cover is thought to be a major driver of declines in pollination success worldwide. However, it is not well known whether reducing the fragmentation of remaining vegetation can ameliorate these negative effects. We tested the independent effects of composition vs. configuration on the reproductive success of a keystone tropical forest herb (Heliconia tortuosa). To do this we designed a large-scale mensurative experiment that independently varied connected forest-patch size (configuration) and surrounding amount of forest (composition). In each patch, we tested whether pollen tubes, fruit, and seed set were associated with these landscape variables. We also captured hummingbirds as an indication of pollinator availability in a subset of patches according to the same design. We found evidence for an effect of configuration on seed set of H. tortuosa, but not on other aspects of plant reproduction; proportion of seeds produced increased 40% across the gradient in patch size we observed (0.64 to > 1300 ha), independent of the amount of forest in the surrounding landscape at both local and landscape scales. We also found that the availability of pollinators was dependent upon forest configuration; hummingbird capture rates increased three and one-half times across the patch size gradient, independent of forest amount. Finally, pollinator availability was strongly positively correlated with seed set. We hypothesize that the effects of configuration on plant fitness that we observed are due to reduced pollen quality resulting from altered hummingbird availability and/or movement behavior. Our results suggest that prioritizing larger patches of tropical forest may be particularly important for conservation of this species.

  14. Satellite observations of the role and impacts of dry season climate limitations on tropical forest fates

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huete, A. R.; Restrepo-Coupe, N.; Wu, J.; Devadas, R.; Guan, K.; Liu, Y.; Ratana, P.; Sun, Q.; Schaaf, C.; Saleska, S. R.

    2015-12-01

    Climate change scenarios projected for the 21st century predict drying of the Amazon, greening of monsoon tropical Asia and no change in the tropics of Australia. Dry season variability is increasing with complex associated forest responses and feedbacks as they become exposed to longer and/or more intense dry seasons. The functional response of tropical forests to dry seasonal periods is thus crucial to forest resilience, as forests may respond with either enhanced photosynthesis (due to more sunlight) or may dry down with greater susceptibility to fires and release of greenhouse gases and severe public health haze alerts. In this study, we use multiple satellite remote sensing datasets representing forest canopy states, environmental drivers (light and water status), and disturbance (fires), along with in situ flux tower measures of photosynthesis to assess whole ecosystem patterns and test mechanisms of forest- dry season climate interactions. We compare photosynthesis patterns and dry season responses of Asia-Oceania tropical forests with neotropical forests to better understand forest resilience to climate change and human impacts. In contrast to the neotropics, human activities in monsoon tropical Asia have resulted in intensive transformations of tropical forests. We find forest disturbance exerts a strong influence on tropical forest functioning and a partial loss or degradation of tropical forests can reverse dry seasonal responses with substantial impacts on carbon fluxes. Neotropical forests displayed large variations in dry season forest responses due to spatially variable dry season lengths and magnitude, whereas most of monsoon Asia tropical forests lacked well-defined dry seasons, yet were highly sensitive to shorter term, intense drought events that impacted severely upon the disturbed forests. Our results highlight the interactions among rainfall, radiation and forest health with the relative importance of each factor varying with the

  15. The conservation value of small, isolated fragments of lowland tropical rain forest.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Turner, I M; T Corlett, R

    1996-08-01

    Deforestation is occurring at an alarming rate in the lowland tropics. In many tropical regions, rain forest is restricted to small (rainforest species that are on the brink of extinction. In areas with little rain forest remaining, fragments can be the 'seeds' from which to re-establish extensive forest.

  16. Forest health monitoring: 2004 national technical report

    Science.gov (United States)

    John W. Coulston; Mark J. Ambrose; Kurt H. Riitters; Barbara L. Conkling

    2005-01-01

    The Forest Health Monitoring (FHM) Program’s annual national technical report presents results of forest health analyses from a national perspective using data from a variety of sources. Results presented in the report pertain to the Santiago Declaration’s Criterion 1— Conservation of Biological Diversity and Criterion 3—Maintenance of Forest Ecosystem Health and...

  17. Forest health monitoring: 2002 national technical report

    Science.gov (United States)

    John W. Coulston; Mark J. Ambrose; Kurt H. Riitters; Barbara L. Conkling

    2005-01-01

    The Forest Health Monitoring (FHM) Program’s annual national technical report presents results of forest health analyses from a national perspective using data from a variety of sources. This annual report focuses on “Criterion 3—Maintenance of Forest Ecosystem Health and Vitality” from the “Criteria and Indicators of Sustainable Forestry of the Santiago Declaration”...

  18. Height-diameter allometry of tropical forest trees

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    T. R. Feldpausch

    2011-05-01

    Full Text Available Tropical tree height-diameter (H:D relationships may vary by forest type and region making large-scale estimates of above-ground biomass subject to bias if they ignore these differences in stem allometry. We have therefore developed a new global tropical forest database consisting of 39 955 concurrent H and D measurements encompassing 283 sites in 22 tropical countries. Utilising this database, our objectives were:

    1. to determine if H:D relationships differ by geographic region and forest type (wet to dry forests, including zones of tension where forest and savanna overlap.

    2. to ascertain if the H:D relationship is modulated by climate and/or forest structural characteristics (e.g. stand-level basal area, A.

    3. to develop H:D allometric equations and evaluate biases to reduce error in future local-to-global estimates of tropical forest biomass.

    Annual precipitation coefficient of variation (PV, dry season length (SD, and mean annual air temperature (TA emerged as key drivers of variation in H:D relationships at the pantropical and region scales. Vegetation structure also played a role with trees in forests of a high A being, on average, taller at any given D. After the effects of environment and forest structure are taken into account, two main regional groups can be identified. Forests in Asia, Africa and the Guyana Shield all have, on average, similar H:D relationships, but with trees in the forests of much of the Amazon Basin and tropical Australia typically being shorter at any given D than their counterparts elsewhere. The region-environment-structure model with the lowest Akaike's information criterion and lowest deviation estimated stand-level H across all plots to within amedian −2.7 to 0.9% of the true value. Some of the plot-to-plot variability in

  19. Height-diameter allometry of tropical forest trees

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    T. R. Feldpausch

    2010-10-01

    Full Text Available Tropical tree height-diameter (H:D relationships may vary by forest type and region making large-scale estimates of above-ground biomass subject to bias if they ignore these differences in stem allometry. We have therefore developed a new global tropical forest database consisting of 39 955 concurrent H and D measurements encompassing 283 sites in 22 tropical countries. Utilising this database, our objectives were:

      1. to determine if H:D relationships differ by geographic region and forest type (wet to dry forests, including zones of tension where forest and savanna overlap.

      2. to ascertain if the H:D relationship is modulated by climate and/or forest structural characteristics (e.g. stand-level basal area, A.

      3. to develop H:D allometric equations and evaluate biases to reduce error in future local-to-global estimates of tropical forest biomass.

    Annual precipitation coefficient of variation (PV, dry season length (SD, and mean annual air temperature (TA emerged as key drivers of variation in H:D relationships at the pantropical and region scales. Vegetation structure also played a role with trees in forests of a high A being, on average, taller at any given D. After the effects of environment and forest structure are taken into account, two main regional groups can be identified. Forests in Asia, Africa and the Guyana Shield all have, on average, similar H:D relationships, but with trees in the forests of much of the Amazon Basin and tropical Australia typically being shorter at any given D than their counterparts elsewhere.

    The region-environment-structure model with the lowest Akaike's information criterion and lowest deviation estimated stand-level H across all plots to within a median –2.7 to 0.9% of the true value. Some of the plot

  20. Estimating Aboveground Forest Carbon Stock of Major Tropical Forest Land Uses Using Airborne Lidar and Field Measurement Data in Central Sumatra

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thapa, R. B.; Watanabe, M.; Motohka, T.; Shiraishi, T.; shimada, M.

    2013-12-01

    Tropical forests are providing environmental goods and services including carbon sequestration, energy regulation, water fluxes, wildlife habitats, fuel, and building materials. Despite the policy attention, the tropical forest reserve in Southeast Asian region is releasing vast amount of carbon to the atmosphere due to deforestation. Establishing quality forest statistics and documenting aboveground forest carbon stocks (AFCS) are emerging in the region. Airborne and satellite based large area monitoring methods are developed to compliment conventional plot based field measurement methods as they are costly, time consuming, and difficult to implement for large regions. But these methods still require adequate ground measurements for calibrating accurate AFCS model. Furthermore, tropical region comprised of varieties of natural and plantation forests capping higher variability of forest structures and biomass volumes. To address this issue and the needs for ground data, we propose the systematic collection of ground data integrated with airborne light detection and ranging (LiDAR) data. Airborne LiDAR enables accurate measures of vertical forest structure, including canopy height and volume demanding less ground measurement plots. Using an appropriate forest type based LiDAR sampling framework, structural properties of forest can be quantified and treated similar to ground measurement plots, producing locally relevant information to use independently with satellite data sources including synthetic aperture radar (SAR). In this study, we examined LiDAR derived forest parameters with field measured data and developed general and specific AFCS models for tropical forests in central Sumatra. The general model is fitted for all types of natural and plantation forests while the specific model is fitted to the specific forest type. The study region consists of natural forests including peat swamp and dry moist forests, regrowth, and mangrove and plantation forests

  1. Ecotoxicology of mercury in tropical forest soils: Impact on earthworms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buch, Andressa Cristhy; Brown, George Gardner; Correia, Maria Elizabeth Fernandes; Lourençato, Lúcio Fábio; Silva-Filho, Emmanoel Vieira

    2017-07-01

    Mercury (Hg) is one of the most toxic nonessential trace metals in the environment, with high persistence and bioaccumulation potential, and hence of serious concern to environmental quality and public health. Emitted to the atmosphere, this element can travel long distances, far from emission sources. Hg speciation can lead to Hg contamination of different ecosystem components, as well as biomagnification in trophic food webs. To evaluate the effects of atmospheric Hg deposition in tropical forests, we investigated Hg concentrations in earthworm tissues and soils of two Forest Conservation Units in State of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Next, we performed a laboratory study of the biological responses (cast analysis and behavioral, acute, chronic and bioaccumulation ecotoxicological tests) of two earthworms species (Pontoscolex corethrurus and Eisenia andrei) to Hg contamination in tropical artificial soil (TAS) and two natural forest soils (NS) spiked with increasing concentration of HgCl2. Field results showed Hg concentrations up to 13 times higher in earthworm tissues than in forest soils, while in the laboratory Hg accumulation after 91-days of exposure was 25 times greater in spiked-soils with 128mgHgkg(-1) (dry wt) than in control (unspiked) soils. In all the toxicity tests P. corethrurus showed a higher adaptability or resistance to mercury than E. andrei. The role of earthworms as environmental bioremediators was confirmed in this study, showing their ability to greatly bioaccumulate trace metals while reducing Hg availability in feces. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  2. Geocoding and stereo display of tropical forest multisensor datasets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Welch, R.; Jordan, T. R.; Luvall, J. C.

    1990-01-01

    Concern about the future of tropical forests has led to a demand for geocoded multisensor databases that can be used to assess forest structure, deforestation, thermal response, evapotranspiration, and other parameters linked to climate change. In response to studies being conducted at the Braulino Carrillo National Park, Costa Rica, digital satellite and aircraft images recorded by Landsat TM, SPOT HRV, Thermal Infrared Multispectral Scanner, and Calibrated Airborne Multispectral Scanner sensors were placed in register using the Landsat TM image as the reference map. Despite problems caused by relief, multitemporal datasets, and geometric distortions in the aircraft images, registration was accomplished to within + or - 20 m (+ or - 1 data pixel). A digital elevation model constructed from a multisensor Landsat TM/SPOT stereopair proved useful for generating perspective views of the rugged, forested terrain.

  3. Predicting tree heights for biomass estimates in tropical forests

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Q. Molto

    2013-05-01

    Full Text Available The recent development of REDD+ mechanisms require reliable estimation of carbon stocks, especially in tropical forests that are particularly threatened by global changes. Even if tree height is a crucial variable to compute the above-ground forest biomass, tree heights are rarely measured in large-scale forest census because it requires consequent extra-effort. Tree height have thus to be predicted thanks to height models. Height and diameter of all trees above 10 cm of diameter were measured in thirty-three half-ha plots and nine one-ha plots throughout the northern French Guiana, an area with substantial climate and environmental gradients. We compared four different model shapes and found that the Michaelis–Menten shape was the most appropriate for the tree biomass prediction. Model parameters values were significantly different from one forest plot to another and neglecting these differences would lead to large errors in biomass estimates. Variables from the forest stand structure explained a sufficient part of the plot-to-plot variations of the height model parameters to affect the AGB predictions. In the forest stands dominated by small trees, the trees were found to have rapid height growth for small diameters. In forest stands dominated by larger trees, the trees were found to have the greatest heights for large diameters. The above-ground biomass estimation uncertainty of the forest plots was reduced by the use of the forest structure-based height model. It demonstrates the feasibility and the importance of height modeling in tropical forest for carbon mapping. Tree height is definitely an important variable for AGB estimations. When the tree heights are not measured in an inventory, they can be predicted with a height-diameter model. This model can account for plot-to plot variations in height-diameter relationship thank to variables describing the plots. The variables describing the stand structure of the plots are efficient for

  4. Compatibility of timber and non-timber forest product management in natural tropical forests: perspectives, challenges, and opportunities

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Guariguata, M.R.; García-Fernández, C.; Shiel, D.; Nasi, R.; Herrero-Jáuregui, C.; Cronkleton, P.; Ingram, V.

    2010-01-01

    Tropical forests could satisfy multiple demands for goods and services both for present and future generations. Yet integrated approaches to natural forest management remain elusive across the tropics. In this paper we examine one combination of uses: selective harvesting of timber and non-timber

  5. Why do forest products become less available? A pan-tropical comparison of drivers of forest-resource degradation

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hermans, Kathleen; Gerstner, Katharina; Geijzendorffer, Ilse R.; Herold, Martin; Seppelt, Ralf; Wunder, Sven

    2016-01-01

    Forest products provide an important source of income and wellbeing for rural smallholder communities across the tropics. Although tropical forest products frequently become over-exploited, only few studies explicitly address the dynamics of degradation in response to socio-economic drivers. Our

  6. Compatibility of timber and non-timber forest product management in natural tropical forests: perspectives, challenges, and opportunities

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Guariguata, M.R.; García-Fernández, C.; Shiel, D.; Nasi, R.; Herrero-Jáuregui, C.; Cronkleton, P.; Ingram, V.

    2010-01-01

    Tropical forests could satisfy multiple demands for goods and services both for present and future generations. Yet integrated approaches to natural forest management remain elusive across the tropics. In this paper we examine one combination of uses: selective harvesting of timber and non-timber fo

  7. Anthropogenic impacts on tropical forest biodiversity: a network structure and ecosystem functioning perspective

    OpenAIRE

    Morris, Rebecca J.

    2010-01-01

    Huge areas of diverse tropical forest are lost or degraded every year with dramatic consequences for biodiversity. Deforestation and fragmentation, over-exploitation, invasive species and climate change are the main drivers of tropical forest biodiversity loss. Most studies investigating these threats have focused on changes in species richness or species diversity. However, if we are to understand the absolute and long-term effects of anthropogenic impacts on tropical forests, we should also...

  8. Patterns of Loss and Regeneration of Tropical Dry Forest in Madagascar: The Social Institutional Context

    OpenAIRE

    Thomas Elmqvist; Markku Pyykönen; Maria Tengö; Fanambinantsoa Rakotondrasoa; Elisabeth Rabakonandrianina; Chantal Radimilahy

    2007-01-01

    Loss of tropical forests and changes in land-use/land-cover are of growing concern worldwide. Although knowledge exists about the institutional context in which tropical forest loss is embedded, little is known about the role of social institutions in influencing regeneration of tropical forests. In the present study we used Landsat images from southern Madagascar from three different years (1984, 1993 and 2000) and covering 5500 km(2), and made a time-series analysis of three distinct large-...

  9. Indigenous exploitation and management of tropical forest resources: an evolutionary continuum in forest-people interactions.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Wiersum, K.F.

    1997-01-01

    Since the early 1980s several new approaches towards forest management, which include active participation of local communities, have been tried out in many tropical regions. As a result of these efforts recognition has increased about the various ways in which many local communities are already

  10. Detecting tropical forest biomass dynamics from repeated airborne lidar measurements

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    V. Meyer

    2013-08-01

    Full Text Available Reducing uncertainty of terrestrial carbon cycle depends strongly on the accurate estimation of changes of global forest carbon stock. However, this is a challenging problem from either ground surveys or remote sensing techniques in tropical forests. Here, we examine the feasibility of estimating changes of tropical forest biomass from two airborne lidar measurements of forest height acquired about 10 yr apart over Barro Colorado Island (BCI, Panama. We used the forest inventory data from the 50 ha Center for Tropical Forest Science (CTFS plot collected every 5 yr during the study period to calibrate the estimation. We compared two approaches for detecting changes in forest aboveground biomass (AGB: (1 relating changes in lidar height metrics from two sensors directly to changes in ground-estimated biomass; and (2 estimating biomass from each lidar sensor and then computing changes in biomass from the difference of two biomass estimates, using two models, namely one model based on five relative height metrics and the other based only on mean canopy height (MCH. We performed the analysis at different spatial scales from 0.04 ha to 10 ha. Method (1 had large uncertainty in directly detecting biomass changes at scales smaller than 10 ha, but provided detailed information about changes of forest structure. The magnitude of error associated with both the mean biomass stock and mean biomass change declined with increasing spatial scales. Method (2 was accurate at the 1 ha scale to estimate AGB stocks (R2 = 0.7 and RMSEmean = 27.6 Mg ha−1. However, to predict biomass changes, errors became comparable to ground estimates only at a spatial scale of about 10 ha or more. Biomass changes were in the same direction at the spatial scale of 1 ha in 60 to 64% of the subplots, corresponding to p values of respectively 0.1 and 0.033. Large errors in estimating biomass changes from lidar data resulted from the uncertainty in detecting changes at 1 ha from ground

  11. Tiger density in a tropical lowland forest in the Eastern Himalayan Mountains.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Singh, Randeep; Chauhan, Devendra Singh; Mishra, Sudhanshu; Krausman, Paul R; Goyal, Surendra Prakash

    2014-01-01

    Tropical evergreen forests in northeast India are a biological hot spot for conservation of flora and fauna. Little is known, however, about tiger abundance, which is a flagship species for tropical evergreen forests. Our objective was to document the capture rate and population density of tigers based on spatial explicit capture-recapture (SECR) approaches using camera trap data in an intensive study area (ISA) of 158 km(2) in Pakke Tiger Reserve (PTR) during March to May 2006. The Reserve lies in the foothills of the Eastern Himalayan Mountains, northeast India. We monitored 38 camera traps in ISA for 70 days and documented 10 photo-captures of tigers (5 left and 5 right flanks) with an average trap success rate of 1.3 captures/100 trap days. The overall capture probability was 0.05. The tiger density estimated using a SECR model was 0.97 ± 0.23 individuals/100 km(2). This is the first systematic sampling study in tropical semi evergreen forests of India, and information on capture rate and population density of tigers provides baseline data from which to determining changes in the future to assist conservation.

  12. Monitoring Strategies for REDD+: Integrating Field, Airborne, and Satellite Observations of Amazon Forests

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morton, Douglas; Souza, Carlos, Jr.; Souza, Carlos, Jr.; Keller, Michael

    2012-01-01

    Large-scale tropical forest monitoring efforts in support of REDD+ (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation plus enhancing forest carbon stocks) confront a range of challenges. REDD+ activities typically have short reporting time scales, diverse data needs, and low tolerance for uncertainties. Meeting these challenges will require innovative use of remote sensing data, including integrating data at different spatial and temporal resolutions. The global scientific community is engaged in developing, evaluating, and applying new methods for regional to global scale forest monitoring. Pilot REDD+ activities are underway across the tropics with support from a range of national and international groups, including SilvaCarbon, an interagency effort to coordinate US expertise on forest monitoring and resource management. Early actions on REDD+ have exposed some of the inherent tradeoffs that arise from the use of incomplete or inaccurate data to quantify forest area changes and related carbon emissions. Here, we summarize recent advances in forest monitoring to identify and target the main sources of uncertainty in estimates of forest area changes, aboveground carbon stocks, and Amazon forest carbon emissions.

  13. Quantification and identification of lightning damage in tropical forests.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yanoviak, Stephen P; Gora, Evan M; Burchfield, Jeffrey M; Bitzer, Phillip M; Detto, Matteo

    2017-07-01

    Accurate estimates of tree mortality are essential for the development of mechanistic forest dynamics models, and for estimating carbon storage and cycling. However, identifying agents of tree mortality is difficult and imprecise. Although lightning kills thousands of trees each year and is an important agent of mortality in some forests, the frequency and distribution of lightning-caused tree death remain unknown for most forests. Moreover, because all evidence regarding the effects of lightning on trees is necessarily anecdotal and post hoc, rigorous tests of hypotheses regarding the ecological effects of lightning are impossible. We developed a combined electronic sensor/camera-based system for the location and characterization of lightning strikes to the forest canopy in near real time and tested the system in the forest of Barro Colorado Island, Panama. Cameras mounted on towers provided continuous video recordings of the forest canopy that were analyzed to determine the locations of lightning strikes. We used a preliminary version of this system to record and locate 18 lightning strikes to the forest over a 3-year period. Data from field surveys of known lightning strike locations (obtained from the camera system) enabled us to develop a protocol for reliable, ground-based identification of suspected lightning damage to tropical trees. In all cases, lightning damage was relatively inconspicuous; it would have been overlooked by ground-based observers having no knowledge of the event. We identified three types of evidence that can be used to consistently identify lightning strike damage in tropical forests: (1) localized and directionally biased branch mortality associated with flashover among tree and sapling crowns, (2) mortality of lianas or saplings near lianas, and (3) scorched or wilting epiphytic and hemiepiphytic plants. The longitudinal trunk scars that are typical of lightning-damaged temperate trees were never observed in this study. Given the

  14. Multiple pathways of commodity crop expansion in tropical forest landscapes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meyfroidt, Patrick; Carlson, Kimberly M.; Fagan, Matthew E.; Gutiérrez-Vélez, Victor H.; Macedo, Marcia N.; Curran, Lisa M.; DeFries, Ruth S.; Dyer, George A.; Gibbs, Holly K.; Lambin, Eric F.; Morton, Douglas C.; Robiglio, Valentina

    2014-07-01

    Commodity crop expansion, for both global and domestic urban markets, follows multiple land change pathways entailing direct and indirect deforestation, and results in various social and environmental impacts. Here we compare six published case studies of rapid commodity crop expansion within forested tropical regions. Across cases, between 1.7% and 89.5% of new commodity cropland was sourced from forestlands. Four main factors controlled pathways of commodity crop expansion: (i) the availability of suitable forestland, which is determined by forest area, agroecological or accessibility constraints, and land use policies, (ii) economic and technical characteristics of agricultural systems, (iii) differences in constraints and strategies between small-scale and large-scale actors, and (iv) variable costs and benefits of forest clearing. When remaining forests were unsuitable for agriculture and/or policies restricted forest encroachment, a larger share of commodity crop expansion occurred by conversion of existing agricultural lands, and land use displacement was smaller. Expansion strategies of large-scale actors emerge from context-specific balances between the search for suitable lands; transaction costs or conflicts associated with expanding into forests or other state-owned lands versus smallholder lands; net benefits of forest clearing; and greater access to infrastructure in already-cleared lands. We propose five hypotheses to be tested in further studies: (i) land availability mediates expansion pathways and the likelihood that land use is displaced to distant, rather than to local places; (ii) use of already-cleared lands is favored when commodity crops require access to infrastructure; (iii) in proportion to total agricultural expansion, large-scale actors generate more clearing of mature forests than smallholders; (iv) property rights and land tenure security influence the actors participating in commodity crop expansion, the form of land use displacement

  15. Predictability of Stemflow in a Species-Rich Tropical Forest

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zimmermann, A.; Zimmermann, B.

    2014-12-01

    Numerous studies investigated the influence of abiotic (meteorological conditions) and biotic factors (tree characteristics) on stemflow generation. Though these studies identified the variables that influence stemflow volumes in simply structured forests, the combination of tree characteristics that allows a robust prediction of stemflow volumes in species-rich forests is not well known. For many hydrological investigations, it would be useful if at least a rough estimate of stemflow volumes can be obtained based on tree characteristics. The need for robust predictions of stemflow motivated us to investigate the relations between tree characteristics and stemflow volumes in a species-rich tropical forest located in central Panama. With a sampling setup consisting of 10 rainfall collectors, 300 throughfall samplers, and 60 stemflow collectors and cumulated data comprising 26 rain events, we derive three main findings. First, stemflow represents a minor hydrological component in the studied 1 ha forest patch (0.98 % of cumulated rainfall). Second, in the studied species-rich forest, single tree characteristics are only weakly related to stemflow volumes. The influence of multiple tree parameters (e.g. crown diameter, presence of large epiphytes, and inclination of branches) and the dependencies among these parameters require a multivariate approach to understand the generation of stemflow. Third, predicting stemflow in species-rich forests based on tree parameters is a difficult task. Although the best model can capture the variation in stemflow to some degree, a critical validation reveals that the model cannot provide robust predictions of stemflow. A reanalysis of data from previous studies in species-rich forests corroborates this finding. Based on these results we discuss several options for quantifying stemflow volumes in species-rich forests.

  16. Toward trait-based mortality models for tropical forests.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mélaine Aubry-Kientz

    Full Text Available Tree mortality in tropical forests is a complex ecological process for which modelling approaches need to be improved to better understand, and then predict, the evolution of tree mortality in response to global change. The mortality model introduced here computes an individual probability of dying for each tree in a community. The mortality model uses the ontogenetic stage of the tree because youngest and oldest trees are more likely to die. Functional traits are integrated as proxies of the ecological strategies of the trees to permit generalization among all species in the community. Data used to parametrize the model were collected at Paracou study site, a tropical rain forest in French Guiana, where 20,408 trees have been censused for 18 years. A Bayesian framework was used to select useful covariates and to estimate the model parameters. This framework was developed to deal with sources of uncertainty, including the complexity of the mortality process itself and the field data, especially historical data for which taxonomic determinations were uncertain. Uncertainty about the functional traits was also considered, to maximize the information they contain. Four functional traits were strong predictors of tree mortality: wood density, maximum height, laminar toughness and stem and branch orientation, which together distinguished the light-demanding, fast-growing trees from slow-growing trees with lower mortality rates. Our modelling approach formalizes a complex ecological problem and offers a relevant mathematical framework for tropical ecologists to process similar uncertain data at the community level.

  17. Cryptic adaptive radiation in tropical forest trees in New Caledonia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pillon, Yohan; Hopkins, Helen C F; Rigault, Frédéric; Jaffré, Tanguy; Stacy, Elizabeth A

    2014-04-01

    The causes of the species richness of tropical trees are poorly understood, in particular the roles of ecological factors such as soil composition. The nickel(Ni)-hyperaccumulating tree genus Geissois (Cunoniaceae) from the South-west Pacific was chosen as a model of diversification on different substrates. Here, we investigated the leaf element compositions, spatial distributions and phylogeny of all species of Geissois occurring on New Caledonia. We found that New Caledonian Geissois descended from a single colonist and diversified relatively quickly into 13 species. Species on ultramafic and nonultramafic substrates showed contrasting patterns of leaf element composition and range overlap. Those on nonultramafic substrates were largely sympatric but had distinct leaf element compositions. By contrast, species on ultramafic substrates showed similar leaf element composition, but occurred in many cases exclusively in allopatry. Further, earlier work showed that at least three out of these seven species use different molecules to bind Ni. Geissois qualifies as a cryptic adaptive radiation, and may be the first such example in a lineage of tropical forest trees. Variation in biochemical strategies for coping with both typical and adverse soil conditions may help to explain the diversification and coexistence of tropical forest trees on similar soil types.

  18. Variability in the Effectiveness of Two Ornithological Survey Methods between Tropical Forest Ecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martin, Thomas Edward; Nightingale, Josh; Baddams, Jack; Monkhouse, Joseph; Kaban, Aronika; Sastranegara, Hafiyyan; Mulyani, Yeni; Blackburn, George Alan; Simcox, Wilf

    2017-01-01

    Birds are a frequently chosen group for biodiversity monitoring as they are comparatively straightforward and inexpensive to sample and often perform well as ecological indicators. Two commonly used techniques for monitoring tropical forest bird communities are point counts and mist nets. General strengths and weaknesses of these techniques have been well-defined; however little research has examined how their effectiveness is mediated by the ecology of bird communities and their habitats. We examine how the overall performance of these methodologies differs between two widely separated tropical forests-Cusuco National Park (CNP), a Honduran cloud forest, and the lowland forests of Buton Forest Reserves (BFR) located on Buton Island, Indonesia. Consistent survey protocols were employed at both sites, with 77 point count stations and 22 mist netting stations being surveyed in each location. We found the effectiveness of both methods varied considerably between ecosystems. Point counts performed better in BFR than in CNP, detecting a greater percentage of known community richness (60% versus 41%) and generating more accurate species richness estimates. Conversely, mist netting performed better in CNP than in BFR, detecting a much higher percentage of known community richness (31% versus 7%). Indeed, mist netting proved overall to be highly ineffective within BFR. Best Akaike's Information Criterion models indicate differences in the effectiveness of methodologies between study sites relate to bird community composition, which in turn relates to ecological and biogeographical influences unique to each forest ecosystem. Results therefore suggest that, while generalized strengths and weaknesses of both methodologies can be defined, their overall effectiveness is also influenced by local characteristics specific to individual study sites. While this study focusses on ornithological surveys, the concept of local factors influencing effectiveness of field methodologies may

  19. Trait Variation Along a Forest Successional Gradient in Dry Tropical Forest, Florida Keys

    Science.gov (United States)

    Subedi, S.; Ross, M. S.

    2016-12-01

    In most part of South Florida tropical dry forests, the early colonized trees on disturbed uplands are mostly deciduous species cable of surviving for several years after establishment. However, trees in mature forests are generally characterized by a suite of evergreen species, most of which are completely absent in younger stands even in seedling stage. This complete transition from one functional group to another in the course of stand development suggests a distinct change in the underlying environment during the course of succession. Such change in hammock functional groups as a function of the changing environmental drivers during succession in tropical dry forests is unknown and addressing this question may help to understand which drivers of change act as filters that select for and against particular groups of species and traits. In this study, we evaluate number of important functional traits (specific leaf area, wood density, leaf d13C, leaf N:P ratio, and architectural traits such as height, crown dimensions, diameter at breast height) for woody plant species occurring along a successional gradient across three ecological scales, community, species, and individual. A significant change in the overall trait distribution across the successional gradient is found. Intraspecific trait variation within the community is increased with increase in forest age. Most of these traits have shown correlation with stand age and showed preference to a certain environment. Stand age is the most important variable explaining the distribution of community characteristics. It is found that early successional forest are mostly shaped by environmental driven processes, and as forest get older and structurally more complex, they are increasingly shaped by competitively driven processes leading to limiting similarity. This study has shown that the patterns of trait shift can be predictable and can be used to characterize habitats and stage of forest succession in dry tropical

  20. Multidimensional remote sensing based mapping of tropical forests and their dynamics

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Dutrieux, L.P.

    2016-01-01

    Tropical forests concentrate a large part of the terrestrial biodiversity, provide important resources, and deliver many ecosystem services such as climate regulation, carbon sequestration, and hence climate change mitigation. While in the current context of anthropogenic pressure these forests are

  1. Convergent elevation trends in canopy chemical traits of tropical forests.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Asner, Gregory P; Martin, Roberta E

    2016-06-01

    The functional biogeography of tropical forests is expressed in foliar chemicals that are key physiologically based predictors of plant adaptation to changing environmental conditions including climate. However, understanding the degree to which environmental filters sort the canopy chemical characteristics of forest canopies remains a challenge. Here, we report on the elevation and soil-type dependence of forest canopy chemistry among 75 compositionally and environmentally distinct forests in nine regions, with a total of 7819 individual trees representing 3246 species collected, identified and assayed for foliar traits. We assessed whether there are consistent relationships between canopy chemical traits and both elevation and soil type, and evaluated the general role of phylogeny in mediating patterns of canopy traits within and across communities. Chemical trait variation and partitioning suggested a general model based on four interconnected findings. First, geographic variation at the soil-Order level, expressing broad changes in fertility, underpins major shifts in foliar phosphorus (P) and calcium (Ca). Second, elevation-dependent shifts in average community leaf dry mass per area (LMA), chlorophyll, and carbon allocation (including nonstructural carbohydrates) are most strongly correlated with changes in foliar Ca. Third, chemical diversity within communities is driven by differences between species rather than by plasticity within species. Finally, elevation- and soil-dependent changes in N, LMA and leaf carbon allocation are mediated by canopy compositional turnover, whereas foliar P and Ca are driven more by changes in site conditions than by phylogeny. Our findings have broad implications for understanding the global ecology of humid tropical forests, and their functional responses to changing climate.

  2. Spatial variability of soils in a seasonally dry tropical forest

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pulla, Sandeep; Riotte, Jean; Suresh, Hebbalalu; Dattaraja, Handanakere; Sukumar, Raman

    2016-04-01

    Soil structures communities of plants and soil organisms in tropical forests. Understanding the controls of soil spatial variability can therefore potentially inform efforts towards forest restoration. We studied the relationship between soils and lithology, topography, vegetation and fire in a seasonally dry tropical forest in southern India. We extensively sampled soil (available nutrients, Al, pH, and moisture), rocks, relief, woody vegetation, and spatial variation in fire burn frequency in a permanent 50-ha plot. Lower elevation soils tended to be less moist and were depleted in several nutrients and clay. The availability of several nutrients was, in turn, linked to whole-rock chemical composition differences since some lithologies were associated with higher elevations, while the others tended to dominate lower elevations. We suggest that local-scale topography in this region has been shaped by the spatial distribution of lithologies, which differ in their susceptibility to weathering. Nitrogen availability was uncorrelated with the presence of trees belonging to Fabaceae, a family associated with N-fixing species. No effect of burning on soil parameters could be discerned at this scale.

  3. Certification of tropical timber and deforestation. Micro monitoring without macro conditions?

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Van Soest, D.P.; Jepma, C.J. [Department of Economics, University of Groningen, Groningen (Netherlands)

    1997-10-01

    Due to external effects associated with rainforest conservation, it is likely that the preferred size of rainforests is larger from the point of view of the international community than from the point of view of those who directly exploit the forests. As trade in tropical timber is the main direct link between forest exploitation and the international community, trade policy instruments have been proposed to promote sustainable forest exploitation. One such instrument is certification of internationally traded tropical timber: sustainable produced timber is labelled so that it becomes distinguishable from unsustainable produced timber. One of the aspects of the current debate is the level at which monitoring of compliance to the certification criteria should take place, i.e. at the macro (country) level or at the micro (concession) level. There seems to be a consensus that in order to be acceptable for industrialized countries` consumers, monitoring and certification should in any case take place at a micro level. However, we argue that in terms of maintaining tropical forests a firm level certification regime may be counter-effective in the short and medium run if no macro conditions are included in the certification process as well. 1 fig., 2 tabs., 29 refs., 2 appendices

  4. Characterizing Forest Change Using Community-Based Monitoring Data and Landsat Time Series.

    Science.gov (United States)

    DeVries, Ben; Pratihast, Arun Kumar; Verbesselt, Jan; Kooistra, Lammert; Herold, Martin

    2016-01-01

    Increasing awareness of the issue of deforestation and degradation in the tropics has resulted in efforts to monitor forest resources in tropical countries. Advances in satellite-based remote sensing and ground-based technologies have allowed for monitoring of forests with high spatial, temporal and thematic detail. Despite these advances, there is a need to engage communities in monitoring activities and include these stakeholders in national forest monitoring systems. In this study, we analyzed activity data (deforestation and forest degradation) collected by local forest experts over a 3-year period in an Afro-montane forest area in southwestern Ethiopia and corresponding Landsat Time Series (LTS). Local expert data included forest change attributes, geo-location and photo evidence recorded using mobile phones with integrated GPS and photo capabilities. We also assembled LTS using all available data from all spectral bands and a suite of additional indices and temporal metrics based on time series trajectory analysis. We predicted deforestation, degradation or stable forests using random forest models trained with data from local experts and LTS spectral-temporal metrics as model covariates. Resulting models predicted deforestation and degradation with an out of bag (OOB) error estimate of 29% overall, and 26% and 31% for the deforestation and degradation classes, respectively. By dividing the local expert data into training and operational phases corresponding to local monitoring activities, we found that forest change models improved as more local expert data were used. Finally, we produced maps of deforestation and degradation using the most important spectral bands. The results in this study represent some of the first to combine local expert based forest change data and dense LTS, demonstrating the complementary value of both continuous data streams. Our results underpin the utility of both datasets and provide a useful foundation for integrated forest

  5. Carbon sequestration potential of second-growth forest regeneration in the Latin American tropics

    OpenAIRE

    Chazdon, Robin L; Broadbent, Eben N.; Rozendaal, Danaë M. A.; Bongers, Frans; Zambrano, Angélica María Almeyda; Aide, T. Mitchell; Balvanera, Patricia; Becknell, Justin M.; Boukili, Vanessa; Pedro H. S. Brancalion; Craven, Dylan; Jarcilene S Almeida-Cortez; Cabral, George A. L.; de Jong, Ben; Denslow, Julie S.

    2016-01-01

    Regrowth of tropical secondary forests following complete or nearly complete removal of forest vegetation actively stores carbon in aboveground biomass, partially counterbalancing carbon emissions from deforestation, forest degradation, burning of fossil fuels, and other anthropogenic sources. We estimate the age and spatial extent of lowland second-growth forests in the Latin American tropics and model their potential aboveground carbon accumulation over four decades. Our model shows that, i...

  6. Carbon budget of Nyungwe Tropical Montane Rain Forest in Central Africa

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nyirambangutse, B.; Zibera, E.; Uwizeye, F. K.; Hansson, L.; Nsabimana, D.; Pleijel, H.; Uddling, J.; Wallin, G.

    2015-12-01

    African tropical rainforests host rich biodiversity and play many roles at different scales such as local, regional and global, in the functioning of the earth system. Despite that the African tropical forests are the world's second largest, it has been neglected in terms of understanding the storage and fluxes of carbon and other nutrients. The question of whether this biome is a net sink or source of atmospheric CO2 is still not answered, and little is known concerning the climate change response. Tropical montane forests are even more poorly sampled compared with their importance. Deeper understanding of these ecosystems is required to provide insights on how they might react under global change. To answer questions related to these issues for African tropical montane forests, 15 permanent 0.5 ha plots were established in 2011 in Nyungwe tropical montane rainforest gazetted as a National Park to protect its extensive floral and faunal diversity. The plots are arranged along an east-westerly transect and includes both primary and secondary forest communities. The study is connected to the global ecosystem monitoring network (GEM, http://gem.tropicalforests.ox.ac.uk/). The aim is to characterize spatial and temporal heterogeneity of carbon and nutrient dynamics processes. The role of microclimate, topography, human disturbances, and plant species to the variability of these pools and processes will be explored. We compare stocks and fluxes of carbon and nutrients of the secondary and primary forest communities. The carbon stock are determined by an inventory of height and diameter at breast height (dbh) of all trees with a dbh above 5 cm, wood density, biomass of understory vegetation, leaf area index, standing and fallen dead wood, fine root biomass and organic content of various soil layers (litter, organic and mineral soil down to 45 cm depth). The carbon fluxes are determined by measurements of photosynthesis and respiration of leaves, above and below ground

  7. Closing a gap in tropical forest biomass estimation: accounting for crown mass variation in pantropical allometries

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ploton, P.; Barbier, N.; Momo, S. T.; Réjou-Méchain, M.; Boyemba Bosela, F.; Chuyong, G.; Dauby, G.; Droissart, V.; Fayolle, A.; Goodman, R. C.; Henry, M.; Kamdem, N. G.; Katembo Mukirania, J.; Kenfack, D.; Libalah, M.; Ngomanda, A.; Rossi, V.; Sonké, B.; Texier, N.; Thomas, D.; Zebaze, D.; Couteron, P.; Berger, U.; Pélissier, R.

    2015-12-01

    Accurately monitoring tropical forest carbon stocks is an outstanding challenge. Allometric models that consider tree diameter, height and wood density as predictors are currently used in most tropical forest carbon studies. In particular, a pantropical biomass model has been widely used for approximately a decade, and its most recent version will certainly constitute a reference in the coming years. However, this reference model shows a systematic bias for the largest trees. Because large trees are key drivers of forest carbon stocks and dynamics, understanding the origin and the consequences of this bias is of utmost concern. In this study, we compiled a unique tree mass dataset on 673 trees measured in five tropical countries (101 trees > 100 cm in diameter) and an original dataset of 130 forest plots (1 ha) from central Africa to quantify the error of biomass allometric models at the individual and plot levels when explicitly accounting or not accounting for crown mass variations. We first showed that the proportion of crown to total tree aboveground biomass is highly variable among trees, ranging from 3 to 88 %. This proportion was constant on average for trees Accounting for a crown mass proxy in a newly developed model consistently removed the bias observed for large trees (> 1 Mg) and reduced the range of plot-level error from -23-16 to 0-10 %. The disproportionally higher allocation of large trees to crown mass may thus explain the bias observed recently in the reference pantropical model. This bias leads to far-from-negligible, but often overlooked, systematic errors at the plot level and may be easily corrected by accounting for a crown mass proxy for the largest trees in a stand, thus suggesting that the accuracy of forest carbon estimates can be significantly improved at a minimal cost.

  8. Closing a gap in tropical forest biomass estimation: accounting for crown mass variation in pantropical allometries

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    P. Ploton

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Accurately monitoring tropical forest carbon stocks is an outstanding challenge. Allometric models that consider tree diameter, height and wood density as predictors are currently used in most tropical forest carbon studies. In particular, a pantropical biomass model has been widely used for approximately a decade, and its most recent version will certainly constitute a reference in the coming years. However, this reference model shows a systematic bias for the largest trees. Because large trees are key drivers of forest carbon stocks and dynamics, understanding the origin and the consequences of this bias is of utmost concern. In this study, we compiled a unique tree mass dataset on 673 trees measured in five tropical countries (101 trees > 100 cm in diameter and an original dataset of 130 forest plots (1 ha from central Africa to quantify the error of biomass allometric models at the individual and plot levels when explicitly accounting or not accounting for crown mass variations. We first showed that the proportion of crown to total tree aboveground biomass is highly variable among trees, ranging from 3 to 88 %. This proportion was constant on average for trees 1 Mg and reduced the range of plot-level error from −23–16 to 0–10 %. The disproportionally higher allocation of large trees to crown mass may thus explain the bias observed recently in the reference pantropical model. This bias leads to far-from-negligible, but often overlooked, systematic errors at the plot level and may be easily corrected by accounting for a crown mass proxy for the largest trees in a stand, thus suggesting that the accuracy of forest carbon estimates can be significantly improved at a minimal cost.

  9. Monitoring air pollution in the Bialowieza Forest

    Science.gov (United States)

    Malzahn, Elżbieta; Sondej, Izabela; Paluch, Rafał

    2016-04-01

    Air pollution, as sulfur dioxide(SO2) and nitrous oxides (NOx), affects forest health negatively and can initiate forest dieback. Long-term monitoring (since 1986) and analyses are conducted in the Bialowieza Forest due to the threat by abiotic, biotic and anthropogenic factors. This forest has a special and unique natural value, as confirmed by the various forms of protection of national and international rank. The main aim of monitoring is to determine the level and trends of deposition of air pollutants and their effects on selected forest stands and forest communities in the Bialowieza Forest. Concentration measurements of gaseous pollutants and the chemical composition of the precipitation are performed at seven points within the forest area (62 219 ha). Measurement gauges are measuring gaseous pollutants (SO2 and NOx) by the passive method and collecting precipitation at each point at a height of three meters. The period of measuring by the instruments is 30 days. All analyses are conducted according to the methodology of the European forest monitoring program in the certified Laboratory of Natural Environment Chemistry of the Polish Forest Research Institute (IBL). The concentration of pollutant gases (dry deposition) in the years 2002-2015 accounted for only 6-13% of the limit in Poland, as defined by the Polish Ministry of Environment, and are of no threat to the forest environment. Wet deposition of pollutants, which dependents directly from the amount of precipitation and its concentration of pollutants, varied strongly between different months and years. Total deposition (dry and wet) of sulfur (S) and nitrogen (N) was calculated for seasonal and annual periods. On an annual basis, wet deposition represented approximately 80% of the total deposition of S and N. Total deposition of S did not exceed the average deposition values for forests in north-eastern Europe (5-10 kg ha-1 year-1) at any of the seven measuring points. Total deposition of N did not

  10. Estimating Tropical Forest Structure Using a Terrestrial Lidar.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael Palace

    Full Text Available Forest structure comprises numerous quantifiable biometric components and characteristics, which include tree geometry and stand architecture. These structural components are important in the understanding of the past and future trajectories of these biomes. Tropical forests are often considered the most structurally complex and yet least understood of forested ecosystems. New technologies have provided novel avenues for quantifying biometric properties of forested ecosystems, one of which is LIght Detection And Ranging (lidar. This sensor can be deployed on satellite, aircraft, unmanned aerial vehicles, and terrestrial platforms. In this study we examined the efficacy of a terrestrial lidar scanner (TLS system in a tropical forest to estimate forest structure. Our study was conducted in January 2012 at La Selva, Costa Rica at twenty locations in a predominantly undisturbed forest. At these locations we collected field measured biometric attributes using a variable plot design. We also collected TLS data from the center of each plot. Using this data we developed relative vegetation profiles (RVPs and calculated a series of parameters including entropy, Fast Fourier Transform (FFT, number of layers and plant area index to develop statistical relationships with field data. We developed statistical models using a series of multiple linear regressions, all of which converged on significant relationships with the strongest relationship being for mean crown depth (r2 = 0.88, p < 0.001, RMSE = 1.04 m. Tree density was found to have the poorest significant relationship (r2 = 0.50, p < 0.01, RMSE = 153.28 n ha-1. We found a significant relationship between basal area and lidar metrics (r2 = 0.75, p < 0.001, RMSE = 3.76 number ha-1. Parameters selected in our models varied, thus indicating the potential relevance of multiple features in canopy profiles and geometry that are related to field-measured structure. Models for biomass estimation included

  11. Estimating Tropical Forest Structure Using a Terrestrial Lidar

    Science.gov (United States)

    Palace, Michael; Sullivan, Franklin B; Ducey, Mark; Herrick, Christina

    2016-01-01

    Forest structure comprises numerous quantifiable biometric components and characteristics, which include tree geometry and stand architecture. These structural components are important in the understanding of the past and future trajectories of these biomes. Tropical forests are often considered the most structurally complex and yet least understood of forested ecosystems. New technologies have provided novel avenues for quantifying biometric properties of forested ecosystems, one of which is LIght Detection And Ranging (lidar). This sensor can be deployed on satellite, aircraft, unmanned aerial vehicles, and terrestrial platforms. In this study we examined the efficacy of a terrestrial lidar scanner (TLS) system in a tropical forest to estimate forest structure. Our study was conducted in January 2012 at La Selva, Costa Rica at twenty locations in a predominantly undisturbed forest. At these locations we collected field measured biometric attributes using a variable plot design. We also collected TLS data from the center of each plot. Using this data we developed relative vegetation profiles (RVPs) and calculated a series of parameters including entropy, Fast Fourier Transform (FFT), number of layers and plant area index to develop statistical relationships with field data. We developed statistical models using a series of multiple linear regressions, all of which converged on significant relationships with the strongest relationship being for mean crown depth (r2 = 0.88, p < 0.001, RMSE = 1.04 m). Tree density was found to have the poorest significant relationship (r2 = 0.50, p < 0.01, RMSE = 153.28 n ha-1). We found a significant relationship between basal area and lidar metrics (r2 = 0.75, p < 0.001, RMSE = 3.76 number ha-1). Parameters selected in our models varied, thus indicating the potential relevance of multiple features in canopy profiles and geometry that are related to field-measured structure. Models for biomass estimation included structural canopy

  12. Temporal and spatial patterns of remotely sensed litterfall in tropical and subtropical forests of Taiwan

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Hsueh-Ching; Lin, Kuo-Chuan; Huang, Cho-ying

    2016-02-01

    Litterfall is important for returning nutrients and carbon to the forest floor, and microbes decompose the litterfall to release CO2 into the atmosphere. Litterfall is a pivotal component in the forest biogeochemical cycle, which is sensitive to climate variability and plant physiology. In this study, we combined field litterfall estimates and time series (2001-2011) climate (the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) land surface temperature (LST) and Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) precipitations) and green vegetation (MODIS photosynthetically active vegetation cover (PV)) variables to estimate regional annual litterfall in tropical/subtropical forests in Taiwan. We found that time series MODIS LST- and PV-derived metrics, the annual accumulated MODIS LST, and coefficient of variation of PV, respectively, but not the TRMM precipitation variables were salient factors for the estimation (r2 = 0.548 and p events might affect the litterfall temporal variation. Overall, the annual litterfall decreased along the elevation gradient, which may reflect a change in the vegetation type. The northeast and northwest facing slopes yielded the highest amount of annual litterfall (≥5.9 Mg ha-1 yr-1), which was in contrast with the southern aspect (5.1 Mg ha-1 yr-1). This variation may be associated with the dryness of the microclimate influenced by solar radiation. This study demonstrates the feasibility of utilizing time series MODIS LST and PV data to predict large-scale field litterfall, which may facilitate large-scale monitoring of biogeochemical cycles in forest ecosystems.

  13. National Satellite Forest Monitoring systems for REDD+

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jonckheere, I. G.

    2012-12-01

    Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD) is an effort to create a financial value for the carbon stored in forests, offering incentives for developing countries to reduce emissions from forested lands and invest in low-carbon paths to sustainable development. "REDD+" goes beyond deforestation and forest degradation, and includes the role of conservation, sustainable management of forests and enhancement of forest carbon stocks. In the framework of getting countries ready for REDD+, the UN-REDD Programme assists developing countries to prepare and implement national REDD+ strategies. For the monitoring, reporting and verification, FAO supports the countries to develop national satellite forest monitoring systems that allow for credible measurement, reporting and verification (MRV) of REDD+ activities. These are among the most critical elements for the successful implementation of any REDD+ mechanism. The UN-REDD Programme through a joint effort of FAO and Brazil's National Space Agency, INPE, is supporting countries to develop cost- effective, robust and compatible national monitoring and MRV systems, providing tools, methodologies, training and knowledge sharing that help countries to strengthen their technical and institutional capacity for effective MRV systems. To develop strong nationally-owned forest monitoring systems, technical and institutional capacity building is key. The UN-REDD Programme, through FAO, has taken on intensive training together with INPE, and has provided technical help and assistance for in-country training and implementation for national satellite forest monitoring. The goal of the support to UN-REDD pilot countries in this capacity building effort is the training of technical forest people and IT persons from interested REDD+ countries, and to set- up the national satellite forest monitoring systems. The Brazilian forest monitoring system, TerraAmazon, which is used as a basis for this initiative, allows

  14. Tropical forests are not flat: how mountains affect herbivore diversity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodríguez-Castañeda, Genoveva; Dyer, Lee A; Brehm, Gunnar; Connahs, Heidi; Forkner, Rebecca E; Walla, Thomas R

    2010-11-01

    Ecologists debate whether tropical insect diversity is better explained by higher plant diversity or by host plant species specialization. However, plant-herbivore studies are primarily based in lowland rainforests (RF) thus excluding topographical effects on biodiversity. We examined turnover in Eois (Geometridae) communities across elevation by studying elevational transects in Costa Rica and Ecuador. We found four distinct Eois communities existing across the elevational gradients. Herbivore diversity was highest in montane forests (MF), whereas host plant diversity was highest in lowland RF. This was correlated with higher specialization and species richness of Eois/host plant species we found in MF. Based on these relationships, Neotropical Eois richness was estimated to range from 313 (only lowland RF considered) to 2034 (considering variation with elevation). We conclude that tropical herbivore diversity and diet breadth covary significantly with elevation and urge the inclusion of montane ecosystems in host specialization and arthropod diversity estimates. © 2010 Blackwell Publishing Ltd/CNRS.

  15. Relationships among net primary productivity, nutrients and climate in tropical rain forest: A pan-tropical analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cleveland, Cory C.; Townsend, Alan R.; Taylor, Philip; Alvarez-Clare, Silvia; Bustamante, Mercedes M.C.; Chuyong, George; Dobrowski, Solomon Z.; Grierson, Pauline; Harms, Kyle E.; Houlton, Benjamin Z.; Marklein, Alison; Parton, William; Porder, Stephen; Reed, Sasha C.; Sierra, Carlos A.; Silver, Whendee L.; Tanner, Edmund V.J.; Wieder, William R.

    2011-01-01

    Tropical rain forests play a dominant role in global biosphere-atmosphere CO2 exchange. Although climate and nutrient availability regulate net primary production (NPP) and decomposition in all terrestrial ecosystems, the nature and extent of such controls in tropical forests remain poorly resolved. We conducted a meta-analysis of carbon-nutrient-climate relationships in 113 sites across the tropical forest biome. Our analyses showed that mean annual temperature was the strongest predictor of aboveground NPP (ANPP) across all tropical forests, but this relationship was driven by distinct temperature differences between upland and lowland forests. Within lowland forests (relationships were weak. However, foliar P, foliar nitrogen (N), litter decomposition rate (k), soil N and soil respiration were all directly related with total surface (0–10 cm) soil P concentrations. Our analysis provides some evidence that P availability regulates NPP and other ecosystem processes in lowland tropical forests, but more importantly, underscores the need for a series of large-scale nutrient manipulations – especially in lowland forests – to elucidate the most important nutrient interactions and controls.

  16. Landscape context mediates avian habitat choice in tropical forest restoration.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J Leighton Reid

    Full Text Available Birds both promote and prosper from forest restoration. The ecosystem functions birds perform can increase the pace of forest regeneration and, correspondingly, increase the available habitat for birds and other forest-dependent species. The aim of this study was to learn how tropical forest restoration treatments interact with landscape tree cover to affect the structure and composition of a diverse bird assemblage. We sampled bird communities over two years in 13 restoration sites and two old-growth forests in southern Costa Rica. Restoration sites were established on degraded farmlands in a variety of landscape contexts, and each included a 0.25-ha plantation, island treatment (trees planted in patches, and unplanted control. We analyzed four attributes of bird communities including frugivore abundance, nectarivore abundance, migrant insectivore richness, and compositional similarity of bird communities in restoration plots to bird communities in old-growth forests. All four bird community variables were greater in plantations and/or islands than in control treatments. Frugivore and nectarivore abundance decreased with increasing tree cover in the landscape surrounding restoration plots, whereas compositional similarity to old-growth forests was greatest in plantations embedded in landscapes with high tree cover. Migrant insectivore richness was unaffected by landscape tree cover. Our results agree with previous studies showing that increasing levels of investment in active restoration are positively related to bird richness and abundance, but differences in the effects of landscape tree cover on foraging guilds and community composition suggest that trade-offs between biodiversity conservation and bird-mediated ecosystem functioning may be important for prioritizing restoration sites.

  17. Pan-Tropical Forest Mapping by Exploiting Textures of Multi-Temporal High Resolution SAR Data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Knuth, R.; Eckardt, R.; Richter, N.; Schmullius, C.

    2012-12-01

    Even though the first commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol is in the offing, there is still a strong demand for profound, reliable, and up to date information in order to bridge the gap of knowledge of the land cover conversion. Despite the fact that land use change is one of the largest carbon contribution factors, it is still poorly quantified. This is particularly true for many tropical forest areas worldwide. Here, preservation of such pristine forest areas is critically endangered. Enormous population growth, the increasing global demand for various resources, and the ongoing unsustainable management practices put the remaining tropical forests under a huge pressure. Yet, only the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization's (FAO) global Forest Resources Assessment (FRA) report provides the crucial quantitative information every 5 years on a regional scale. Nonetheless, the assembled information of the FRA reports bear the burden of ambiguity and vagueness, because they were compiled based on autonomously gathered statistics, which are usually driven by the individual country needs. There is a broad consensus among the different scientific disciplines, that only the remote sensing technology allows for a large scale robust monitoring of these widespread, and remote forest areas. Consequently, the FAO decided to supplementary analyze remote sensing data for the present (2010) and upcoming FRAs. However, it is also widely accepted that currently only microwave remote sensing techniques allow for an all-day, weather independent monitoring of the frequently cloud-covered tropics. In this context, high resolution Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) images of the German satellites TerraSAR-X and TanDEM-X have been investigated within the pan-tropics to support the latest FRA 2010 report. Data of more than 304 predominantly cloud-covered sites in Latin America (188), Central Africa (45) and Southeast Asia (71) have been acquired. Upon delivery, the corresponding

  18. Anthropogenic impacts on tropical forest biodiversity: a network structure and ecosystem functioning perspective.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morris, Rebecca J

    2010-11-27

    Huge areas of diverse tropical forest are lost or degraded every year with dramatic consequences for biodiversity. Deforestation and fragmentation, over-exploitation, invasive species and climate change are the main drivers of tropical forest biodiversity loss. Most studies investigating these threats have focused on changes in species richness or species diversity. However, if we are to understand the absolute and long-term effects of anthropogenic impacts on tropical forests, we should also consider the interactions between species, how those species are organized in networks, and the function that those species perform. I discuss our current knowledge of network structure and ecosystem functioning, highlighting empirical examples of their response to anthropogenic impacts. I consider the future prospects for tropical forest biodiversity, focusing on biodiversity and ecosystem functioning in secondary forest. Finally, I propose directions for future research to help us better understand the effects of anthropogenic impacts on tropical forest biodiversity.

  19. Averting biodiversity collapse in tropical forest protected areas.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Laurance, William F; Useche, D Carolina; Rendeiro, Julio; Kalka, Margareta; Bradshaw, Corey J A; Sloan, Sean P; Laurance, Susan G; Campbell, Mason; Abernethy, Kate; Alvarez, Patricia; Arroyo-Rodriguez, Victor; Ashton, Peter; Benítez-Malvido, Julieta; Blom, Allard; Bobo, Kadiri S; Cannon, Charles H; Cao, Min; Carroll, Richard; Chapman, Colin; Coates, Rosamond; Cords, Marina; Danielsen, Finn; De Dijn, Bart; Dinerstein, Eric; Donnelly, Maureen A; Edwards, David; Edwards, Felicity; Farwig, Nina; Fashing, Peter; Forget, Pierre-Michel; Foster, Mercedes; Gale, George; Harris, David; Harrison, Rhett; Hart, John; Karpanty, Sarah; Kress, W John; Krishnaswamy, Jagdish; Logsdon, Willis; Lovett, Jon; Magnusson, William; Maisels, Fiona; Marshall, Andrew R; McClearn, Deedra; Mudappa, Divya; Nielsen, Martin R; Pearson, Richard; Pitman, Nigel; van der Ploeg, Jan; Plumptre, Andrew; Poulsen, John; Quesada, Mauricio; Rainey, Hugo; Robinson, Douglas; Roetgers, Christiane; Rovero, Francesco; Scatena, Frederick; Schulze, Christian; Sheil, Douglas; Struhsaker, Thomas; Terborgh, John; Thomas, Duncan; Timm, Robert; Urbina-Cardona, J Nicolas; Vasudevan, Karthikeyan; Wright, S Joseph; Arias-G, Juan Carlos; Arroyo, Luzmila; Ashton, Mark; Auzel, Philippe; Babaasa, Dennis; Babweteera, Fred; Baker, Patrick; Banki, Olaf; Bass, Margot; Bila-Isia, Inogwabini; Blake, Stephen; Brockelman, Warren; Brokaw, Nicholas; Brühl, Carsten A; Bunyavejchewin, Sarayudh; Chao, Jung-Tai; Chave, Jerome; Chellam, Ravi; Clark, Connie J; Clavijo, José; Congdon, Robert; Corlett, Richard; Dattaraja, H S; Dave, Chittaranjan; Davies, Glyn; Beisiegel, Beatriz de Mello; da Silva, Rosa de Nazaré Paes; Di Fiore, Anthony; Diesmos, Arvin; Dirzo, Rodolfo; Doran-Sheehy, Diane; Eaton, Mitchell; Emmons, Louise; Estrada, Alejandro; Ewango, Corneille; Fedigan, Linda; Feer, François; Fruth, Barbara; Willis, Jacalyn Giacalone; Goodale, Uromi; Goodman, Steven; Guix, Juan C; Guthiga, Paul; Haber, William; Hamer, Keith; Herbinger, Ilka; Hill, Jane; Huang, Zhongliang; Sun, I Fang; Ickes, Kalan; Itoh, Akira; Ivanauskas, Natália; Jackes, Betsy; Janovec, John; Janzen, Daniel; Jiangming, Mo; Jin, Chen; Jones, Trevor; Justiniano, Hermes; Kalko, Elisabeth; Kasangaki, Aventino; Killeen, Timothy; King, Hen-biau; Klop, Erik; Knott, Cheryl; Koné, Inza; Kudavidanage, Enoka; Ribeiro, José Lahoz da Silva; Lattke, John; Laval, Richard; Lawton, Robert; Leal, Miguel; Leighton, Mark; Lentino, Miguel; Leonel, Cristiane; Lindsell, Jeremy; Ling-Ling, Lee; Linsenmair, K Eduard; Losos, Elizabeth; Lugo, Ariel; Lwanga, Jeremiah; Mack, Andrew L; Martins, Marlucia; McGraw, W Scott; McNab, Roan; Montag, Luciano; Thompson, Jo Myers; Nabe-Nielsen, Jacob; Nakagawa, Michiko; Nepal, Sanjay; Norconk, Marilyn; Novotny, Vojtech; O'Donnell, Sean; Opiang, Muse; Ouboter, Paul; Parker, Kenneth; Parthasarathy, N; Pisciotta, Kátia; Prawiradilaga, Dewi; Pringle, Catherine; Rajathurai, Subaraj; Reichard, Ulrich; Reinartz, Gay; Renton, Katherine; Reynolds, Glen; Reynolds, Vernon; Riley, Erin; Rödel, Mark-Oliver; Rothman, Jessica; Round, Philip; Sakai, Shoko; Sanaiotti, Tania; Savini, Tommaso; Schaab, Gertrud; Seidensticker, John; Siaka, Alhaji; Silman, Miles R; Smith, Thomas B; de Almeida, Samuel Soares; Sodhi, Navjot; Stanford, Craig; Stewart, Kristine; Stokes, Emma; Stoner, Kathryn E; Sukumar, Raman; Surbeck, Martin; Tobler, Mathias; Tscharntke, Teja; Turkalo, Andrea; Umapathy, Govindaswamy; van Weerd, Merlijn; Rivera, Jorge Vega; Venkataraman, Meena; Venn, Linda; Verea, Carlos; de Castilho, Carolina Volkmer; Waltert, Matthias; Wang, Benjamin; Watts, David; Weber, William; West, Paige; Whitacre, David; Whitney, Ken; Wilkie, David; Williams, Stephen; Wright, Debra D; Wright, Patricia; Xiankai, Lu; Yonzon, Pralad; Zamzani, Franky

    2012-09-13

    The rapid disruption of tropical forests probably imperils global biodiversity more than any other contemporary phenomenon. With deforestation advancing quickly, protected areas are increasingly becoming final refuges for threatened species and natural ecosystem processes. However, many protected areas in the tropics are themselves vulnerable to human encroachment and other environmental stresses. As pressures mount, it is vital to know whether existing reserves can sustain their biodiversity. A critical constraint in addressing this question has been that data describing a broad array of biodiversity groups have been unavailable for a sufficiently large and representative sample of reserves. Here we present a uniquely comprehensive data set on changes over the past 20 to 30 years in 31 functional groups of species and 21 potential drivers of environmental change, for 60 protected areas stratified across the world’s major tropical regions. Our analysis reveals great variation in reserve ‘health’: about half of all reserves have been effective or performed passably, but the rest are experiencing an erosion of biodiversity that is often alarmingly widespread taxonomically and functionally. Habitat disruption, hunting and forest-product exploitation were the strongest predictors of declining reserve health. Crucially, environmental changes immediately outside reserves seemed nearly as important as those inside in determining their ecological fate, with changes inside reserves strongly mirroring those occurring around them. These findings suggest that tropical protected areas are often intimately linked ecologically to their surrounding habitats, and that a failure to stem broad-scale loss and degradation of such habitats could sharply increase the likelihood of serious biodiversity declines.

  20. Remotely Sensed Fire Type Classification of the Brazilian Tropical Moist Forest Biome

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kumar, S.; Roy, D. P.

    2012-12-01

    Vegetation fires in the Brazilian Tropical Moist Forest Biome can be broadly classified into three types: i) Deforestation fires, lit to aid deforestation by burning of slashed, piled and dried forest biomass, ii) Maintenance fires, lit on agricultural fields or pasture areas to maintain and clear woody material and to rehabilitate degraded pasture areas, iii) Forest fires, associated with escaped anthropogenic fires or, less frequently, caused by lightning. Information on the incidence and spatial distribution of fire types is important as they have widely varying atmospheric emissions and ecological impacts. Satellite remote sensing offers a practical means of monitoring fires over areas as extensive as the Brazilian Tropical Moist Forest Biome which spans almost 4 million square kilometers. To date, fire type has been inferred based on the geographic context and proximity of satellite active fire detections relative to thematic land cover classes, roads, and forest edges, or by empirical consideration of the active fire detection frequency. In this paper a classification methodology is presented that demonstrates a way to classify the fire type of MODerate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) active fire detections. Training and validation fire type data are defined conservatively for MODIS active fire detections using a land cover transition matrix that labels MODIS active fires by consideration of the PRODES 120m land cover for the previous year and the year of fire detection. The training data are used with a random forest classifier and remotely sensed predictor variables including the number of MODIS Aqua and Terra satellite detections, the maximum and median Fire Radiative Power (FRP) [MW km-2], the scaling parameter of the FRP power law distribution, the number of day and night detections, and the fire surrounding "background" surface brightness temperature [K]. In addition, the total rainfall over periods from 1 to 24 months prior to fire

  1. Diversity, structure and regeneration of the seasonally dry tropical forest of Yucatán Península, Mexico.

    OpenAIRE

    Hernández-Ramírez, Angélica María; García-Méndez, Socorro

    2015-01-01

    Seasonally dry tropical forests are considered as the most endangered ecosystem in lowland tropics. The aim of this study was to characterize the floristic composition, richness, diversity, structure and regeneration of a seasonally dry tropical forest landscape constituted by mature forest, secondary forest and seasonally inundated forest located in the Northeastern part of the Yucatán Península, Mexico. We used the Gentry’s standard inventory plot methodology (0.1 ha per forest type in 2007...

  2. Satellite-based Tropical Cyclone Monitoring Capabilities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hawkins, J.; Richardson, K.; Surratt, M.; Yang, S.; Lee, T. F.; Sampson, C. R.; Solbrig, J.; Kuciauskas, A. P.; Miller, S. D.; Kent, J.

    2012-12-01

    Satellite remote sensing capabilities to monitor tropical cyclone (TC) location, structure, and intensity have evolved by utilizing a combination of operational and research and development (R&D) sensors. The microwave imagers from the operational Defense Meteorological Satellite Program [Special Sensor Microwave/Imager (SSM/I) and the Special Sensor Microwave Imager Sounder (SSMIS)] form the "base" for structure observations due to their ability to view through upper-level clouds, modest size swaths and ability to capture most storm structure features. The NASA TRMM microwave imager and precipitation radar continue their 15+ yearlong missions in serving the TC warning and research communities. The cessation of NASA's QuikSCAT satellite after more than a decade of service is sorely missed, but India's OceanSat-2 scatterometer is now providing crucial ocean surface wind vectors in addition to the Navy's WindSat ocean surface wind vector retrievals. Another Advanced Scatterometer (ASCAT) onboard EUMETSAT's MetOp-2 satellite is slated for launch soon. Passive microwave imagery has received a much needed boost with the launch of the French/Indian Megha Tropiques imager in September 2011, basically greatly supplementing the very successful NASA TRMM pathfinder with a larger swath and more frequent temporal sampling. While initial data issues have delayed data utilization, current news indicates this data will be available in 2013. Future NASA Global Precipitation Mission (GPM) sensors starting in 2014 will provide enhanced capabilities. Also, the inclusion of the new microwave sounder data from the NPP ATMS (Oct 2011) will assist in mapping TC convective structures. The National Polar orbiting Partnership (NPP) program's VIIRS sensor includes a day night band (DNB) with the capability to view TC cloud structure at night when sufficient lunar illumination exits. Examples highlighting this new capability will be discussed in concert with additional data fusion efforts.

  3. Simulating tropical carbon stocks and fluxes in a changing world using an individual-based forest model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fischer, Rico; Huth, Andreas

    2014-05-01

    Large areas of tropical forests are disturbed due to climate change and human influence. Experts estimate that the last remaining rainforests could be destroyed in less than 100 years with strong consequences for both developing and industrial countries. Using a modelling approach we analyse how disturbances modify carbon stocks and carbon fluxes of African rainforests. In this study we use the process-based, individual-oriented forest model FORMIND. The main processes of this model are tree growth, mortality, regeneration and competition. The study regions are tropical rainforests in the Kilimanjaro region and Madagascar. Modelling above and below ground carbon stocks, we analyze the impact of disturbances and climate change on forest dynamics and forest carbon stocks. Droughts and fire events change the structure of tropical rainforests. Human influence like logging intensify this effect. With the presented results we could establish new allometric relationships between forest variables and above ground carbon stocks in tropical regions. Using remote sensing techniques, these relationships would offer the possibility for a global monitoring of the above ground carbon stored in the vegetation.

  4. Accounting for Impacts of Natural Disturbances on Climate Change Mitigation Projects in Tropical Forests (Invited)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Birdsey, R.; Dai, Z.; Hernandez, J.; Johnson, K. D.; Vargas, R.

    2013-12-01

    Most forests in the world are recovering from natural or human-induced disturbances -- the fraction of the world's forests disturbed each year by fire and insects alone is conservatively estimated by FAO to be 2.6%. Natural disturbances are common in many tropical forest areas and have significant impacts on carbon stocks. For example, emissions from wildfires in tropical forests are estimated to exceed 700 TgC yr-1 annually, with significant interannual variability related to global weather cycles. Several lines of evidence point toward long-term climate-induced increases in natural disturbances, with the potential for changing the world's terrestrial ecosystems from a sink to a source of CO2. This raises the important question of whether forests can be an effective part of a climate change mitigation strategy and concurrently, how to account for the effects of disturbances separately from the effects of changes in land use or forest management. Although global and regional studies have made some good progress to quantify the impacts of natural disturbances, it remains a technical challenge to separate or 'factor out' the impacts of natural disturbances from other causes of changes in carbon stocks, such as vegetation regrowth and CO2 fertilization, when developing the accounting and monitoring systems required to support climate change mitigation projects. We tested one approach in the semi-deciduous dry forests of the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico using the ecosystem process model DNDC. Spatial variability in simulated C stocks reflects variations in stand age, vegetation type, soil characteristics and disturbance. Disturbances that occurred between 1985 and 2010 led to a mean decrease in C stocks of 3.2 Mg C ha-1 in 2012 not including forestland lost to crops and urban land uses. Other approaches may be possible for factoring out specific causes of changes in carbon stocks, but the IPCC has twice determined that none of the currently available alternatives is

  5. Key role of symbiotic dinitrogen fixation in tropical forest secondary succession

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Batterman, Sarah A.; Hedin, Lars O.; Van Breugel, Michiel;

    2013-01-01

    Forests contribute a significant portion of the land carbon sink, but their ability to sequester CO 2 may be constrained by nitrogen, a major plant-limiting nutrient. Many tropical forests possess tree species capable of fixing atmospheric dinitrogen (N 2), but it is unclear whether this functional...... biomass accumulation in tropical forests. Over a 300-year chronosequence in Panama, N 2 -fixing tree species accumulated carbon up to nine times faster per individual than their non-fixing neighbours (greatest difference in youngest forests), and showed species-specific differences in the amount...... tree species across the entire forest age sequence. These findings show that symbiotic N 2 fixation can have a central role in nitrogen cycling during tropical forest stand development, with potentially important implications for the ability of tropical forests to sequester CO 2. © 2013 Macmillan...

  6. Variability in the Effectiveness of Two Ornithological Survey Methods between Tropical Forest Ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martin, Thomas Edward; Nightingale, Josh; Baddams, Jack; Monkhouse, Joseph; Kaban, Aronika; Sastranegara, Hafiyyan; Mulyani, Yeni; Blackburn, George Alan; Simcox, Wilf

    2017-01-01

    Birds are a frequently chosen group for biodiversity monitoring as they are comparatively straightforward and inexpensive to sample and often perform well as ecological indicators. Two commonly used techniques for monitoring tropical forest bird communities are point counts and mist nets. General strengths and weaknesses of these techniques have been well-defined; however little research has examined how their effectiveness is mediated by the ecology of bird communities and their habitats. We examine how the overall performance of these methodologies differs between two widely separated tropical forests–Cusuco National Park (CNP), a Honduran cloud forest, and the lowland forests of Buton Forest Reserves (BFR) located on Buton Island, Indonesia. Consistent survey protocols were employed at both sites, with 77 point count stations and 22 mist netting stations being surveyed in each location. We found the effectiveness of both methods varied considerably between ecosystems. Point counts performed better in BFR than in CNP, detecting a greater percentage of known community richness (60% versus 41%) and generating more accurate species richness estimates. Conversely, mist netting performed better in CNP than in BFR, detecting a much higher percentage of known community richness (31% versus 7%). Indeed, mist netting proved overall to be highly ineffective within BFR. Best Akaike's Information Criterion models indicate differences in the effectiveness of methodologies between study sites relate to bird community composition, which in turn relates to ecological and biogeographical influences unique to each forest ecosystem. Results therefore suggest that, while generalized strengths and weaknesses of both methodologies can be defined, their overall effectiveness is also influenced by local characteristics specific to individual study sites. While this study focusses on ornithological surveys, the concept of local factors influencing effectiveness of field methodologies

  7. The domestic benefits of tropical forests: a critical review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chomitz, K M; Kumari, K

    1998-02-01

    This review focuses on forests in the humid tropics and on two of their potentially most important benefits. These include hydrological benefits, such as erosion control and regulation of stream flows, and non-timber forest products, such as rubber, rattan, fruits, and nuts. The first benefit is motivational. Host countries capture only a small proportion of the global benefits, which stem from biodiversity conservation. Demonstration of palpable local benefits could help to build support for biodiversity-oriented projects. The second benefit is the magnitude of domestic benefits that could influence project financing. Sufficiently large net domestic benefits could justify financing of a project on narrow economic grounds, with biodiversity conservation as a by-product. Overall, it is noted that the quantifiable benefits of forest preservation in providing hydrological services and non-timber forest products are highly variable. These classes of domestic benefits may in general be smaller than popularly supposed. In view of this, the need for financing conservation from the Global Environmental Facility or other global sources is emphasized rather than placing the burden on domestic resources.

  8. Emerging Evidence on the Effectiveness of Tropical Forest Conservation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Börner, Jan; Baylis, Kathy; Corbera, Esteve; Ezzine-de-Blas, Driss; Ferraro, Paul J; Honey-Rosés, Jordi; Lapeyre, Renaud; Persson, U Martin; Wunder, Sven

    2016-01-01

    The PLOS ONE Collection "Measuring forest conservation effectiveness" brings together a series of studies that evaluate the effectiveness of tropical forest conservation policies and programs with the goal of measuring conservation success and associated co-benefits. This overview piece describes the geographic and methodological scope of these studies, as well as the policy instruments covered in the Collection as of June 2016. Focusing on forest cover change, we systematically compare the conservation effects estimated by the studies and discuss them in the light of previous findings in the literature. Nine studies estimated that annual conservation impacts on forest cover were below one percent, with two exceptions in Mexico and Indonesia. Differences in effect sizes are not only driven by the choice of conservation measures. One key lesson from the studies is the need to move beyond the current scientific focus of estimating average effects of undifferentiated conservation programs. The specific elements of the program design and the implementation context are equally important factors for understanding the effectiveness of conservation programs. Particularly critical will be a better understanding of the causal mechanisms through which conservation programs have impacts. To achieve this understanding we need advances in both theory and methods.

  9. Mapping Successional Stages in a Wet Tropical Forest Using Landsat ETM+ and Forest Inventory Data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goncalves, Fabio G.; Yatskov, Mikhail; dos Santos, Joao Roberto; Treuhaft, Robert N.; Law, Beverly E.

    2010-01-01

    In this study, we test whether an existing classification technique based on the integration of Landsat ETM+ and forest inventory data enables detailed characterization of successional stages in a wet tropical forest site. The specific objectives were: (1) to map forest age classes across the La Selva Biological Station in Costa Rica; and (2) to quantify uncertainties in the proposed approach in relation to field data and existing vegetation maps. Although significant relationships between vegetation height entropy (a surrogate for forest age) and ETM+ data were detected, the classification scheme tested in this study was not suitable for characterizing spatial variation in age at La Selva, as evidenced by the error matrix and the low Kappa coefficient (12.9%). Factors affecting the performance of the classification at this particular study site include the smooth transition in vegetation structure between intermediate and advanced successional stages, and the low sensitivity of NDVI to variations in vertical structure at high biomass levels.

  10. Mapping Successional Stages in a Wet Tropical Forest Using Landsat ETM+ and Forest Inventory Data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goncalves, Fabio G.; Yatskov, Mikhail; dos Santos, Joao Roberto; Treuhaft, Robert N.; Law, Beverly E.

    2010-01-01

    In this study, we test whether an existing classification technique based on the integration of Landsat ETM+ and forest inventory data enables detailed characterization of successional stages in a wet tropical forest site. The specific objectives were: (1) to map forest age classes across the La Selva Biological Station in Costa Rica; and (2) to quantify uncertainties in the proposed approach in relation to field data and existing vegetation maps. Although significant relationships between vegetation height entropy (a surrogate for forest age) and ETM+ data were detected, the classification scheme tested in this study was not suitable for characterizing spatial variation in age at La Selva, as evidenced by the error matrix and the low Kappa coefficient (12.9%). Factors affecting the performance of the classification at this particular study site include the smooth transition in vegetation structure between intermediate and advanced successional stages, and the low sensitivity of NDVI to variations in vertical structure at high biomass levels.

  11. Endemic and exotic tropical forests of Réunion Island observed by airborne lidar

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shang, Xiaoxia; Chazette, Patrick; Totems, Julien; Dieudonné, Elsa; Hamonou, Eric; Duflot, Valentin; Strasberg, Dominique; Flores, Olivier; Fournel, Jacques; Tulet, Pierre

    2015-04-01

    Tropical forests are vital ecosystems widely threatened across the globe and yet remain the most difficult forest type to document. They are strongly perturbed by anthropogenic activities, which lead to coexistence of endemic and exotic tree species. We present an experiment performed over Réunion Island in May 2014, on sites ranging from coastal to rain forest, including tropical montane cloud forest as found on the Bélouve plateau. Réunion Island is home to the last remnants of primary tropical forest in the Mascarene archipelago, and still shelters significant biodiversity. Three key ecological parameters have been extracted from the lidar measurements: the canopy height (CH), the forest leaf area index (LAI) and the apparent foliage profile. The mean values of estimated LAI are between ~5 and 8 m2/m2 and the mean CH values are ~15 m for both tropical montane cloud and rain forests. Good agreement is found between Lidar- and MODIS-derived LAI for moderate LAI, but the LAI retrieved from lidar is larger than MODIS on rain forest sites (~8 against ~6 m2/m2 from MODIS). Regarding the characterization of tropical biomes, we show that the rain and montane tropical forests can be well distinguished from the planted forests by the use of the three ecological parameters retrieved, as the endemic and exotic forests can also be well distinguished.

  12. Regeneration in natural and logged tropical rain forest : modelling seed dispersal and regeneration

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ulft, Lambertus Henricus van

    2004-01-01

    Regeneration and disturbance are thought to play key roles in the maintenance of the high tree species diversity in tropical rain forests. Nevertheless, the earliest stages in the regeneration of tropical rain forest trees, from seed production to established seedlings, have received little attenti

  13. Climate seasonality limits leaf carbon assimilation and wood productivity in tropical forests

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Wagner, Fabien H.; Hérault, Bruno; Bonal, Damien; Stahl, Clément; Anderson, Liana O.; Baker, Timothy R.; Becker, Gabriel Sebastian; Beeckman, Hans; Boanerges Souza, Danilo; Botosso, Paulo Cesar; Bowman, David M.J.S.; Bräuning, Achim; Brede, Benjamin; Brown, Foster Irving; Camarero, Jesus Julio; Camargo, Plínio Barbosa; Cardoso, Fernanda C.G.; Carvalho, Fabrício Alvim; Castro, Wendeson; Chagas, Rubens Koloski; Chave, Jérome; Chidumayo, Emmanuel N.; Clark, Deborah A.; Costa, Flavia Regina Capellotto; Couralet, Camille; Silva Mauricio, Da Paulo Henrique; Dalitz, Helmut; Castro, De Vinicius Resende; Freitas Milani, De Jaçanan Eloisa; Oliveira, De Edilson Consuelo; Souza Arruda, De Luciano; Devineau, Jean-Louis; Drew, David M.; Dünisch, Oliver; Durigan, Giselda; Elifuraha, Elisha; Fedele, Marcio; Ferreira Fedele, Ligia; Figueiredo Filho, Afonso; Finger, César Augusto Guimarães; Franco, Augusto César; Freitas Júnior, João Lima; Galvão, Franklin; Gebrekirstos, Aster; Gliniars, Robert; Lima De Alencastro Graça, Paulo Maurício; Griffiths, Anthony D.; Grogan, James; Guan, Kaiyu; Homeier, Jürgen; Kanieski, Maria Raquel; Kho, Lip Khoon; Koenig, Jennifer; Kohler, Sintia Valerio; Krepkowski, Julia; Lemos-filho, José Pires; Lieberman, Diana; Lieberman, Milton Eugene; Lisi, Claudio Sergio; Longhi Santos, Tomaz; López Ayala, José Luis; Maeda, Eduardo Eijji; Malhi, Yadvinder; Maria, Vivian R.B.; Marques, Marcia C.M.; Marques, Renato; Maza Chamba, Hector; Mbwambo, Lawrence; Melgaço, Karina Liana Lisboa; Mendivelso, Hooz Angela; Murphy, Brett P.; O'Brien, Joseph J.; Oberbauer, Steven F.; Okada, Naoki; Pélissier, Raphaël; Prior, Lynda D.; Roig, Fidel Alejandro; Ross, Michael; Rossatto, Davi Rodrigo; Rossi, Vivien; Rowland, Lucy; Rutishauser, Ervan; Santana, Hellen; Schulze, Mark; Selhorst, Diogo; Silva, Williamar Rodrigues; Silveira, Marcos; Spannl, Susanne; Swaine, Michael D.; Toledo, José Julio; Toledo, Marcos Miranda; Toledo, Marisol; Toma, Takeshi; Tomazello Filho, Mario; Valdez Hernández, Juan Ignacio; Verbesselt, Jan; Vieira, Simone Aparecida; Vincent, Grégoire; Volkmer De Castilho, Carolina; Volland, Franziska; Worbes, Martin; Zanon, Magda Lea Bolzan; Aragão, Luiz E.O.C.

    2016-01-01

    The seasonal climate drivers of the carbon cycle in tropical forests remain poorly known, although these forests account for more carbon assimilation and storage than any other terrestrial ecosystem. Based on a unique combination of seasonal pan-tropical data sets from 89 experimental sites (68 incl

  14. Damage-controlled logging in managed tropical rain forest in Suriname.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hendrison, J.

    1990-01-01

    Concern about worldwide deforestation and exploitation of the tropical rain forests has led to friction between national governments, wood industries and timber trade on the one hand, and scientists and environmental organizations on the other. One way to safeguard the tropical rain forests is to av

  15. Climate seasonality limits leaf carbon assimilation and wood productivity in tropical forests

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Wagner, Fabien H.; Hérault, Bruno; Bonal, Damien; Stahl, Clément; Anderson, Liana O.; Baker, Timothy R.; Becker, Gabriel Sebastian; Beeckman, Hans; Boanerges Souza, Danilo; Botosso, Paulo Cesar; Bowman, David M.J.S.; Bräuning, Achim; Brede, Benjamin; Brown, Foster Irving; Camarero, Jesus Julio; Camargo, Plínio Barbosa; Cardoso, Fernanda C.G.; Carvalho, Fabrício Alvim; Castro, Wendeson; Chagas, Rubens Koloski; Chave, Jérome; Chidumayo, Emmanuel N.; Clark, Deborah A.; Costa, Flavia Regina Capellotto; Couralet, Camille; Silva Mauricio, Da Paulo Henrique; Dalitz, Helmut; Castro, De Vinicius Resende; Freitas Milani, De Jaçanan Eloisa; Oliveira, De Edilson Consuelo; Souza Arruda, De Luciano; Devineau, Jean-Louis; Drew, David M.; Dünisch, Oliver; Durigan, Giselda; Elifuraha, Elisha; Fedele, Marcio; Ferreira Fedele, Ligia; Figueiredo Filho, Afonso; Finger, César Augusto Guimarães; Franco, Augusto César; Freitas Júnior, João Lima; Galvão, Franklin; Gebrekirstos, Aster; Gliniars, Robert; Lima De Alencastro Graça, Paulo Maurício; Griffiths, Anthony D.; Grogan, James; Guan, Kaiyu; Homeier, Jürgen; Kanieski, Maria Raquel; Kho, Lip Khoon; Koenig, Jennifer; Kohler, Sintia Valerio; Krepkowski, Julia; Lemos-filho, José Pires; Lieberman, Diana; Lieberman, Milton Eugene; Lisi, Claudio Sergio; Longhi Santos, Tomaz; López Ayala, José Luis; Maeda, Eduardo Eijji; Malhi, Yadvinder; Maria, Vivian R.B.; Marques, Marcia C.M.; Marques, Renato; Maza Chamba, Hector; Mbwambo, Lawrence; Melgaço, Karina Liana Lisboa; Mendivelso, Hooz Angela; Murphy, Brett P.; O'Brien, Joseph J.; Oberbauer, Steven F.; Okada, Naoki; Pélissier, Raphaël; Prior, Lynda D.; Roig, Fidel Alejandro; Ross, Michael; Rossatto, Davi Rodrigo; Rossi, Vivien; Rowland, Lucy; Rutishauser, Ervan; Santana, Hellen; Schulze, Mark; Selhorst, Diogo; Silva, Williamar Rodrigues; Silveira, Marcos; Spannl, Susanne; Swaine, Michael D.; Toledo, José Julio; Toledo, Marcos Miranda; Toledo, Marisol; Toma, Takeshi; Tomazello Filho, Mario; Valdez Hernández, Juan Ignacio; Verbesselt, Jan; Vieira, Simone Aparecida; Vincent, Grégoire; Volkmer De Castilho, Carolina; Volland, Franziska; Worbes, Martin; Zanon, Magda Lea Bolzan; Aragão, Luiz E.O.C.

    2016-01-01

    The seasonal climate drivers of the carbon cycle in tropical forests remain poorly known, although these forests account for more carbon assimilation and storage than any other terrestrial ecosystem. Based on a unique combination of seasonal pan-tropical data sets from 89 experimental sites (68

  16. Leaf litter decomposition rates increase with rising mean annual temperature in Hawaiian tropical montane wet forests

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lori D. Bothwell; Paul C. Selmants; Christian P. Giardina; Creighton M. Litton

    2014-01-01

    Decomposing litter in forest ecosystems supplies nutrients to plants, carbon to heterotrophic soil microorganisms and is a large source of CO2 to the atmosphere. Despite its essential role in carbon and nutrient cycling, the temperature sensitivityof leaf litter decay in tropical forest ecosystems remains poorly resolved, especially in tropical...

  17. Increasing liana abundance and biomass in tropical forests: emerging patterns and putative mechanisms.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Schnitzer, S.A.; Bongers, F.

    2011-01-01

    Tropical forests are experiencing large-scale structural changes, the most apparent of which may be the increase in liana (woody vine) abundance and biomass. Lianas permeate most lowland tropical forests, where they can have a huge effect on tree diversity, recruitment, growth and survival, which, i

  18. Welfare implications of tropical forest conservation: the case of Ruteng Park

    Science.gov (United States)

    David Butry; Subhrendu Pattanayak

    2000-01-01

    In 1993, the Indonesian government established the Ruteng Nature Recreation Park in western Flores. Subsequently, the government banned all timber extraction in and around the park's sub-tropical forest to promote biodiversity and watershed protection. This study quantitatively examines the role that tropical forest conservation has on the development of the local...

  19. Securing tropical forest carbon: the contribution of protected areas to REDD

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Scharlemann, J.P.W.; Kapos, V.; Campbell, A.;

    2010-01-01

    Forest loss and degradation in the tropics contribute 6-17% of all greenhouse gas emissions. Protected areas cover 217.2 million ha (19.6%) of the world's humid tropical forests and contain c. 70.3 petagrams of carbon (Pg C) in biomass and soil to 1 m depth. Between 2000 and 2005, we estimate tha...

  20. Climate seasonality limits leaf carbon assimilation and wood productivity in tropical forests

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Wagner, Fabien H.; Hérault, Bruno; Bonal, Damien; Stahl, Clément; Anderson, Liana O.; Baker, Timothy R.; Becker, Gabriel Sebastian; Beeckman, Hans; Boanerges Souza, Danilo; Botosso, Paulo Cesar; Bowman, David M.J.S.; Bräuning, Achim; Brede, Benjamin; Brown, Foster Irving; Camarero, Jesus Julio; Camargo, Plínio Barbosa; Cardoso, Fernanda C.G.; Carvalho, Fabrício Alvim; Castro, Wendeson; Chagas, Rubens Koloski; Chave, Jérome; Chidumayo, Emmanuel N.; Clark, Deborah A.; Costa, Flavia Regina Capellotto; Couralet, Camille; Silva Mauricio, Da Paulo Henrique; Dalitz, Helmut; Castro, De Vinicius Resende; Freitas Milani, De Jaçanan Eloisa; Oliveira, De Edilson Consuelo; Souza Arruda, De Luciano; Devineau, Jean-Louis; Drew, David M.; Dünisch, Oliver; Durigan, Giselda; Elifuraha, Elisha; Fedele, Marcio; Ferreira Fedele, Ligia; Figueiredo Filho, Afonso; Finger, César Augusto Guimarães; Franco, Augusto César; Freitas Júnior, João Lima; Galvão, Franklin; Gebrekirstos, Aster; Gliniars, Robert; Lima De Alencastro Graça, Paulo Maurício; Griffiths, Anthony D.; Grogan, James; Guan, Kaiyu; Homeier, Jürgen; Kanieski, Maria Raquel; Kho, Lip Khoon; Koenig, Jennifer; Kohler, Sintia Valerio; Krepkowski, Julia; Lemos-filho, José Pires; Lieberman, Diana; Lieberman, Milton Eugene; Lisi, Claudio Sergio; Longhi Santos, Tomaz; López Ayala, José Luis; Maeda, Eduardo Eijji; Malhi, Yadvinder; Maria, Vivian R.B.; Marques, Marcia C.M.; Marques, Renato; Maza Chamba, Hector; Mbwambo, Lawrence; Melgaço, Karina Liana Lisboa; Mendivelso, Hooz Angela; Murphy, Brett P.; O'Brien, Joseph J.; Oberbauer, Steven F.; Okada, Naoki; Pélissier, Raphaël; Prior, Lynda D.; Roig, Fidel Alejandro; Ross, Michael; Rossatto, Davi Rodrigo; Rossi, Vivien; Rowland, Lucy; Rutishauser, Ervan; Santana, Hellen; Schulze, Mark; Selhorst, Diogo; Silva, Williamar Rodrigues; Silveira, Marcos; Spannl, Susanne; Swaine, Michael D.; Toledo, José Julio; Toledo, Marcos Miranda; Toledo, Marisol; Toma, Takeshi; Tomazello Filho, Mario; Valdez Hernández, Juan Ignacio; Verbesselt, Jan; Vieira, Simone Aparecida; Vincent, Grégoire; Volkmer De Castilho, Carolina; Volland, Franziska; Worbes, Martin; Zanon, Magda Lea Bolzan; Aragão, Luiz E.O.C.

    2016-01-01

    The seasonal climate drivers of the carbon cycle in tropical forests remain poorly known, although these forests account for more carbon assimilation and storage than any other terrestrial ecosystem. Based on a unique combination of seasonal pan-tropical data sets from 89 experimental sites (68 incl

  1. The intermediate disturbance hypothesis applies to tropical forests, but disturbance contributes little to tree diversity

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bongers, F.; Poorter, L.; Hawthorne, W.D.; Sheil, D.

    2009-01-01

    The intermediate disturbance hypothesis (IDH) predicts local species diversity to be maximal at an intermediate level of disturbance. Developed to explain species maintenance and diversity patterns in species-rich ecosystems such as tropical forests, tests of IDH in tropical forest remain scarce, sm

  2. Foliar and ecosystem respiration in an old-growth tropical rain forest

    Science.gov (United States)

    Molly A. Cavaleri; Steven F. Oberbauer; Michael G. Ryan

    2008-01-01

    Foliar respiration is a major component of ecosystem respiration, yet extrapolations are often uncertain in tropical forests because of indirect estimates of leaf area index (LAI).A portable tower was used to directly measure LAI and night-time foliar respiration from 52 vertical transects throughout an old-growth tropical rain forest in Costa Rica. In this study, we (...

  3. Tropical rain forest conservation and the twin challenges of diversity and rarity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hubbell, Stephen P

    2013-09-01

    Data from a global network of large, permanent plots in lowland tropical forests demonstrate (1) that the phenomenon of tropical tree rarity is real and (2) that almost all the species diversity in such forests is due to rare species. Theoretical and empirically based reasoning suggests that many of these rare species are not as geographically widespread as previously thought. These findings suggest that successful strategies for conserving global tree diversity in lowland tropical forests must pay much more attention to the biogeography of rarity, as well as to the impact of climate change on the distribution and abundance of rare species. Because the biogeography of many tropical tree species is poorly known, a high priority should be given to documenting the distribution and abundance of rare tropical tree species, particularly in Amazonia, the largest remaining tropical forested region in the world.

  4. Temperature and rainfall strongly drive temporal growth variation in Asian tropical forest trees

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Vlam, M.; Baker, P.J.; Bunyavejchewin, S.; Zuidema, P.A.

    2014-01-01

    Climate change effects on growth rates of tropical trees may lead to alterations in carbon cycling of carbon-rich tropical forests. However, climate sensitivity of broad-leaved lowland tropical trees is poorly understood. Dendrochronology (tree-ring analysis) provides a powerful tool to study the

  5. Understanding Tropical Forest Response to Seasonal and Interannual Variability: The Goldilocks Problem

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baker, I. T.; Berry, J. A.; Harper, A. B.; Denning, A. S.; Lee, J. E.; Joiner, J.; Frankenberg, C.

    2015-12-01

    Quantifying our understanding of tropical forest response to seasonal cycles of precipitation, and variability around the annual mean, is an ongoing problem. A decade ago, computer models were unable to reproduce forest behavior at some forests in tropical South America, with the result that ecophysiological function collapsed and Bowen ratio spiked unrealistially during the dry season. Subsequent work has mitigated this oversensitivity to annual cycles of rainy and dry seasons, with the result that our models may now be under-sensitive to variability around the mean. Hence the Goldilocks metaphor: We have moved our models from an over-sensitive (too hot) position to an under-sensitive (too cold) state, while we desire understanding and an ability to simulate both annual cycles and anomalous conditions (just right). In this research we demonstrate our ability to combine in-situ and spectral datasets with models to converge on a description of biophysical processes that combines robustness to mean annual state with a realistic sensitivity to anomalous drought. We use climatology of annual mean precipitation and dry season character to obtain a Drought Resistance Index (DRI) that, when combined with soil depth data yields an initial estimate of forest drought resilience. Solar-Induced Fluorescence (SIF) observations provide higher-resolution spatiotemporal monitoring of canopy response to anomalous events (such as 2010 drought) that can we use to refine our understanding of ecophysiological stress across temperature and precipitation gradients in tropical South America. We demonstrate that we can maintain fidelity to seasonality of surface flux as observed by eddy covariance flux towers while improving model response to drought events.

  6. Distinct carbon sources indicate strong differentiation between tropical forest and farmland bird communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ferger, Stefan W; Böhning-Gaese, Katrin; Wilcke, Wolfgang; Oelmann, Yvonne; Schleuning, Matthias

    2013-02-01

    The conversion of forest into farmland has resulted in mosaic landscapes in many parts of the tropics. From a conservation perspective, it is important to know whether tropical farmlands can buffer species loss caused by deforestation and how different functional groups of birds respond to land-use intensification. To test the degree of differentiation between farmland and forest bird communities across feeding guilds, we analyzed stable C and N isotopes in blood and claws of 101 bird species comprising four feeding guilds along a tropical forest-farmland gradient in Kenya. We additionally assessed the importance of farmland insectivores for pest control in C(4) crops by using allometric relationships, C stable isotope ratios and estimates of bird species abundance. Species composition differed strongly between forest and farmland bird communities. Across seasons, forest birds primarily relied on C(3) carbon sources, whereas many farmland birds also assimilated C(4) carbon. While C sources of frugivores and omnivores did not differ between forest and farmland communities, insectivores used more C(4) carbon in the farmland than in the forest. Granivores assimilated more C(4) carbon than all other guilds in the farmland. We estimated that insectivorous farmland birds consumed at least 1,000 kg pest invertebrates km(-2) year(-1). We conclude that tropical forest and farmland understory bird communities are strongly separated and that tropical farmlands cannot compensate forest loss for insectivorous forest understory birds. In tropical farmlands, insectivorous bird species provide a quantitatively important contribution to pest control.

  7. Seed dispersal limitations shift over time in tropical forest restoration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reid, J Leighton; Holl, Karen D; Zahawi, Rakan A

    2015-06-01

    Past studies have shown that tropical forest regeneration on degraded farmlands is initially limited by lack of seed dispersal, but few studies have tracked changes in abundance and composition of seed rain past the first few years after land abandonment. We measured seed rain for 12 months in 10 6-9-year-old restoration sites and five mature, reference forests in southern Costa Rica in order to learn (1) if seed rain limitation persists past the first few years of regeneration; (2) how restoration treatments influence seed community structure and composition; and (3) whether seed rain limitation is contingent on landscape context. Each restoration site contained three 0.25-ha treatment plots: (1) a naturally regenerating control, (2) tree islands, and (3) a mixed-species tree plantation. Sites spanned a deforestation gradient with 9-89% forest area within 500 m around the treatment plots. Contrary to previous studies, we found that tree seeds were abundant and ubiquitous across all treatment plots (585.1 ± 142.0 seeds · m(-2) · yr(-1) [mean ± SE]), indicating that lack of seed rain ceased to limit forest regeneration within the first decade of recovery. Pioneer trees and shrubs comprised the vast majority of seeds, but compositional differences between restoration sites and reference forests were driven by rarer, large-seeded species. Large, animal-dispersed tree seeds were more abundant in tree islands (4.6 ± 2.9 seeds · m(-2) · yr(-1)) and plantations (5.8 ± 3.0 seeds · m(-2) · yr(-1)) than control plots (0.2 ± 0.1 seeds · m(-2) · yr(-1)), contributing to greater tree species richness in actively restored plots. Planted tree species accounted for seeds. We found little evidence for landscape forest cover effects on seed rain, consistent with previous studies. We conclude that seed rain limitation shifted from an initial, complete lack of tree seeds to a specific limitation on large-seeded, mature forest species over the first decade. Although total

  8. A Tale of Two “Forests”: Random Forest Machine Learning Aids Tropical Forest Carbon Mapping

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mascaro, Joseph; Asner, Gregory P.; Knapp, David E.; Kennedy-Bowdoin, Ty; Martin, Roberta E.; Anderson, Christopher; Higgins, Mark; Chadwick, K. Dana

    2014-01-01

    Accurate and spatially-explicit maps of tropical forest carbon stocks are needed to implement carbon offset mechanisms such as REDD+ (Reduced Deforestation and Degradation Plus). The Random Forest machine learning algorithm may aid carbon mapping applications using remotely-sensed data. However, Random Forest has never been compared to traditional and potentially more reliable techniques such as regionally stratified sampling and upscaling, and it has rarely been employed with spatial data. Here, we evaluated the performance of Random Forest in upscaling airborne LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging)-based carbon estimates compared to the stratification approach over a 16-million hectare focal area of the Western Amazon. We considered two runs of Random Forest, both with and without spatial contextual modeling by including—in the latter case—x, and y position directly in the model. In each case, we set aside 8 million hectares (i.e., half of the focal area) for validation; this rigorous test of Random Forest went above and beyond the internal validation normally compiled by the algorithm (i.e., called “out-of-bag”), which proved insufficient for this spatial application. In this heterogeneous region of Northern Peru, the model with spatial context was the best preforming run of Random Forest, and explained 59% of LiDAR-based carbon estimates within the validation area, compared to 37% for stratification or 43% by Random Forest without spatial context. With the 60% improvement in explained variation, RMSE against validation LiDAR samples improved from 33 to 26 Mg C ha−1 when using Random Forest with spatial context. Our results suggest that spatial context should be considered when using Random Forest, and that doing so may result in substantially improved carbon stock modeling for purposes of climate change mitigation. PMID:24489686

  9. Ecosystem carbon storage and partitioning in a tropical seasonal forest in Southwestern China

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lü, Xiao-Tao; Yin, Jiang-Xia; Jepsen, Martin Rudbeck

    2010-01-01

    Tropical forests play an important role in the global carbon cycle. Despite an increasing number of studies have addressed carbon storage in tropical forests, the regional variation in such storage remains poorly understood. Uncertainty about how much carbon is stored in tropical forests...... is an important limitation for regional-scale estimates of carbon fluxes and improving these estimates requires extensive field studies of both above- and belowground stocks. In order to assess the carbon pools of a tropical seasonal forest in Asia, total ecosystem carbon storage was investigated in Xishuangbanna......, SW China. Averaged across three 1 ha plots, the total carbon stock of the forest ecosystem was 303 t C ha-1. Living tree carbon stocks (both above- and belowground) ranged from 163 to 258 t C ha-1. The aboveground biomass C pool is comparable to the Dipterocarp forests in Sumatra but lower than those...

  10. Polarimetric SAR Interferometry based modeling for tree height and aboveground biomass retrieval in a tropical deciduous forest

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kumar, Shashi; Khati, Unmesh G.; Chandola, Shreya; Agrawal, Shefali; Kushwaha, Satya P. S.

    2017-08-01

    The regulation of the carbon cycle is a critical ecosystem service provided by forests globally. It is, therefore, necessary to have robust techniques for speedy assessment of forest biophysical parameters at the landscape level. It is arduous and time taking to monitor the status of vast forest landscapes using traditional field methods. Remote sensing and GIS techniques are efficient tools that can monitor the health of forests regularly. Biomass estimation is a key parameter in the assessment of forest health. Polarimetric SAR (PolSAR) remote sensing has already shown its potential for forest biophysical parameter retrieval. The current research work focuses on the retrieval of forest biophysical parameters of tropical deciduous forest, using fully polarimetric spaceborne C-band data with Polarimetric SAR Interferometry (PolInSAR) techniques. PolSAR based Interferometric Water Cloud Model (IWCM) has been used to estimate aboveground biomass (AGB). Input parameters to the IWCM have been extracted from the decomposition modeling of SAR data as well as PolInSAR coherence estimation. The technique of forest tree height retrieval utilized PolInSAR coherence based modeling approach. Two techniques - Coherence Amplitude Inversion (CAI) and Three Stage Inversion (TSI) - for forest height estimation are discussed, compared and validated. These techniques allow estimation of forest stand height and true ground topography. The accuracy of the forest height estimated is assessed using ground-based measurements. PolInSAR based forest height models showed enervation in the identification of forest vegetation and as a result height values were obtained in river channels and plain areas. Overestimation in forest height was also noticed at several patches of the forest. To overcome this problem, coherence and backscatter based threshold technique is introduced for forest area identification and accurate height estimation in non-forested regions. IWCM based modeling for forest

  11. SRTM-DEM and Landsat ETM+ data for mapping tropical dry forest cover and biodiversity assessment in Nicaragua

    Science.gov (United States)

    S.E. Sesnie; S.E. Hagell; S.M. Otterstrom; C.L. Chambers; B.G. Dickson

    2008-01-01

    Tropical dry and deciduous forest comprises as much as 42% of the world’s tropical forests, but has received far less attention than forest in wet tropical areas. Land use change threatens to greatly reduce the extent of dry forest that is known to contain high levels of plant and animal diversity. Forest fragmentation may further endanger arboreal mammals that play...

  12. Effect of Converting Secondary Tropical Peat Swamp Forest into Oil Palm Plantation on Selected Peat Soil Physical Properties

    OpenAIRE

    Mohd S. Firdaus; Seca Gandaseca; Ahmed, Osumanu H.; Nik M.A. Majid

    2010-01-01

    Problem statement: The conversion of forest land into oil palm plantation is considered to be one of the causes of soil degradation and loss of tropical land forest in Southeast Asia. The objective of this study was to compare selected peat soil physical properties of secondary tropical peat swamp forest and oil palm plantation to determine the effect of forest conversion. Approach: Peat soil samples were collected from secondary tropical peat swamp forest and oil palm pla...

  13. Quantifying tropical dry forest type and succession: substantial improvement with LiDAR

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sebastian Martinuzzi; William A. Gould; Lee A. Vierling; Andrew T. Hudak; Ross F. Nelson; Jeffrey S. Evans

    2012-01-01

    Improved technologies are needed to advance our knowledge of the biophysical and human factors influencing tropical dry forests, one of the world’s most threatened ecosystems. We evaluated the use of light detection and ranging (LiDAR) data to address two major needs in remote sensing of tropical dry forests, i.e., classification of forest types and delineation of...

  14. Timber tree regeneration along abandoned logging roads in a tropical Bolivian forest

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nabe-Nielsen, J.; Severiche, W.; Fredericksen, T.;

    2007-01-01

    Sustainable management of selectively logged tropical forests requires that felled trees are replaced through increased recruitment and growth. This study compares road track and roadside regeneration with regeneration in unlogged and selectively logged humid tropical forest in north...... areas should be ensured by interspersing large patches of unlogged forest with logged areas. This may also assist regeneration of species that perform poorly in disturbed areas....

  15. Permanent sample plots for natural tropical forests: a rationale with special emphasis on Central Africa.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Picard, Nicolas; Magnussen, Steen; Banak, Ludovic Ngok; Namkosserena, Salomon; Yalibanda, Yves

    2010-05-01

    Permanent sample plots (PSP), where trees are individually and permanently marked, have received increased interest in Central Africa as a tool to monitor vegetation changes. Although techniques for mounting PSP in tropical forests are well known, their planning still deserves attention. This study aims at defining a rationale for determining the size and number of replicates for setting up PSP in mixed tropical forests. It considers PSP as a sampling plan to estimate a target quantity with its associated margin of error. The target quantity considered here is the stock recovery rate, which is a key parameter for forest management in Central Africa. It is computed separately for each commercial species. The number of trees to monitor for each species defines the margin of error on the stock recovery rate. The size and number of replicated plots is obtained as the solution of an optimization problem that consists in minimizing the margin of error for every species while ensuring that the mounting cost remains below a given threshold. This rationale was applied using the data from the M'Baïki experimental site in the Central African Republic. It showed that the stock recovery rate is a highly variable quantity, and that the typical cost that forest managers are prone to devote to PSP leads to high margins of error. It also showed that the size and number of replicated plots is related to the spatial pattern of trees: clustered or spatially heterogeneous patterns favor many small plots, whereas regular or spatially homogeneous patterns favor few large plots.

  16. How is FIA helping other countries monitor their forests?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Charles T. Scott

    2012-01-01

    The demand for forest monitoring is growing rapidly with emphasis on carbon dynamics, due in part by incentives being negotiated under the United Nation's Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDO+) process. While much of the temperate and boreal forest in developed countries is being monitored as part of national forest inventories,...

  17. Why do forest products become less available?A pan-tropical comparison of drivers of forest-resource degradation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hermans-Neumann, Kathleen; Gerstner, Katharina; Geijzendorffer, Ilse R.; Herold, Martin; Seppelt, Ralf; Wunder, Sven

    2016-12-01

    Forest products provide an important source of income and wellbeing for rural smallholder communities across the tropics. Although tropical forest products frequently become over-exploited, only few studies explicitly address the dynamics of degradation in response to socio-economic drivers. Our study addresses this gap by analyzing the factors driving changes in tropical forest products in the perception of rural smallholder communities. Using the poverty and environment network global dataset, we studied recently perceived trends of forest product availability considering firewood, charcoal, timber, food, medicine, forage and other forest products. We looked at a pan-tropical sample of 233 villages with forest access. Our results show that 90% of the villages experienced declining availability of forest resources over the last five years according to the informants. Timber and fuelwood together with forest foods were featured as the most strongly affected, though with marked differences across continents. In contrast, availability of at least one main forest product was perceived to increase in only 39% of the villages. Furthermore, the growing local use of forest resources is seen as the main culprit for the decline. In villages with both growing forest resource use and immigration—vividly illustrating demographic pressures—the strongest forest resources degradation was observed. Conversely, villages with little or no population growth and a decreased use of forest resources were most likely to see significant forest-resource increases. Further, villages are less likely to perceive resource declines when local communities own a significant share of forest area. Our results thus suggest that perceived resource declines have only exceptionally triggered adaptations in local resource-use and management patterns that would effectively deal with scarcity. Hence, at the margin this supports neo-Malthusian over neo-Boserupian explanations of local resource

  18. Mapping dynamics of deforestation and forest degradation in tropical forests using radar satellite data

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Joshi, Neha; Mitchard, Edward TA; Woo, Natalia

    2015-01-01

    Mapping anthropogenic forest disturbances has largely been focused on distinct delineations of events of deforestation using optical satellite images. In the tropics, frequent cloud cover and the challenge of quantifying forest degradation remain problematic. In this study, we detect processes...... of deforestation, forest degradation and successional dynamics, using long-wavelength radar (L-band from ALOS PALSAR) backscatter. We present a detection algorithm that allows for repeated disturbances on the same land, and identifies areas with slow- and fast-recovering changes in backscatter in close spatial...... along the tri-national Interoceanic Highway, as well as in mining areas and areas under no land use allocation. A continuous spatial gradient of disturbance was observed, highlighting artefacts arising from imposing discrete boundaries on deforestation events. The magnitude of initial radar backscatter...

  19. Mapping dynamics of deforestation and forest degradation in tropical forests using radar satellite data

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Joshi, Neha; Mitchard, Edward TA; Woo, Natalia;

    2015-01-01

    Mapping anthropogenic forest disturbances has largely been focused on distinct delineations of events of deforestation using optical satellite images. In the tropics, frequent cloud cover and the challenge of quantifying forest degradation remain problematic. In this study, we detect processes...... of deforestation, forest degradation and successional dynamics, using long-wavelength radar (L-band from ALOS PALSAR) backscatter. We present a detection algorithm that allows for repeated disturbances on the same land, and identifies areas with slow- and fast-recovering changes in backscatter in close spatial...... along the tri-national Interoceanic Highway, as well as in mining areas and areas under no land use allocation. A continuous spatial gradient of disturbance was observed, highlighting artefacts arising from imposing discrete boundaries on deforestation events. The magnitude of initial radar backscatter...

  20. Effect of Extreme Drought on Tropical Dry Forests

    Science.gov (United States)

    Castro, Saulo; Sanchez-Azofeifa, Arturo; Sato, Hiromitsu; Cowling, Sharon; Vega-Araya, Mauricio

    2017-04-01

    Tropical dry forests (TDFs) hold a strong economic and cultural connection to human development in the Neotropics. Historically, TDFs not only represent a source of agricultural and urban land but also an important source of goods and ecosystem services for the communities that live around them. Such is the close connection of TDFs to human activity that they are considered the most heavily utilized and disturbed ecosystem in the world. However, TDF have been largely understudied and represent only a fraction of research devoted to globally tropical ecosystems. Thus we lack the framework to properly project how predicted increases in drought events due to climate change will impact TDFs and human society which depend on its services. Our study aims to show the effect of extreme drought on water, food security, and tropical dry forest productivity in the Guanacaste province of Costa Rica. Two pre-ENSO years (2013-2014) and an ENSO year (2015) were compared. The 2013 and 2014 pre-ENSO years were classified as a normal precipitation (1470 mm) and drought year (1027mm), respectively. The 2015 ENSO year was classified as a severe drought (654mm), with amplified effects resulting by the drought experienced during the previous (2014) growing cycle. Effects of the ENSO drought on agriculture and livestock sectors in the province included losses of US13million and US6.5million, respectively. Crop land losses equaled 2,118 hectares and 11,718 hectares were affected. Hydroelectricity generation decreased by 10% and potable water shortages were observed. The Agriculture and Livestock Ministry (MAG) and the National Emergency Commission (CNE) distributed animal feed and supplies to 4,000 farmers affected by the extreme droughts. Eddy covariance flux measurements were used to identify productivity changes during the extreme drought. Changes in phenologic stages and the transitions between CO2 sink to source during mid-growing cycle were observed. Drought significantly delayed

  1. Mixed-forest species establishment in a monodominant forest in central Africa: implications for tropical forest invasibility.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kelvin S-H Peh

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Traits of non-dominant mixed-forest tree species and their synergies for successful co-occurrence in monodominant Gilbertiodendron dewevrei forest have not yet been investigated. Here we compared the tree species diversity of the monodominant forest with its adjacent mixed forest and then determined which fitness proxies and life history traits of the mixed-forest tree species were most associated with successful co-existence in the monodominant forest. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We sampled all trees (diameter in breast height [dbh]≥10 cm within 6×1 ha topographically homogenous areas of intact central African forest in SE Cameroon, three independent patches of G. dewevrei-dominated forest and three adjacent areas (450-800 m apart. Monodominant G. dewevrei forest had lower sample-controlled species richness, species density and population density than its adjacent mixed forest in terms of stems with dbh≥10 cm. Analysis of a suite of population-level characteristics, such as relative abundance and geographical distribution, and traits such as wood density, height, diameter at breast height, fruit/seed dispersal mechanism and light requirement-revealed after controlling for phylogeny, species that co-occur with G. dewevrei tend to have higher abundance in adjacent mixed forest, higher wood density and a lower light requirement. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Our results suggest that certain traits (wood density and light requirement and population-level characteristics (relative abundance may increase the invasibility of a tree species into a tropical closed-canopy system. Such knowledge may assist in the pre-emptive identification of invasive tree species.

  2. Mixed-Forest Species Establishment in a Monodominant Forest in Central Africa: Implications for Tropical Forest Invasibility

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peh, Kelvin S.-H.; Sonké, Bonaventure; Séné, Olivier; Djuikouo, Marie-Noël K.; Nguembou, Charlemagne K.; Taedoumg, Hermann; Begne, Serge K.; Lewis, Simon L.

    2014-01-01

    Background Traits of non-dominant mixed-forest tree species and their synergies for successful co-occurrence in monodominant Gilbertiodendron dewevrei forest have not yet been investigated. Here we compared the tree species diversity of the monodominant forest with its adjacent mixed forest and then determined which fitness proxies and life history traits of the mixed-forest tree species were most associated with successful co-existence in the monodominant forest. Methodology/Principal Findings We sampled all trees (diameter in breast height [dbh]≥10 cm) within 6×1 ha topographically homogenous areas of intact central African forest in SE Cameroon, three independent patches of G. dewevrei-dominated forest and three adjacent areas (450–800 m apart). Monodominant G. dewevrei forest had lower sample-controlled species richness, species density and population density than its adjacent mixed forest in terms of stems with dbh≥10 cm. Analysis of a suite of population-level characteristics, such as relative abundance and geographical distribution, and traits such as wood density, height, diameter at breast height, fruit/seed dispersal mechanism and light requirement–revealed after controlling for phylogeny, species that co-occur with G. dewevrei tend to have higher abundance in adjacent mixed forest, higher wood density and a lower light requirement. Conclusions/Significance Our results suggest that certain traits (wood density and light requirement) and population-level characteristics (relative abundance) may increase the invasibility of a tree species into a tropical closed-canopy system. Such knowledge may assist in the pre-emptive identification of invasive tree species. PMID:24844914

  3. Modified Whittaker plots as an assessment and monitoring tool for vegetation in a lowland tropical rainforest.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Campbell, Patrick; Comiskey, James; Alonso, Alfonso; Dallmeier, Francisco; Nuñez, Percy; Beltran, Hamilton; Baldeon, Severo; Nauray, William; de la Colina, Rafael; Acurio, Lucero; Udvardy, Shana

    2002-05-01

    Resource exploitation in lowland tropical forests is increasing and causing loss of biodiversity. Effective evaluation and management of the impacts of development on tropical forests requires appropriate assessment and monitoring tools. We propose the use of 0.1-ha multi-scale, modified Whittaker plots (MWPs) to assess and monitor vegetation in lowland tropical rainforests. We established MWPs at 4 sites to: (1) describe and compare composition and structure of the sites using MWPs, (2) compare these results to those of 1-ha permanent vegetation plots (BDPs), and (3) evaluate the ability of MWPs to detect changes in populations (statistical power). We recorded more than 400 species at each site. Species composition among the sites was distinctive, while mean abundance and basal area was similar. Comparisons between MWPs and BDPs show that they record similar species composition and abundance and that both perform equally well at detecting rare species. However, MWPs tend to record more species, and power analysis studies show that MWPs were more effective at detecting changes in the mean number of species of trees > or = 10 cm in diameter at breast height (dbh) and in herbaceous plants. Ten MWPs were sufficient to detect a change of 11% in the mean number of herb species, and they were able to detect a 14% change in the mean number of species of trees > or =10 cm dbh. The value of MWPs for assessment and monitoring is discussed, along with recommendations for improving the sampling design to increase power.

  4. Forest structure, diversity and soil properties in a dry tropical forest in Rajasthan, Western India

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. I. Nirmal Kumar

    2011-06-01

    Full Text Available Structure, species composition, and soil properties of a dry tropical forest in Rajasthan Western India, were examined by establishment of 25 plots. The forest was characterized by a relatively low canopy and a large number of small-diameter trees. Mean canopy height for this forest was 10 m and stands contained an average of 995 stems ha-1 (= 3.0 cm DBH; 52% of those stems were smaller than 10 cm DBH. The total basal area was 46.35 m2ha-1, of which Tectona grandis L. contributed 48%. The forest showed high species diversity of trees. 50 tree species (= 3.0 cm DBH from 29 families were identified in the 25 sampling plots. T. grandis (20.81% and Butea monosperma (9% were the dominant and subdominant species in terms of importance value. The mean tree species diversity indices for the plots were 1.08 for Shannon diversity index (H´, 0.71 for equitability index (J´ and 5.57 for species richness index (S´, all of which strongly declined with the increase of importance value of the dominant, T. grandis. Measures of soil nutrients indicated low fertility, extreme heterogeneity. Regression analysis showed that stem density and the dominant tree height were significantly correlated with soil pH. There was a significant positive relationship between species diversity index and soil available P, exchangeable K+, Ca2+ (all p values < 0.001 and a negative relationship with N, C, C:N and C:P ratio. The results suggest that soil properties are major factors influencing forest composition and structure within the dry tropical forest in Rajasthan.

  5. Tropical Deforestation, Community Forests, and Protected Areas in the Maya Forest

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David Barton. Bray

    2008-12-01

    Full Text Available Community forests and protected areas have each been proposed as strategies to stop deforestation. These management strategies should be regarded as hypotheses to be evaluated for their effectiveness in particular places. We evaluated the community-forestry hypothesis and the protected-area hypothesis in community forests with commercial timber production and strict protected areas in the Maya Forest of Guatemala and Mexico. From land-use and land cover change (LUCC maps derived from satellite images, we compared deforestation in 19 community forests and 11 protected areas in both countries in varying periods from 1988 to 2005. Deforestation rates were higher in protected areas than in community forests, but the differences were not significant. An analysis of human presence showed similar deforestation rates in inhabited protected areas and recently inhabited community forests, but the differences were not significant. There was also no significant difference in deforestation between uninhabited protected areas, uninhabited community forests, and long-inhabited community forests. A logistic regression analysis indicated that the factors correlated with deforestation varied by country. Distance to human settlements, seasonal wetlands, and degree and length of human residence were significant in Guatemala, and distance to previous deforestation and tropical semideciduous forest were significant in Mexico. Varying contexts and especially colonization histories are highlighted as likely factors that influence different outcomes. Poorly governed protected areas perform no better as a conservation strategy than poorly governed community forests with recent colonists in active colonization fronts. Long-inhabited extractive communities perform as well as uninhabited strict protected areas under low colonization pressure. A review of costs and benefits suggests that community forests may generate more local income with lower costs. Small sample sizes

  6. Fuelwood collection and its impacts on a protected tropical mountain forest in Uganda

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Sassen, M.; Sheil, D.; Giller, K.E.

    2015-01-01

    Local communities who live close to protected tropical forests often depend on them for woodfuel, their main source of energy. The impacts of fuelwood extraction in humid forests are rarely studied, yet the extraction of wood for fuel can impact forest structure, function and biodiversity. We assess

  7. Land use history, environment, and tree composition in a tropical forest

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jill Thompson; Nicholas Brokaw; Jess K. Zimmerman; Robert B. Waide; Edwin M. III Everham; D. Jean Lodge; Charlotte M. Taylor; Diana Garcia-Montiel; Marcheterre Fluet

    2002-01-01

    The effects of historical land use on tropical forest must be examined to understand present forest characteristics and to plan conservation strategies. We compared the effects of past land use, topography, soil type, and other environmental variables on tree species composition in a subtropical wet forest in the Luquillo Mountains, Puerto Rico. The study involved...

  8. Natural forest regeneration and ecological restoration in human-modified tropical landscapes

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Martínez-Ramos, Miguel; Pingarroni, Aline; Rodríguez-Velázquez, Jorge; Toledo-Chelala, Lilibeth; Zermeño-Hernández, Isela; Bongers, Frans

    2016-01-01

    In human-modified tropical landscapes (HMLs) the conservation of biodiversity, functions and services of forest ecosystems depends on persistence of old growth forest remnants, forest regeneration in abandoned agricultural fields, and restoration of degraded lands. Understanding the impacts of agric

  9. Large-Scale Mapping of Tree-Community Composition as a Surrogate of Forest Degradation in Bornean Tropical Rain Forests

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shogoro Fujiki

    2016-12-01

    quantitatively assess the spatial patterns of intactness in Bornean rain forests. Our approach can be used for large-scale assessments of tree diversity and forest intactness to monitor both the progress of Aichi Biodiversity Targets and the effectiveness of REDD+ biodiversity safeguards in production forests in the tropics.

  10. Change detection in and around UNESCO World Heritage sites including tropical forests

    Science.gov (United States)

    Radoux, J.; Hernandez, M.; Defourny, P.

    2012-04-01

    UNESCO World Heritage sites including tropical forests require operational monitoring tools in and around their protected areas, as a support for REDD+ and biodiversity conservation actions. Considering the limited accessibility of these sites, remote sensing should become a key component of such monitoring tools. This study is part of a project that aims at designing an operational protocol for the processing of high resolution time series for the monitoring of protected UNESCO WH sites including tropical forests. Worldwide, 12 of those 76 sites have been selected to test the new method, and a 20 km buffer region has been added to the official boundaries in order to account for potential external threats and leakages. In total, the study area was approximately 170 000 sq km, covered by SPOT and Landsat images around three epochs. The main focus of this study is on the forest change analysis in the South East Atlantic Forest WH site (12 000 sq km), which was accepted by UNESCO in 1999. The objective was to assess forest changes between 1990, 2000 and 2010 to see if the protected area status had an impact on the land cover dynamic in and around the site. A semi-automated change detection method was therefore designed. After state-of-the-art pre-processing of the SPOT and Landsat scenes, a Geographic Object-Based Image Analysis was designed for the change detection. This analysis includes three steps : i) to build spatio-temporal image regions, ii) to detect statistical outliers and iii) to classify the outliers in no change, deforestation, afforestation or forest degradation. The first step consisted in the comparison between a multi-temporal image segmentation and a set of three linked single-date segmentations. The main challenge in this case was to build consistent analysis units through time, which could accommodate for small mis-registration errors. The second step compares two methods of automated detection of outliers in the map. These two methods are based

  11. Nutrient addition effects on tropical dry forests: a mini-review from microbial to ecosystem scales

    Science.gov (United States)

    Powers, Jennifer; Becklund, Kristen; Gei, Maria; Iyengar, Siddarth; Meyer, Rebecca; O'Connell, Christine; Schilling, Erik; Smith, Christina; Waring, Bonnie; Werden, Leland

    2015-06-01

    Humans have more than doubled inputs of reactive nitrogen globally and greatly accelerated the biogeochemical cycles of phosphorus and metals. However, the impacts of increased element mobility on tropical ecosystems remain poorly quantified, particularly for the vast tropical dry forest biome. Tropical dry forests are characterized by marked seasonality, relatively little precipitation, and high heterogeneity in plant functional diversity and soil chemistry. For these reasons, increased nutrient deposition may affect tropical dry forests differently than wet tropical or temperate forests. Here we review studies that investigated how nutrient availability affects ecosystem and community processes from the microsite to ecosystem scales in tropical dry forests. The effects of N and P addition on ecosystem carbon cycling and plant and microbial dynamics depend on forest successional stage, soil parent material and rainfall regime. Responses may depend on whether overall productivity is N- versus P-limited, although data to test this hypothesis are limited. These results highlight the many important gaps in our understanding of tropical dry forest responses to global change. Large-scale experiments are required to resolve these uncertainties.

  12. Nutrient addition effects on tropical dry forests: a mini-review from microbial to ecosystem scales

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jennifer S. Powers

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available Humans have more than doubled inputs of reactive nitrogen globally and greatly accelerated the biogeochemical cycles of phosphorus and metals. However, the impacts of increased element mobility on tropical ecosystems remain poorly quantified, particularly for the vast tropical dry forest biome. Tropical dry forests are characterized by marked seasonality, relatively little precipitation, and high heterogeneity in plant functional diversity and soil chemistry. For these reasons, increased nutrient deposition may affect tropical dry forests differently than wet tropical or temperate forests. Here we review studies that investigated how nutrient availability affects ecosystem and community processes from the microsite to ecosystem scales in tropical dry forests. The effects of N and P addition on ecosystem carbon cycling and plant and microbial dynamics depend on forest successional stage, soil parent material and rainfall regime. Responses may depend on whether overall productivity is N- versus P-limited, although data to test this hypothesis are limited. These results highlight the many important gaps in our understanding of tropical dry forest responses to global change. Large-scale experiments are required to resolve these uncertainties.

  13. The deep human prehistory of global tropical forests and its relevance for modern conservation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roberts, Patrick; Hunt, Chris; Arroyo-Kalin, Manuel; Evans, Damian; Boivin, Nicole

    2017-08-03

    Significant human impacts on tropical forests have been considered the preserve of recent societies, linked to large-scale deforestation, extensive and intensive agriculture, resource mining, livestock grazing and urban settlement. Cumulative archaeological evidence now demonstrates, however, that Homo sapiens has actively manipulated tropical forest ecologies for at least 45,000 years. It is clear that these millennia of impacts need to be taken into account when studying and conserving tropical forest ecosystems today. Nevertheless, archaeology has so far provided only limited practical insight into contemporary human-tropical forest interactions. Here, we review significant archaeological evidence for the impacts of past hunter-gatherers, agriculturalists and urban settlements on global tropical forests. We compare the challenges faced, as well as the solutions adopted, by these groups with those confronting present-day societies, which also rely on tropical forests for a variety of ecosystem services. We emphasize archaeology's importance not only in promoting natural and cultural heritage in tropical forests, but also in taking an active role to inform modern conservation and policy-making.

  14. GPR para a verificação do nível d'água subterrânea em transição floresta amazônica e cerrado Ground Penetratin Radar (GPR water level monitoring study of a mature transitional tropical forest

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tânia Helena Marcelino

    2005-09-01

    Full Text Available Um estudo do monitoramento do nível de água foi realizado com medidas diretas e com Radar de Penetração no Solo (GPR em uma floresta tropical de transição para o cerrado. Três poços de monitoramento do nível de água foram instalados durante 2001/2002 em três locais diferentes: o primeiro em uma área de floresta permanente, outro em área de floresta manejada e outra em uma área de pasto. Os perfis de GPR mostram que o nível do topo do lençol freático aparece como um refletor horizontal forte em março e em agosto de 2002, e como um refletor fraco durante medidas em maio e outubro de 2001 com descontinuidades devido a diversas lentes de solo laterítico no solo. O topo do lençol de água é facilmente confundido com a presença de tais lentes. A umidade do solo teve uma influência nestes sinais da reflexão, mudando a constante dielétrica do solo. A profundidade do topo do lençol da água variou 1,8 m sob a floresta permanente, 0,9 m sob a floresta manejada e 3,7 m sob o pasto.A Ground Penetratin Radar (GPR water level monitoring study of a mature transitional tropical forest is presented. Three water tables monitoring wells were installed during 2001/2002 at three different sites: under permanent forest, under managed forest and pasture. The GPR profiles show that the water table appears as a strong horizontal reflector in March and August, 2002,and as a weak, discontinuous reflector during measurements in May and October 2001. Due to several laterite lenses in the soil, the water table can easily be mistaken in place of such lenses. Soil moisture had an influence on these reflection signals, changing the dielectric constant of soil. The depth of the water table varied 1.8 m under permanent forest, 0.9 m under management forest and 3.7 m under pasture.

  15. Atmospheric oxidation capacity sustained by a tropical forest.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lelieveld, J; Butler, T M; Crowley, J N; Dillon, T J; Fischer, H; Ganzeveld, L; Harder, H; Lawrence, M G; Martinez, M; Taraborrelli, D; Williams, J

    2008-04-10

    Terrestrial vegetation, especially tropical rain forest, releases vast quantities of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) to the atmosphere, which are removed by oxidation reactions and deposition of reaction products. The oxidation is mainly initiated by hydroxyl radicals (OH), primarily formed through the photodissociation of ozone. Previously it was thought that, in unpolluted air, biogenic VOCs deplete OH and reduce the atmospheric oxidation capacity. Conversely, in polluted air VOC oxidation leads to noxious oxidant build-up by the catalytic action of nitrogen oxides (NO(x) = NO + NO2). Here we report aircraft measurements of atmospheric trace gases performed over the pristine Amazon forest. Our data reveal unexpectedly high OH concentrations. We propose that natural VOC oxidation, notably of isoprene, recycles OH efficiently in low-NO(x) air through reactions of organic peroxy radicals. Computations with an atmospheric chemistry model and the results of laboratory experiments suggest that an OH recycling efficiency of 40-80 per cent in isoprene oxidation may be able to explain the high OH levels we observed in the field. Although further laboratory studies are necessary to explore the chemical mechanism responsible for OH recycling in more detail, our results demonstrate that the biosphere maintains a remarkable balance with the atmospheric environment.

  16. Microbial community shifts influence patterns in tropical forest nitrogen fixation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reed, Sasha C; Townsend, Alan R; Cleveland, Cory C; Nemergut, Diana R

    2010-10-01

    The role of biodiversity in ecosystem function receives substantial attention, yet despite the diversity and functional relevance of microorganisms, relationships between microbial community structure and ecosystem processes remain largely unknown. We used tropical rain forest fertilization plots to directly compare the relative abundance, composition and diversity of free-living nitrogen (N)-fixer communities to in situ leaf litter N fixation rates. N fixation rates varied greatly within the landscape, and 'hotspots' of high N fixation activity were observed in both control and phosphorus (P)-fertilized plots. Compared with zones of average activity, the N fixation 'hotspots' in unfertilized plots were characterized by marked differences in N-fixer community composition and had substantially higher overall diversity. P additions increased the efficiency of N-fixer communities, resulting in elevated rates of fixation per nifH gene. Furthermore, P fertilization increased N fixation rates and N-fixer abundance, eliminated a highly novel group of N-fixers, and increased N-fixer diversity. Yet the relationships between diversity and function were not simple, and coupling rate measurements to indicators of community structure revealed a biological dynamism not apparent from process measurements alone. Taken together, these data suggest that the rain forest litter layer maintains high N fixation rates and unique N-fixing organisms and that, as observed in plant community ecology, structural shifts in N-fixing communities may partially explain significant differences in system-scale N fixation rates.

  17. Shaping forest safety nets with markets: Adaptation to climate change under changing roles of tropical forests in Congo Basin

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Nkem, J.; Kalame, F.B.; Idinoba, M.; Somorin, O.A.; Ndoye, O.; Awono, A.

    2010-01-01

    Tropical forests hold several goods and services used by forest-dependent people as safety nets to traverse difficult periods of resource supply. These same goods and services are constantly surrounded by emerging markets linking remote communities with major urban centers nationally and internation

  18. Changes in forest structure and composition after fire in tropical montane cloud forests near the Andean treeline

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Oliveras Menor, I.; Malhi, Y.; Salinas, N.; Huaman, V.; Urquiaga-Flores, E.; Kala-Mamani, J.; Quintano-Loaiza, J.A.; Cuba-Torres, I.; Lizarraga-Morales, N.; Roman-Cuesta, R.M.

    2014-01-01

    Background: In tropical montane cloud forests (TMCFs) fires can be a frequent source of disturbance near the treeline. Aims: To identify how forest structure and tree species composition change in response to fire and to identify fire-tolerant species, and determine which traits or characteristics a

  19. Changes in forest structure and composition after fire in tropical montane cloud forests near the Andean treeline

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Oliveras Menor, I.; Malhi, Y.; Salinas, N.; Huaman, V.; Urquiaga-Flores, E.; Kala-Mamani, J.; Quintano-Loaiza, J.A.; Cuba-Torres, I.; Lizarraga-Morales, N.; Roman-Cuesta, R.M.

    2014-01-01

    Background: In tropical montane cloud forests (TMCFs) fires can be a frequent source of disturbance near the treeline. Aims: To identify how forest structure and tree species composition change in response to fire and to identify fire-tolerant species, and determine which traits or characteristics

  20. Wood and foliar respiration of tropical wet forest environment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Asao, S.; Bedoya Arrieta, R.; Ryan, M. G.

    2011-12-01

    Wood and foliar respiration from tropical forests constitute major components of ecosystem respiration that may control their productivity and carbon storage. However, few estimates on tropical forests vary greatly. Furthermore, the trees in these forests respire great amounts of carbon, but impacts of individual tree species on respiration is not well known. We examined wood and foliar respiration in this environment in relation to individual tree species. The objectives of this study were to: 1) identify how respiration rates relate to scaling variables for wood and foliage, 2) examine the effects of individual tree species on these relationships, 3) extrapolate the rates to the annual fluxes of the whole stands, and 4) determine if tree species differed in these fluxes. Established on an abandoned pasture in 1988 at La Selva Biological Station in Costa Rica, the monodominant stands contained four native species in a complete randomized block design. Respiration rates based on tissue surface area ranged among dominant tree species from 0.6 to 1.0 μg C m^-2 s^-1 for small diameter wood (<10cm), 1.0 to 1.8 μg C m^-2 s^-1 for large diameter wood, and 0.7 to 0.8 μg C m^-2 s^-1 for foliage. Understory species had similar wood respiration rates, but foliage respiration rates were about half of those for canopy leaves. Among surface area, volume, or biomass, respiration rates scaled best with surface area for wood with small diameter, volume or biomass for large diameter wood, and leaf area for foliage. These relationships differed slightly among tree species and between canopy trees and understory species. Foliar respiration rate was generally related to leaf nitrogen content, and this relationship differed among dominant tree species. Temperature response of foliar respiration also differed among tree species and canopy class. However, daily and annual temperature fluctuations had less than 3% effect on annual flux. Annual respiratory fluxes from wood and foliage

  1. Total carbon accumulation in a tropical forest landscape.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sierra, Carlos A; Del Valle, Jorge I; Restrepo, Hector I

    2012-12-19

    Regrowing tropical forests worldwide sequester important amounts of carbon and restore part of the C emissions emitted by deforestation. However, there are large uncertainties concerning the rates of carbon accumulation after the abandonment of agricultural and pasture land. We report here accumulation of total carbon stocks (TCS) in a chronosequence of secondary forests at a mid-elevation landscape (900-1200 m asl) in the Andean mountains of Colombia. We found positive accumulation rates for all ecosystem pools except soil carbon, which showed no significant trend of recovery after 36 years of secondary succession. We used these data to develop a simple model to predict accumulation of TCS over time. This model performed remarkably well predicting TCS at other chronosequences in the Americas (Root Mean Square Error < 40 Mg C ha-1), which provided an opportunity to explore different assumptions in the calculation of large-scale carbon budgets. Simulations of TCS with our empirical model were used to test three assumptions often made in carbon budgets: 1) the use of carbon accumulation in tree aboveground biomass as a surrogate for accumulation of TCS, 2) the implicit consideration of carbon legacies from previous land-use, and 3) the omission of landscape age in calculating accumulation rates of TCS. Our simulations showed that in many situations carbon can be released from regrowing secondary forests depending on the amount of carbon legacies and the average age of the landscape. In most cases, the rates used to predict carbon accumulation in the Americas were above the rates predicted in our simulations. These biome level rates seemed to be realistic only in landscapes not affected by carbon legacies from previous land-use and mean ages of around 10 years.

  2. Assessment of variations in taxonomic diversity, forest structure, and aboveground biomass using remote sensing along an altitudinal gradient in tropical montane forest of Costa Rica

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robinson, C. M.; Saatchi, S. S.; Clark, D.; Fricker, G. A.; Wolf, J.; Gillespie, T. W.; Rovzar, C. M.; Andelman, S.

    2012-12-01

    This research sought to understand how alpha and beta diversity of plants vary and relate to the three-dimensional vegetation structure and aboveground biomass along environmental gradients in the tropical montane forests of Braulio Carrillo National Park in Costa Rica. There is growing evidence that ecosystem structure plays an important role in defining patterns of species diversity and along with abiotic factors (climate and edaphic) control the phenotypic and functional variations across landscapes. It is well documented that strong subdivisions at local and regional scales are found mainly on geologic or climate gradients. These general determinants of biodiversity are best demonstrated in regions with natural gradients such as tropical montane forests. Altitudinal gradients provide a landscape scale changes through variations in topography, climate, and edaphic conditions on which we tested several theoretical and biological hypotheses regarding drivers of biodiversity. The study was performed by using forest inventory and botanical data from nine 1-ha plots ranging from 100 m to 2800 m above sea level and remote sensing data from airborne lidar and radar sensors to quantify variations in forest structure. In this study we report on the effectiveness of relating patterns of tree taxonomic alpha diversity to three-dimensional structure of a tropical montane forest using lidar and radar observations of forest structure and biomass. We assessed alpha and beta diversity at the species, genus, and family levels utilizing datasets provided by the Terrestrial Ecology Assessment and Monitoring (TEAM) Network. Through the comparison to active remote sensing imagery, our results show that there is a strong relationship between forest 3D-structure, and alpha and beta diversity controlled by variations in abiotic factors along the altitudinal gradient. Using spatial analysis with the aid of remote sensing data, we find distinct patterns along the environmental gradients

  3. Seeds, saplings and gaps: size matters. A study in the tropical rain forest of Guyana

    OpenAIRE

    Rose, S A

    2001-01-01

    Forest management for timber exploitation is dependent on the succesful regeneration of commercial timber species in gaps. This study evaluated the influence of gap size and seed mass on the processes of seedling recruitment, establishment, growth and survival in logged over and mature forest areas over four years (1996-1999) in the tropical rain forest in Guyana. It generates insight into the potential impacts of logging on forest species diversity, and indicates necessary management procedu...

  4. Riparian forest buffers mitigate the effects of deforestation on fish assemblages in tropical headwater streams.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lorion, Christopher M; Kennedy, Brian P

    2009-03-01

    Riparian forest buffers may play a critical role in moderating the impacts of deforestation on tropical stream ecosystems, but very few studies have examined the ecological effects of riparian buffers in the tropics. To test the hypothesis that riparian forest buffers can reduce the impacts of deforestation on tropical stream biota, we sampled fish assemblages in lowland headwater streams in southeastern Costa Rica representing three different treatments: (1) forested reference stream reaches, (2) stream reaches adjacent to pasture with a riparian forest buffer averaging at least 15 m in width on each bank, and (3) stream reaches adjacent to pasture without a riparian forest buffer. Land cover upstream from the study reaches was dominated by forest at all of the sites, allowing us to isolate the reach-scale effects of the three study treatments. Fish density was significantly higher in pasture reaches than in forest and forest buffer reaches, mostly due to an increase in herbivore-detritivores, but fish biomass did not differ among reach types. Fish species richness was also higher in pasture reaches than in forested reference reaches, while forest buffer reaches were intermediate. Overall, the taxonomic and trophic structure of fish assemblages in forest and forest buffer reaches was very similar, while assemblages in pasture reaches were quite distinct. These patterns were persistent across three sampling periods during our 15-month study. Differences in stream ecosystem conditions between pasture reaches and forested sites, including higher stream temperatures, reduced fruit and seed inputs, and a trend toward increased periphyton abundance, appeared to favor fish species normally found in larger streams and facilitate a native invasion process. Forest buffer reaches, in contrast, had stream temperatures and allochthonous inputs more similar to forested streams. Our results illustrate the importance of riparian areas to stream ecosystem integrity in the tropics

  5. Monitoring trees outside forests: a review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schnell, Sebastian; Kleinn, Christoph; Ståhl, Göran

    2015-09-01

    Trees outside forests (TOFs) are an important natural resource that contributes substantially to national biomass and carbon stocks and to the livelihood of people in many regions. Over the last decades, decision makers have become increasingly aware of the importance of TOF, and as a consequence, this tree resource is nowadays often considered in forest monitoring systems. Our review shows that in many cases, TOF are included in national forest inventories, applying traditional methodologies with relatively sparse networks of field sample plots. Only in some countries, such as India, the design of the inventories has considered the special features of how TOFs occur in the landscape. Several research studies utilising remote sensing for monitoring TOF have been conducted lately, but very few studies include comparative studies to optimise sampling strategies for TOF. Our review indicates that methods combining remote sensing and field surveys appear to be very promising, especially when remote sensing techniques that assess both the horizontal and vertical structures of tree resources are applied. For example, two-phase sampling strategies with laser scanning in the first phase and a field survey in the second phase appear to be effective for assessing TOF resources. However, TOFs often exhibit different characteristics than forest trees. Thus, to improve TOF monitoring, there is often a need to develop models, e.g. for biomass assessment, that are specifically adapted to this tree resource. Alternatively, field-based remote sensing methods that provide structural information about individual trees, notably terrestrial laser scanning, could be further developed for TOF monitoring applications. This also would have a potential to reduce the problem of accessing TOF during field surveys, which is a problem, for example, in countries where TOF are present on intensively utilised private grounds like gardens and agricultural fields.

  6. Forest fragmentation and selective logging have inconsistent effects on multiple animal-mediated ecosystem processes in a tropical forest.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Matthias Schleuning

    Full Text Available Forest fragmentation and selective logging are two main drivers of global environmental change and modify biodiversity and environmental conditions in many tropical forests. The consequences of these changes for the functioning of tropical forest ecosystems have rarely been explored in a comprehensive approach. In a Kenyan rainforest, we studied six animal-mediated ecosystem processes and recorded species richness and community composition of all animal taxa involved in these processes. We used linear models and a formal meta-analysis to test whether forest fragmentation and selective logging affected ecosystem processes and biodiversity and used structural equation models to disentangle direct from biodiversity-related indirect effects of human disturbance on multiple ecosystem processes. Fragmentation increased decomposition and reduced antbird predation, while selective logging consistently increased pollination, seed dispersal and army-ant raiding. Fragmentation modified species richness or community composition of five taxa, whereas selective logging did not affect any component of biodiversity. Changes in the abundance of functionally important species were related to lower predation by antbirds and higher decomposition rates in small forest fragments. The positive effects of selective logging on bee pollination, bird seed dispersal and army-ant raiding were direct, i.e. not related to changes in biodiversity, and were probably due to behavioural changes of these highly mobile animal taxa. We conclude that animal-mediated ecosystem processes respond in distinct ways to different types of human disturbance in Kakamega Forest. Our findings suggest that forest fragmentation affects ecosystem processes indirectly by changes in biodiversity, whereas selective logging influences processes directly by modifying local environmental conditions and resource distributions. The positive to neutral effects of selective logging on ecosystem processes

  7. Aerial Seeding: An Effective Forest Restoration Method in Highly Degraded Forest Landscapes of Sub-Tropic Regions

    OpenAIRE

    Xin Xiao; Xiaohua Wei; Yuanqiu Liu; Xunzhi Ouyang; Qinglin Li; Jinkui Ning

    2015-01-01

    Carbon stock is an important indicator of cumulative ecosystem productivity. Using this indicator, and based on field sampling data, this paper compared the long-term difference in carbon stocks between aerial seeding (AS) and natural regeneration (NR) forests of Pinus massoniana in sub-tropic forests, China, in order to assess the effectiveness of AS in a highly degraded forest landscape. The results showed that the carbon stocks of stems, branches, roots, and trees (including stems, branche...

  8. Fine-scale habitat structure complexity determines insectivorous bird diversity in a tropical forest

    Science.gov (United States)

    Castaño-Villa, Gabriel J.; Ramos-Valencia, Santiago A.; Fontúrbel, Francisco E.

    2014-11-01

    Habitat complexity in reforested stands has been acknowledged as a key factor that influences habitat use by birds, being especially critical for habitat disturbance-sensitive species such as tropical understory insectivorous birds. Most studies regarding the relationship between forest structure and species diversity were conducted at the landscape scale, but different diversity patterns may emerge at a finer scale (i.e., within a habitat patch). We examined a tropical reforested area (State of Caldas, Colombia), hypothesizing that insectivorous bird richness, abundance, and foraging guild abundance would increase as intra-habitat complexity increases. We established 40 monitoring plots within a reforested area, measured their structural features, and determined their relationships with species richness, total abundance, and foraging guild abundance, using Generalized Additive Models. We found that the increasing variation in basal area, stem diameter, and number of stems was positively correlated with species richness, total abundance, and foraging guild abundance. Relationships between richness or abundance and structural features were not lineal, but showing curvilinear responses and thresholds. Our results show that heterogeneity on basal area, stem diameter, and the number of stems was more correlated to insectivorous bird richness and abundance than the average of those structural features. Promoting structural variation on reforested areas by planting species with different growth rates may contribute to increase the richness and abundance of a tropical vulnerable group of species such as the understory insectivorous birds.

  9. Retention of available P in acid soils of tropical and subtropical evergreen broad-leaved forests

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    CHEN Jianhui; ZOU Xiaoming; YANG Xiaodong

    2007-01-01

    Precipitation of mineral phosphate is often recognized as a factor of limiting the availability of P in acidic soils of tropical and subtropical forests.For this paper,we studied the extractable P pools and their transformation rates in soils of a tropical evergreen forest at Xishuangbanna and a subtropical montane wet forest at the Ailao Mountains in order to understand the biogeochemical processes regulating P availability in acidic soils.The two forests differ in forest humus layer;it is deep in the Ailao forest while little is present in the Xishuangbanna forest.The extractable P pools by resin and sodium-bicarbonate decreased when soil organic carbon content was reduced.The lowest levels of extractable P pools occurred in the surface (0-10 era) mineral soils of the Xishuangbanna forest.However,microbial P in the mineral soil of the Xishuangbauna forest was twice that in the Ailao forest.Potential rates of microbial P immobilization were greater than those of organic P mineralization in mineral soils for both forests.We suggest that microbial P immobilization plays an essential role in avoiding mineral P precipitation and retaining available P of plant in tropical acidic soils,whereas both floor mass accumulation and microbial P immobilization function benefit retaining plant available P in subtropical montane wet forests.

  10. Carbon storage in tropical forests correlates with taxonomic diversity and functional dominance on global scales

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Cavanaugh, K.C.; Gosnell, S.; Davis, S.L.; Ahumada, J.; Boundja, P.; Clark, D.B.; Mugerwa, B.; Jansen, P.A.; O'Brien, T.G.; Rovero, F.; Sheil, D.; Vasquez, R.; Andelman, S.

    2014-01-01

    We examined (1) the relationships between aboveground tropical forest C storage, biodiversity and environmental drivers and (2) how these relationships inform theory concerning ecosystem function and biodiversity. Experiments have shown that there is a positive relationship between biodiversity and

  11. Emissions Of Forest Fires In The Amazon: Impact On The Tropical Mountain Forest In Ecuador

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fabian, P.; Rollenbeck, R.; Thiemens, M. H.; Brothers, L.

    2006-12-01

    Biomass burning is a source of carbon, sulphur, and nitrogen compounds which, along with their photochemically generated reaction products, can be transported over very large distances, even traversing oceans. Four years of regular rain and fog-water measurements in the tropical mountain forest at the eastern slopes of the Ecuadorian Andes, along an altitude profile between 1800 m and 3185 m, have been carried out. The ion composition of rain and fog-water samples shows frequent episodes of significantly enhanced nitrogen and sulphur, resulting in annual deposition rates of about 5 kg N/ha and 10 kg S/ha into this ecosystem, which are comparable to those of polluted central Europe. By relating back trajectories calculated by means of the FLEXTRA model to the distributions of satellite derived forest fire pixels, it can be shown that most episodes of enhanced ion concentration, with pH values as low as 4.0, can be attributed to biomass burning in the Amazon. First analyses of oxygen isotopes 16O, 17O, and 18O of nitrate in fogwater samples show mass independent fractionation values ranging between 15 and 20 per mille, clearly indicating that nitrate in the samples is a product of atmospheric conversion of precursors, while the isotope data of river samples taken downstream of the research area are grouped in the region of microbial nitrate. This strongly supports the aforementioned trajectory results and shows that the tropical mountain forest in Ecuador, with local pollution sources missing,is "fertilized" by long-range transport of substances originating from forest fires in Colombia, Venezuela, Brazil, and Peru, far upwind of the research site.

  12. Seed arrival in tropical forest tree fall gaps.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Puerta-Pińero, Carolina; Muller-Landau, Helene C; Calderón, Osvaldo; Wright, S Joseph

    2013-07-01

    Tree deaths open gaps in closed-canopy forests, which allow light to reach the forest floor and promote seed germination and seedling establishment. Gap dependence of regeneration is an important axis of life history variation among forest plant species, and many studies have evaluated how plant species differ in seedling and sapling performance in gaps. However, relatively little is known about how seed arrival in gaps compares with seed arrival in the understory, even though seed dispersal by wind and animals is expected to be altered in gaps. We documented seed arrival for the first seven years after gap formation in the moist tropical forests of Barro Colorado Island (BCI), Panama, and evaluated how the amount and functional composition of arriving seeds compared with understory sites. On average, in the first three years after gap formation, 72% fewer seeds arrived in gaps than in the understory (207 vs. 740 seeds x m(-2) x yr(-1)). The reduction in number of arriving seeds fell disproportionately on animal-dispersed species, which suffered an 86% reduction in total seed number, while wind-dispersed species experienced only a 47% reduction, and explosively dispersed species showed increased seed numbers arriving. The increase in explosively dispersed seeds consisted entirely of the seeds of several shrub species, a result consistent with greater in situ seed production by explosively dispersed shrubs that survived gap formation or recruited immediately thereafter. Lianas did relatively better in seed arrival into gaps than did trees, suffering less of a reduction in seed arrival compared with understory sites. This result could in large part be explained by the greater predominance of wind dispersal among lianas: there were no significant differences between lianas and trees when controlling for dispersal syndromes. Our results show that seed arrival in gaps is very different from seed arrival in the understory in both total seeds arriving and functional

  13. Forest health monitoring: national status, trends, and analysis 2016

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kevin M. Potter; Barbara L. Conkling

    2017-01-01

    The annual national report of the Forest Health Monitoring (FHM) Program of the Forest Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, presents forest health status and trends from a national or multi-State regional perspective using a variety of sources, introducesnew techniques for analyzing forest health data, and summarizes results of recently completed...

  14. Multiple successional pathways in human-modified tropical landscapes: new insights from forest succession, forest fragmentation and landscape ecology research.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arroyo-Rodríguez, Víctor; Melo, Felipe P L; Martínez-Ramos, Miguel; Bongers, Frans; Chazdon, Robin L; Meave, Jorge A; Norden, Natalia; Santos, Bráulio A; Leal, Inara R; Tabarelli, Marcelo

    2017-02-01

    Old-growth tropical forests are being extensively deforested and fragmented worldwide. Yet forest recovery through succession has led to an expansion of secondary forests in human-modified tropical landscapes (HMTLs). Secondary forests thus emerge as a potential repository for tropical biodiversity, and also as a source of essential ecosystem functions and services in HMTLs. Such critical roles are controversial, however, as they depend on successional, landscape and socio-economic dynamics, which can vary widely within and across landscapes and regions. Understanding the main drivers of successional pathways of disturbed tropical forests is critically needed for improving management, conservation, and restoration strategies. Here, we combine emerging knowledge from tropical forest succession, forest fragmentation and landscape ecology research to identify the main driving forces shaping successional pathways at different spatial scales. We also explore causal connections between land-use dynamics and the level of predictability of successional pathways, and examine potential implications of such connections to determine the importance of secondary forests for biodiversity conservation in HMTLs. We show that secondary succession (SS) in tropical landscapes is a multifactorial phenomenon affected by a myriad of forces operating at multiple spatio-temporal scales. SS is relatively fast and more predictable in recently modified landscapes and where well-preserved biodiversity-rich native forests are still present in the landscape. Yet the increasing variation in landscape spatial configuration and matrix heterogeneity in landscapes with intermediate levels of disturbance increases the uncertainty of successional pathways. In landscapes that have suffered extensive and intensive human disturbances, however, succession can be slow or arrested, with impoverished assemblages and reduced potential to deliver ecosystem functions and services. We conclude that: (i

  15. Forest dynamics, SILVI-STAR : a comprehensive monitoring system

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Koop, H.

    1989-01-01

    To learn about the interactions between individual trees and between trees and other forest organisms, long-term monitoring of spontaneous forest development is necessary. A complete monitoring system has been developed including a computer package for analysis of long-term forest dynamics

  16. Forest dynamics. Silvi-star: a comprehensive monitoring system.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Koop, H.

    1989-01-01

    To learn about the interactions between individual trees and between trees and other forest organisms, long-term monitoring of spontaneous forest development is necessary. A complete monitoring system has been developed including a computer package for analysis of long-term forest dynamics observati

  17. Functional nonredundancy of elephants in a disturbed tropical forest.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sekar, Nitin; Lee, Chia-Lo; Sukumar, Raman

    2017-10-01

    Conservation efforts are often motivated by the threat of global extinction. Yet if conservationists had more information suggesting that extirpation of individual species could lead to undesirable ecological effects, they might more frequently attempt to protect or restore such species across their ranges even if they were not globally endangered. Scientists have seldom measured or quantitatively predicted the functional consequences of species loss, even for large, extinction-prone species that theory suggests should be functionally unique. We measured the contribution of Asian elephants (Elephas maximus) to the dispersal of 3 large-fruited species in a disturbed tropical moist forest and predicted the extent to which alternative dispersers could compensate for elephants in their absence. We created an empirical probability model with data on frugivory and seed dispersal from Buxa Tiger Reserve, India. These data were used to estimate the proportion of seeds consumed by elephants and other frugivores that survive handling and density-dependent processes (Janzen-Connell effects and conspecific intradung competition) and germinate. Without compensation, the number of seeds dispersed and surviving density-dependent effects decreased 26% (Artocarpus chaplasha), 42% (Careya arborea), and 72% (Dillenia indica) when elephants were absent from the ecosystem. Compensatory fruit removal by other animals substantially ameliorated these losses. For instance, reductions in successful dispersal of D. indica were as low as 23% when gaur (Bos gaurus) persisted, but median dispersal distance still declined from 30% (C. arborea) to 90% (A. chaplasha) without elephants. Our results support the theory that the largest animal species in an ecosystem have nonredundant ecological functionality and that their extirpation is likely to lead to the deterioration of ecosystem processes such as seed dispersal. This effect is likely accentuated by the overall defaunation of many tropical

  18. Identifying priority areas for conservation and management in diverse tropical forests.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Karel Mokany

    Full Text Available The high concentration of the world's species in tropical forests endows these systems with particular importance for retaining global biodiversity, yet it also presents significant challenges for ecology and conservation science. The vast number of rare and yet to be discovered species restricts the applicability of species-level modelling for tropical forests, while the capacity of community classification approaches to identify priorities for conservation and management is also limited. Here we assessed the degree to which macroecological modelling can overcome shortfalls in our knowledge of biodiversity in tropical forests and help identify priority areas for their conservation and management. We used 527 plant community survey plots in the Australian Wet Tropics to generate models and predictions of species richness, compositional dissimilarity, and community composition for all the 4,313 vascular plant species recorded across the region (>1.3 million communities (grid cells. We then applied these predictions to identify areas of tropical forest likely to contain the greatest concentration of species, rare species, endemic species and primitive angiosperm families. Synthesising these alternative attributes of diversity into a single index of conservation value, we identified two areas within the Australian wet tropics that should be a high priority for future conservation actions: the Atherton Tablelands and Daintree rainforest. Our findings demonstrate the value of macroecological modelling in identifying priority areas for conservation and management actions within highly diverse systems, such as tropical forests.

  19. Identifying priority areas for conservation and management in diverse tropical forests.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mokany, Karel; Westcott, David A; Prasad, Soumya; Ford, Andrew J; Metcalfe, Daniel J

    2014-01-01

    The high concentration of the world's species in tropical forests endows these systems with particular importance for retaining global biodiversity, yet it also presents significant challenges for ecology and conservation science. The vast number of rare and yet to be discovered species restricts the applicability of species-level modelling for tropical forests, while the capacity of community classification approaches to identify priorities for conservation and management is also limited. Here we assessed the degree to which macroecological modelling can overcome shortfalls in our knowledge of biodiversity in tropical forests and help identify priority areas for their conservation and management. We used 527 plant community survey plots in the Australian Wet Tropics to generate models and predictions of species richness, compositional dissimilarity, and community composition for all the 4,313 vascular plant species recorded across the region (>1.3 million communities (grid cells)). We then applied these predictions to identify areas of tropical forest likely to contain the greatest concentration of species, rare species, endemic species and primitive angiosperm families. Synthesising these alternative attributes of diversity into a single index of conservation value, we identified two areas within the Australian wet tropics that should be a high priority for future conservation actions: the Atherton Tablelands and Daintree rainforest. Our findings demonstrate the value of macroecological modelling in identifying priority areas for conservation and management actions within highly diverse systems, such as tropical forests.

  20. Restoring tropical forests on bauxite mined lands: lessons from the Brazilian Amazon

    Science.gov (United States)

    John A. Parrotta; Oliver H. Knowles

    2001-01-01

    Restoring self-sustaining tropical forest ecosystems on surface mined sites is a formidable challenge that requires the integration of proven reclamation techniques and reforestation strategies appropriate to specific site conditions, including landscape biodiversity patterns. Restorationists working in most tropical settings are usually hampered by lack of basic...

  1. Succesional change and resilience of a very dry tropical deciduous forest following shifting agriculture

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Lebrija Trejos, E.E.; Bongers, F.J.J.M.; Pérez-García, E.; Meave, J.

    2008-01-01

    We analyzed successional patterns in a very dry tropical deciduous forest by using 15 plots differing in age after abandonment and contrasted them to secondary successions elsewhere in the tropics. We used multivariate ordination and nonlinear models to examine changes in composition and structure a

  2. Selective logging and fire as drivers of alien grass invasion in a Bolivian tropical dry forest

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Veldman, J.W.; Mostacedo, B.; Peña-Claros, M.; Putz, F.E.

    2009-01-01

    Logging is an integral component of most conceptual models that relate human land-use and climate change to tropical deforestation via positive-feedbacks involving fire. Given that grass invasions can substantially alter fire regimes, we studied grass distributions in a tropical dry forest 1-5 yr af

  3. The role of animal seed dispersal in accelerating native forest regeneration on degraded tropical lands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    J.M. Wunderle Jr.

    1997-01-01

    this paper reviews the characteristicas of animal seed dispersal. relevant to tropical forest restoration efforts and discusses their managment implication. In many tropical regions seed dispersal by animals is the predominant form of dissemination of propagules and has a potential to facilitate recolonization of native vegetation on degraded sites.

  4. Variation in photosynthetic light-use efficiency in a mountainous tropical rain forest in Indonesia

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ibrom, Andreas; Oltchev, A.; June, T.

    2008-01-01

    in remote tropical areas. We used a 16-month continuous CO2 flux and meteorological dataset from a mountainous tropical rain forest in central Sulawesi, Indonesia to derive values of epsilon(Pg). and to investigate the relationship between P-g and Q(abs). Absorption was estimated with a 1D SVAT model from...

  5. Spatial heterogeneity can resolve the nitrogen paradox of tropical forests.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Menge, Duncan N L; Levin, Simon A

    2017-01-10

    Many tropical forests are characterized by large losses of plant-available forms of nitrogen (N), indicating that they are N-rich, and by an abundance of plants capable of symbiotic N fixation. These N-fixing plants can fix enough N to drive N-richness. However, biological N fixation (BNF) is more expensive than using plant-available N, so sustained BNF in N-rich soils appears to be a paradox. Here, we use spatially explicit ecosystem models to analyze the conditions under which spatial heterogeneity can induce simultaneous BNF and loss of plant-available N (hereafter, we call this combination "N-rich BNF"). Spatial movement of litter to neighboring plants' rooting zones can maintain N-rich BNF under a variety of conditions. For example, when N-fixers have higher N demand than non-fixers, N-fixers export N-rich litter to non-fixers, inducing large losses of plant-available N from the ecosystem, and receive N-poor litter from non-fixers, inducing BNF. BNF and N loss fluxes increase in proportion to the ratio of N-fixer litter N:P to non-fixer litter N:P, and also in proportion to the fraction of litter transferred out of a tree's rooting zone. Stoichiometric variability augments N-rich BNF, as does increasing the fraction of the landscape occupied by N-fixers, at least when they are rare. On the contrary, greater root overlap between neighbors and clumping of N-fixers diminish N-rich BNF. Finally, we examined how spatial litter transfer interacts with another mechanism that can sustain N-rich BNF, incomplete down-regulation of BNF. Spatial transfer and incomplete down-regulation can both sustain N-rich BNF, but they are compensatory rather than additive. These mechanisms can be distinguished by examining where N losses occur. Incomplete down-regulation of BNF leads to greater N loss under N-fixing trees, whereas spatial litter transfer leads to greater N loss under non-fixing trees. Along with time lags in regulating BNF, these results comprise a series of

  6. Climate seasonality limits leaf carbon assimilation and wood productivity in tropical forests

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wagner, Fabien H.; Hérault, Bruno; Bonal, Damien; Stahl, Clément; Anderson, Liana O.; Baker, Timothy R.; Becker, Gabriel Sebastian; Beeckman, Hans; Boanerges Souza, Danilo; Botosso, Paulo Cesar; Bowman, David M. J. S.; Bräuning, Achim; Brede, Benjamin; Irving Brown, Foster; Julio Camarero, Jesus; Barbosa Camargo, Plínio; Cardoso, Fernanda C. G.; Alvim Carvalho, Fabrício; Castro, Wendeson; Koloski Chagas, Rubens; Chave, Jérome; Chidumayo, Emmanuel N.; Clark, Deborah A.; Capellotto Costa, Flavia Regina; Couralet, Camille; Henrique da Silva Mauricio, Paulo; Dalitz, Helmut; Resende de Castro, Vinicius; Eloisa de Freitas Milani, Jaçanan; Consuelo de Oliveira, Edilson; de Souza Arruda, Luciano; Devineau, Jean-Louis; Drew, David M.; Dünisch, Oliver; Durigan, Giselda; Elifuraha, Elisha; Fedele, Marcio; Ferreira Fedele, Ligia; Figueiredo Filho, Afonso; Guimarães Finger, César Augusto; César Franco, Augusto; Lima Freitas Júnior, João; Galvão, Franklin; Gebrekirstos, Aster; Gliniars, Robert; Maurício Lima de Alencastro Graça, Paulo; Griffiths, Anthony D.; Grogan, James; Guan, Kaiyu; Homeier, Jürgen; Raquel Kanieski, Maria; Khoon Kho, Lip; Koenig, Jennifer; Valerio Kohler, Sintia; Krepkowski, Julia; Pires Lemos-Filho, José; Lieberman, Diana; Lieberman, Milton Eugene; Lisi, Claudio Sergio; Longhi Santos, Tomaz; López Ayala, José Luis; Eijji Maeda, Eduardo; Malhi, Yadvinder; Maria, Vivian R. B.; Marques, Marcia C. M.; Marques, Renato; Maza Chamba, Hector; Mbwambo, Lawrence; Liana Lisboa Melgaço, Karina; Mendivelso, Hooz Angela; Murphy, Brett P.; O'Brien, Joseph J.; Oberbauer, Steven F.; Okada, Naoki; Pélissier, Raphaël; Prior, Lynda D.; Alejandro Roig, Fidel; Ross, Michael; Rodrigo Rossatto, Davi; Rossi, Vivien; Rowland, Lucy; Rutishauser, Ervan; Santana, Hellen; Schulze, Mark; Selhorst, Diogo; Rodrigues Silva, Williamar; Silveira, Marcos; Spannl, Susanne; Swaine, Michael D.; Julio Toledo, José; Toledo, Marcos Miranda; Toledo, Marisol; Toma, Takeshi; Tomazello Filho, Mario; Valdez Hernández, Juan Ignacio; Verbesselt, Jan; Aparecida Vieira, Simone; Vincent, Grégoire; Volkmer de Castilho, Carolina; Volland, Franziska; Worbes, Martin; Bolzan Zanon, Magda Lea; Aragão, Luiz E. O. C.

    2016-04-01

    The seasonal climate drivers of the carbon cycle in tropical forests remain poorly known, although these forests account for more carbon assimilation and storage than any other terrestrial ecosystem. Based on a unique combination of seasonal pan-tropical data sets from 89 experimental sites (68 include aboveground wood productivity measurements and 35 litter productivity measurements), their associated canopy photosynthetic capacity (enhanced vegetation index, EVI) and climate, we ask how carbon assimilation and aboveground allocation are related to climate seasonality in tropical forests and how they interact in the seasonal carbon cycle. We found that canopy photosynthetic capacity seasonality responds positively to precipitation when rainfall is < 2000 mm yr-1 (water-limited forests) and to radiation otherwise (light-limited forests). On the other hand, independent of climate limitations, wood productivity and litterfall are driven by seasonal variation in precipitation and evapotranspiration, respectively. Consequently, light-limited forests present an asynchronism between canopy photosynthetic capacity and wood productivity. First-order control by precipitation likely indicates a decrease in tropical forest productivity in a drier climate in water-limited forest, and in current light-limited forest with future rainfall < 2000 mm yr-1.

  7. Towards ground-truthing of spaceborne estimates of above-ground life biomass and leaf area index in tropical rain forests

    OpenAIRE

    Köhler, P.; Huth, A.

    2010-01-01

    The canopy height h of forests is a key variable which can be obtained using air- or spaceborne remote sensing techniques such as radar interferometry or LIDAR. If new allometric relationships between canopy height and the biomass stored in the vegetation can be established this would offer the possibility for a global monitoring of the above-ground carbon content on land. In the absence of adequate field data we use simulation results of a tropical rain forest growth model...

  8. Aerial monitoring and measurement of forest fires

    Science.gov (United States)

    Merino, Luis; Gomez-Rodriguez, Francisco; Arrue, Begona C.; Ollero, Anibal

    2002-07-01

    This paper presents a system for forest fire monitoring using aerial images. The system uses the images taken from a helicopter, the GPS position of the helicopter, and information from a Geographic Information System (GIS) to locate the fire and to estimate in real-time their properties. Currently, the images are taken by a non-stabilized camera. Then, image processing for image stabilization and movement estimation is applied to cancel the vibration and to estimate the change in the camera orientation. Another image processing stage is the computation of the fire front and flame height features in the images. This process is based on color processing and thresholding, followed by contour computation. Finally, the fire front is automatically geo-located by projecting the features over the terrain model obtained from the GIS. Furthermore, an estimation of the flame height is obtained. The aerial image processing, automatic georeferencing and measurement has been integrated in a forest fire fire monitoring system in which several moving or fixed visual and infrared cameras can be used. The system provides in real-time the evolution of the fire-front and the flame height, and obtains a 3D perception model of the fire. The paper shows some results obtained with the application with images taken in real forest-fire experiments, in the framework of the INFLAME project funded by the European Commission.

  9. Assessing the influence of return density on estimation of lidar-based aboveground biomass in tropical peat swamp forests of Kalimantan, Indonesia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Solichin Manuri; Hans-Erik Andersen; Robert J. McGaughey; Cris Brack

    2017-01-01

    The airborne lidar system (ALS) provides a means to efficiently monitor the status of remote tropical forests and continues to be the subject of intense evaluation. However, the cost of ALS acquisition canvary significantly depending on the acquisition parameters, particularly the return density (i.e., spatial resolution) of the lidar point cloud. This study assessed...

  10. Impacts of hunting on tropical forests in Southeast Asia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harrison, Rhett D; Sreekar, Rachakonda; Brodie, Jedediah F; Brook, Sarah; Luskin, Matthew; O'Kelly, Hannah; Rao, Madhu; Scheffers, Brett; Velho, Nandini

    2016-10-01

    Although deforestation and forest degradation have long been considered the most significant threats to tropical biodiversity, across Southeast Asia (Northeast India, Indochina, Sundaland, Philippines) substantial areas of natural habitat have few wild animals (>1 kg), bar a few hunting-tolerant species. To document hunting impacts on vertebrate populations regionally, we conducted an extensive literature review, including papers in local journals and reports of governmental and nongovernmental agencies. Evidence from multiple sites indicated animal populations declined precipitously across the region since approximately 1980, and many species are now extirpated from substantial portions of their former ranges. Hunting is by far the greatest immediate threat to the survival of most of the region's endangered vertebrates. Causes of recent overhunting include improved access to forests and markets, improved hunting technology, and escalating demand for wild meat, wildlife-derived medicinal products, and wild animals as pets. Although hunters often take common species, such as pigs or rats, for their own consumption, they take rarer species opportunistically and sell surplus meat and commercially valuable products. There is also widespread targeted hunting of high-value species. Consequently, as currently practiced, hunting cannot be considered sustainable anywhere in the region, and in most places enforcement of protected-area and protected-species legislation is weak. The international community's focus on cross-border trade fails to address overexploitation of wildlife because hunting and the sale of wild meat is largely a local issue and most of the harvest is consumed in villages, rural towns, and nearby cities. In addition to improved enforcement, efforts to engage hunters and manage wildlife populations through sustainable hunting practices are urgently needed. Unless there is a step change in efforts to reduce wildlife exploitation to sustainable levels, the

  11. Land use changes and GHG emissions from tropical forest conversion by oil palm plantations in Riau Province, Indonesia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ramdani, Fatwa; Hino, Masateru

    2013-01-01

    Increasing prices and demand for biofuel and cooking oil from importer countries have caused a remarkable expansion of oil palm plantations in Indonesia. In this paper, we attempt to monitor the expansion of oil palm plantations on peat land and in tropical forests. We measure the GHG emissions from the land conversion activities at provincial scale. Using Landsat images from three different periods (1990s, 2000s and 2012), we classified LULC of the Riau Province, which is the largest oil palm producing region in Indonesia. A hybrid method of integration, generated by combining automatic processing and manual analysis, yields the best results. We found that the tropical rainforest cover decreased from ∼63% in the 1990s to ∼37% in the 2000s. By 2012, the remaining tropical rainforest cover was only ∼22%. From the 1990s to the 2000s, conversion of forests and peat lands was the primary source of emissions, total CO2 emitted to the atmosphere was estimated at ∼26.6 million tCO2.y(-1), with 40.62% and 59.38% of the emissions from conversion of peat lands and forests, respectively. Between 2000 and 2012, the total CO2 emitted to the atmosphere was estimated at ∼5.2 million tCO2. y(-1), with 69.94% and 27.62% of the emissions from converted peat lands and converted forests, respectively. The results show that in the Riau Province, the oil palm industry boomed in the period from 1990 to 2000, with transformation of tropical forest and peat land as the primary source of emissions. The decrease of CO2 emissions in the period from 2000 to 2012 is possibly due to the enforcement of a moratorium on deforestation.

  12. Short and Long-Term Soil Moisture Effects of Liana Removal in a Seasonally Moist Tropical Forest.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joseph Pignatello Reid

    Full Text Available Lianas (woody vines are particularly abundant in tropical forests, and their abundance is increasing in the neotropics. Lianas can compete intensely with trees for above- and belowground resources, including water. As tropical forests experience longer and more intense dry seasons, competition for water is likely to intensify. However, we lack an understanding of how liana abundance affects soil moisture and hence competition with trees for water in tropical forests. To address this critical knowledge gap, we conducted a large-scale liana removal experiment in a seasonal tropical moist forest in central Panama. We monitored shallow and deep soil moisture over the course of three years to assess the effects of lianas in eight 0.64 ha removal plots and eight control plots. Liana removal caused short-term effects in surface soils. Surface soils (10 cm depth in removal plots dried more slowly during dry periods and accumulated water more slowly after rainfall events. These effects disappeared within four months of the removal treatment. In deeper soils (40 cm depth, liana removal resulted in a multi-year trend towards 5-25% higher soil moisture during the dry seasons with the largest significant effects occurring in the dry season of the third year following treatment. Liana removal did not affect surface soil temperature. Multiple and mutually occurring mechanisms may be responsible for the effects of liana removal on soil moisture, including competition with trees, and altered microclimate, and soil structure. These results indicate that lianas influence hydrologic processes, which may affect tree community dynamics and forest carbon cycling.

  13. Land use changes and GHG emissions from tropical forest conversion by oil palm plantations in Riau Province, Indonesia.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fatwa Ramdani

    Full Text Available Increasing prices and demand for biofuel and cooking oil from importer countries have caused a remarkable expansion of oil palm plantations in Indonesia. In this paper, we attempt to monitor the expansion of oil palm plantations on peat land and in tropical forests. We measure the GHG emissions from the land conversion activities at provincial scale. Using Landsat images from three different periods (1990s, 2000s and 2012, we classified LULC of the Riau Province, which is the largest oil palm producing region in Indonesia. A hybrid method of integration, generated by combining automatic processing and manual analysis, yields the best results. We found that the tropical rainforest cover decreased from ∼63% in the 1990s to ∼37% in the 2000s. By 2012, the remaining tropical rainforest cover was only ∼22%. From the 1990s to the 2000s, conversion of forests and peat lands was the primary source of emissions, total CO2 emitted to the atmosphere was estimated at ∼26.6 million tCO2.y(-1, with 40.62% and 59.38% of the emissions from conversion of peat lands and forests, respectively. Between 2000 and 2012, the total CO2 emitted to the atmosphere was estimated at ∼5.2 million tCO2. y(-1, with 69.94% and 27.62% of the emissions from converted peat lands and converted forests, respectively. The results show that in the Riau Province, the oil palm industry boomed in the period from 1990 to 2000, with transformation of tropical forest and peat land as the primary source of emissions. The decrease of CO2 emissions in the period from 2000 to 2012 is possibly due to the enforcement of a moratorium on deforestation.

  14. Proceedings from a workshop on Sustainable forest management in tropical forests of Guyana

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hagner, Mats [ed.] [Swedish Univ. of Agricultural Sciences, Umeaa (Sweden). Dept. of Silviculture; Maluenda, J. [ed.] [ORGUT Consulting AB, Stockholm (Sweden)

    1998-12-31

    Guyana officials were certain that an efficient forest management could yield economic benefits to the country, while still allowing for the sustainability of its forest resources. Standards will be set in a Code of Practice (COP). Lectures, presented in the proceeding, were mixed with group discussions and finally the 26 participants gave their written view of `What has to be done in Guyana and by whom?`. Amerindians wanted their own foresters should be recruited to oversee the activities on their own land. Bushmilling need to be controlled but not banned. Monitoring timber products and control of hunting should be stricter. COP should set standards for the residual stand. Environmental Protection Agency wanted more research and training, with aim of self-monitoring capability for forest users. Forest Products Association recommended government to co-operate for refinement of: training, mapping of resources, harvesting plans, concession agreements, road building, and bushmilling. Forestry Commission wanted concession allocation procedures to be reviewed: zonation of chainsaw activities, protection of small-scale operators, management plans. COP should be revised and tested in practice. Suggestion about standards for residual stand should be considered. ORGUT Lecturers recommended a standard for residual stand, a vertical and horizontal spot density measure. Based on that the concession holder could harvest what, where and when be preferred and chose the most efficient technique

  15. Survival and distribution of Vibrio cholerae in a tropical rain forest stream

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Perez-Rosas, N. [Univ. of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras (Puerto Rico). Microbial Ecology Lab.; Hazen, T.C. [E.I. DuPont de Nemours and Co., Aiken, SC (United States). Savannah River Lab.

    1988-12-31

    For 12 months Vibrio cholerae and fecal coliforms were monitored along with 9 other water quality parameters at 12 sites in a rain forest watershed in Puerto Rico. Densities of V. cholerae and fecal coliforms were not significantly correlated even though the highest densities of both bacteria were found at a sewage outfall. High densities of V. cholerae were also found at pristine sites high in the watershed. V. cholerae and Escherichia coli were inoculated into membrane diffusion chambers, placed at two sites and monitored for 5 days on two different occasions. Two different direct count methods indicated that the density of E. coli and V. cholerae did not change significantly during the course of either study. Physiological activity, as measured by INT-reduction and relative nucleic acid composition declined for E. coli during the first 12 h then increased and remained variable during the remainder of the study. V. cholerae activity, as measured by relative nucleic acid concentrations, remained high and unchanged for the entire study. INT-reduction in V. cholerae declined initially but regained nearly all of it`s original activity within 48 h. This study suggests that V. cholerae is an indigenous organism in tropical freshwaters and that assays other than fecal coliforms or E. coli must be used for assessing public health risk in tropical waters.

  16. Tropical forest hydrology and the role of the UNESCO International Hydrological Programme

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bonell, M.

    The paper outlines a perspective on tropical forest hydrology within the context of an international hydrological programme. Experience in tropical forest hydrology research in North East Australia is a focal point for comparison with international activities elsewhere. The impacts of climate variability and change are considered briefly, as well as those of reforestation of degraded land on the land use hydrology, which requires a longer term vision and support of long term experimental catchments. Sadly, too few long term experimental catchments have been maintained in the humid tropics and there have been some significant closures even of these sites in recent years. Yet the case for long-term experiments is strengthened by the problematic issue of separating anthropogenic influences (such as land use change) on the hydrology of landscapes from the effects of climate variability at a time of escalation in population and related socio-economic pressures in the humid tropics. Particular emphasis is made of the need for greater consideration for the social and cultural dimensions of forest management within forest hydrology. Furthermore, scientists must be committed to incorporating ‘societal needs' in their planning of research projects, as well as in publicizing the applications of their results, within the framework of forest-land-water policy. Alarm is expressed at the extensive disregard for the application of existing forest hydrology ‘know how' in forest-land management manipulations associated with the humid tropics.

  17. Soil nitrogen levels are linked to decomposition enzyme activities along an urban-remote tropical forest gradient

    Science.gov (United States)

    D. F. Cusack

    2013-01-01

    Urban areas in tropical regions are expanding rapidly, with significant potential to affect local ecosystem dynamics. In particular, nitrogen (N) availability may increase in urban-proximate forests because of atmospheric N deposition. Unlike temperate forests, many tropical forests on highly weathered soils have high background N availability, so plant growth is...

  18. Optimal Wavelength Selection on Hyperspectral Data with Fused Lasso for Biomass Estimation of Tropical Rain Forest

    Science.gov (United States)

    Takayama, T.; Iwasaki, A.

    2016-06-01

    Above-ground biomass prediction of tropical rain forest using remote sensing data is of paramount importance to continuous large-area forest monitoring. Hyperspectral data can provide rich spectral information for the biomass prediction; however, the prediction accuracy is affected by a small-sample-size problem, which widely exists as overfitting in using high dimensional data where the number of training samples is smaller than the dimensionality of the samples due to limitation of require time, cost, and human resources for field surveys. A common approach to addressing this problem is reducing the dimensionality of dataset. Also, acquired hyperspectral data usually have low signal-to-noise ratio due to a narrow bandwidth and local or global shifts of peaks due to instrumental instability or small differences in considering practical measurement conditions. In this work, we propose a methodology based on fused lasso regression that select optimal bands for the biomass prediction model with encouraging sparsity and grouping, which solves the small-sample-size problem by the dimensionality reduction from the sparsity and the noise and peak shift problem by the grouping. The prediction model provided higher accuracy with root-mean-square error (RMSE) of 66.16 t/ha in the cross-validation than other methods; multiple linear analysis, partial least squares regression, and lasso regression. Furthermore, fusion of spectral and spatial information derived from texture index increased the prediction accuracy with RMSE of 62.62 t/ha. This analysis proves efficiency of fused lasso and image texture in biomass estimation of tropical forests.

  19. OPTIMAL WAVELENGTH SELECTION ON HYPERSPECTRAL DATA WITH FUSED LASSO FOR BIOMASS ESTIMATION OF TROPICAL RAIN FOREST

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    T. Takayama

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available Above-ground biomass prediction of tropical rain forest using remote sensing data is of paramount importance to continuous large-area forest monitoring. Hyperspectral data can provide rich spectral information for the biomass prediction; however, the prediction accuracy is affected by a small-sample-size problem, which widely exists as overfitting in using high dimensional data where the number of training samples is smaller than the dimensionality of the samples due to limitation of require time, cost, and human resources for field surveys. A common approach to addressing this problem is reducing the dimensionality of dataset. Also, acquired hyperspectral data usually have low signal-to-noise ratio due to a narrow bandwidth and local or global shifts of peaks due to instrumental instability or small differences in considering practical measurement conditions. In this work, we propose a methodology based on fused lasso regression that select optimal bands for the biomass prediction model with encouraging sparsity and grouping, which solves the small-sample-size problem by the dimensionality reduction from the sparsity and the noise and peak shift problem by the grouping. The prediction model provided higher accuracy with root-mean-square error (RMSE of 66.16 t/ha in the cross-validation than other methods; multiple linear analysis, partial least squares regression, and lasso regression. Furthermore, fusion of spectral and spatial information derived from texture index increased the prediction accuracy with RMSE of 62.62 t/ha. This analysis proves efficiency of fused lasso and image texture in biomass estimation of tropical forests.

  20. Trends in nitrogen and phosphorus cycling are consistent and constrained during tropical secondary forest succession: is secondary forest young primary forest from a nutrient perspective?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sullivan, B. W.; Nasto, M.; Alvarez-Clare, S.; Cole, R. J.; Reed, S.; Chazdon, R.; Davidson, E. A.; Cleveland, C. C.

    2015-12-01

    Extensive deforestation of tropical rainforest often leads to agricultural abandonment and secondary forest regeneration. The land area of secondary rainforest is soon likely to exceed that of primary forest, highlighting the importance of secondary tropical rainforest in the global carbon (C) cycle. Secondary forests often grow rapidly, but the role soil nutrients play in regulating secondary forest productivity remains unsettled. Consistent with biogeochemical theory, a landmark study from a set of sites in the Amazon Basin showed that secondary forests had low nitrogen (N) availability and relatively higher phosphorus (P) availability immediately after abandonment, but that as succession proceeded, N availability "recuperated" and there was relatively less P available. To address whether such changes in N and P availability during secondary forest growth are common, we reviewed 38 studies in lowland tropical rainforest that reported changes in 23 different metrics of N and P cycling during secondary succession. We calculated slopes (rates of change) during secondary succession for each metric in each study, and analyzed patterns in these rates of change. Significant trends during secondary succession were more evident in soils than in plants, but in most cases, the variability among studies was surprisingly low. Both soil N and P availability increased through succession, at least in surface soil. Such consistent changes imply substantial biogeochemical resilience of tropical forest soils in spite of differing land use histories and species compositions among studies. In most cases, slopes were similar whether primary forest was included in, or excluded from, our analysis, suggesting that secondary succession eventually leads to similar biogeochemical conditions as those found in primary forest. Our results suggesting consistent changes in N and P availability during succession provide a biogeochemical rationale for the conservation and restoration value of

  1. Modeling multiple resource limitation in tropical dry forests

    Science.gov (United States)

    Medvigy, D.; Xu, X.; Zarakas, C.

    2015-12-01

    Tropical dry forests (TDFs) are characterized by a long dry season when little rain falls. At the same time, many neotropical soils are highly weathered and relatively nutrient poor. Because TDFs are often subject to both water and nutrient constraints, the question of how they will respond to environmental perturbations is both complex and highly interesting. Models, our basic tools for projecting ecosystem responses to global change, can be used to address this question. However, few models have been specifically parameterized for TDFs. Here, we present a new version of the Ecosystem Demography 2 (ED2) model that includes a new parameterization of TDFs. In particular, we focus on the model's framework for representing limitation by multiple resources (carbon, water, nitrogen, and phosphorus). Plant functional types are represented in terms of a dichotomy between "acquisitive" and "conservative" resource acquisition strategies. Depending on their resource acquisition strategy and basic stoichiometry, plants can dynamically adjust their allocation to organs (leaves, stem, roots), symbionts (e.g. N2-fixing bacteria), and mycorrhizal fungi. Several case studies are used to investigate how resource acquisition strategies affect ecosystem responses to environmental perturbations. Results are described in terms of the basic setting (e.g., rich vs. poor soils; longer vs. shorter dry season), and well as the type and magnitude of environmental perturbation (e.g., changes in precipitation or temperature; changes in nitrogen deposition). Implications for ecosystem structure and functioning are discussed.

  2. Coleoptera Associated with Decaying Wood in a Tropical Deciduous Forest.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muñoz-López, N Z; Andrés-Hernández, A R; Carrillo-Ruiz, H; Rivas-Arancibia, S P

    2016-08-01

    Coleoptera is the largest and diverse group of organisms, but few studies are dedicated to determine the diversity and feeding guilds of saproxylic Coleoptera. We demonstrate the diversity, abundance, feeding guilds, and succession process of Coleoptera associated with decaying wood in a tropical deciduous forest in the Mixteca Poblana, Mexico. Decaying wood was sampled and classified into four stages of decay, and the associated Coleoptera. The wood was identified according to their anatomy. Diversity was estimated using the Simpson index, while abundance was estimated using a Kruskal-Wallis test; the association of Coleoptera with wood species and decay was assessed using canonical correspondence analysis. Decay wood stage I is the most abundant (51%), followed by stage III (21%). We collected 93 Coleoptera belonging to 14 families, 41 genera, and 44 species. The family Cerambycidae was the most abundant, with 29% of individuals, followed by Tenebrionidae with 27% and Carabidae with 13%. We recognized six feeding guilds. The greatest diversity of Coleoptera was recorded in decaying Acacia farnesiana and Bursera linanoe. Kruskal-Wallis analysis indicated that the abundance of Coleoptera varied according to the species and stage of decay of the wood. The canonical analysis showed that the species and stage of decay of wood determined the composition and community structure of Coleoptera.

  3. Responses of soil fungi to logging and oil palm agriculture in Southeast Asian tropical forests.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McGuire, K L; D'Angelo, H; Brearley, F Q; Gedallovich, S M; Babar, N; Yang, N; Gillikin, C M; Gradoville, R; Bateman, C; Turner, B L; Mansor, P; Leff, J W; Fierer, N

    2015-05-01

    Human land use alters soil microbial composition and function in a variety of systems, although few comparable studies have been done in tropical forests and tropical agricultural production areas. Logging and the expansion of oil palm agriculture are two of the most significant drivers of tropical deforestation, and the latter is most prevalent in Southeast Asia. The aim of this study was to compare soil fungal communities from three sites in Malaysia that represent three of the most dominant land-use types in the Southeast Asia tropics: a primary forest, a regenerating forest that had been selectively logged 50 years previously, and a 25-year-old oil palm plantation. Soil cores were collected from three replicate plots at each site, and fungal communities were sequenced using the Illumina platform. Extracellular enzyme assays were assessed as a proxy for soil microbial function. We found that fungal communities were distinct across all sites, although fungal composition in the regenerating forest was more similar to the primary forest than either forest community was to the oil palm site. Ectomycorrhizal fungi, which are important associates of the dominant Dipterocarpaceae tree family in this region, were compositionally distinct across forests, but were nearly absent from oil palm soils. Extracellular enzyme assays indicated that the soil ecosystem in oil palm plantations experienced altered nutrient cycling dynamics, but there were few differences between regenerating and primary forest soils. Together, these results show that logging and the replacement of primary forest with oil palm plantations alter fungal community and function, although forests regenerating from logging had more similarities with primary forests in terms of fungal composition and nutrient cycling potential. Since oil palm agriculture is currently the mostly rapidly expanding equatorial crop and logging is pervasive across tropical ecosystems, these findings may have broad applicability.

  4. Timber and non-timber forest product extraction and management in the tropics: towards compatibility?

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Guariguata, M.R.; García-Fernández, C.; Nasi, R.; Sheil, D.; Herrero-Jáuregui, C.; Cronkleton, P.; Ndoye, O.; Ingram, V.; Shackleton, S.; Mitchell, D.; Shackleton, C.; Campbell, B.; Shanley, P.

    2009-01-01

    Tropical forests have the potential to satisfy multiple demands for goods and services. Yet integrated management approaches across multiple goods remain elusive. Here we consider selective harvesting of timber and non-timber forest product (NTFP) extraction. We analyze the current status of this

  5. Seasonal variation in soil and plant water potentials in a Bolivian tropical moist and dry forest

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Markesteijn, L.; Iraipi, J.; Bongers, F.; Poorter, L.

    2010-01-01

    We determined seasonal variation in soil matric potentials (¿soil) along a topographical gradient and with soil depth in a Bolivian tropical dry (1160 mm y-1 rain) and moist forest (1580 mm y-1). In each forest we analysed the effect of drought on predawn leaf water potentials (¿pd) and drought resp

  6. Does functional trait diversity predict aboveground biomass and productivity of tropical forests? Testing three alternative hypotheses

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Finegan, B.; Pena Claros, M.; Silva de Oliveira, A.; Ascarrunz, N.; Bret-Harte, M.S.; Carreño Rocabado, I.G.; Casanoves, F.; Diaz, S.; Eguiguren Velepucha, P.; Fernandez, F.; Licona, J.C.; Lorenzo, L.; Salgado Negret, B.; Vaz, M.; Poorter, L.

    2014-01-01

    1. Tropical forests are globally important, but it is not clear whether biodiversity enhances carbon storage and sequestration in them. We tested this relationship focusing on components of functional trait biodiversity as predictors. 2. Data are presented for three rain forests in Bolivia, Brazil a

  7. Does functional trait diversity predict aboveground biomass and productivity of tropical forests? Testing three alternative hypotheses

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Finegan, B.; Peña Claros, M.; Oliviera, de A.; Alarcón, A.; Ascarrunz, N.; Bret-Harte, M.S.; Carreño-Rocabado, G.; Casanoves, F.; Díaz, S.; Eguiguren Velepucha, P.; Fernandez, F.; Licona, J.C.; Lorenzo, L.; Salgado Negret, B.; Vaz, M.; Poorter, L.

    2015-01-01

    Tropical forests are globally important, but it is not clear whether biodiversity enhances carbon storage and sequestration in them. We tested this relationship focusing on components of functional trait biodiversity as predictors. Data are presented for three rain forests in Bolivia, Brazil and Cos

  8. Upland soil charcoal in the wet tropical forests of central Guyana

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hammond, D.S.; ter Steege, H.|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/075217120; van der Borg, K.|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/067895298

    2007-01-01

    A soil charcoal survey was undertaken across 60,000 ha of closed-canopy tropical forest in central Guyana to determine the occurrence, ubiquity, and age of past forest fires across a range of terra firme soil types. Samples were clustered around six centers consisting of spatially nested sample stat

  9. SPATIAL CONTAGIOUSNESS OF CANOPY DISTURBANCE IN TROPICAL RAIN FOREST : AN INDIVIDUAL-TREE-BASED TEST

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Jansen, Patrick A.; Van Der Meer, Peter J.; Bongers, Frans

    2008-01-01

    Spatial contagiousness of canopy dynamics-the tendency of canopy disturbances to occur nearby existing canopy openings due to an elevated risk of tree fall around gaps-has been demonstrated in many temperate-zone forests, but only inferentially for tropical forests. Hypothesized mechanisms increasin

  10. Pathways, mechanisms and predictability of vegetation change during tropical dry forest succession

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Lebrija Trejos, E.E.; Meave, J.; Poorter, L.; Pérez- García, E.A.; Bongers, F.

    2010-01-01

    The development of forest succession theory has been based on studies in temperate and tropical wet forests. As rates and pathways of succession vary with the environment, advances in successional theory and study approaches are challenged by controversies derived from such variation and by the scar

  11. Light-dependent leaf trait variation in 43 tropical dry forest tree species

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Markesteijn, L.; Poorter, L.; Bongers, F.J.J.M.

    2007-01-01

    Our understanding of leaf acclimation in relation to irradiance of fully grown or juvenile trees is mainly based on research involving tropical wet forest species. We studied sun¿shade plasticity of 24 leaf traits of 43 tree species in a Bolivian dry deciduous forest. Sampling was confined to small

  12. A multi-criterion index for the evaluation of local tropical forest conditions in Mexico

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ochoa-Gaona, S.; Kampichler, C.; Jong, de B.H.J.; Hernandez, S.; Geissen, V.; Huerta, E.

    2010-01-01

    Despite the ecological and economical importance of tropical forests they are currently affected by human activities, mainly through deforestation and selective extraction. With the aim of making an opportune diagnosis of the condition of forests, we developed an ecological index based on qualitativ

  13. Key role of symbiotic dinitrogen fixation in tropical forest secondary succession

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Batterman, S.A.; Hedin, L.O.; Breugel, van M.; Ransijn, J.; Craven, D.J.; Hall, J.S.

    2013-01-01

    Forests contribute a significant portion of the land carbon sink, but their ability to sequester CO2 may be constrained by nitrogen1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, a major plant-limiting nutrient. Many tropical forests possess tree species capable of fixing atmospheric dinitrogen (N2)7, but it is unclear whether t

  14. SPATIAL CONTAGIOUSNESS OF CANOPY DISTURBANCE IN TROPICAL RAIN FOREST : AN INDIVIDUAL-TREE-BASED TEST

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Jansen, Patrick A.; Van Der Meer, Peter J.; Bongers, Frans

    2008-01-01

    Spatial contagiousness of canopy dynamics-the tendency of canopy disturbances to occur nearby existing canopy openings due to an elevated risk of tree fall around gaps-has been demonstrated in many temperate-zone forests, but only inferentially for tropical forests. Hypothesized mechanisms increasin

  15. Centennial impacts of fragmentation on the canopy structure of tropical montane forest

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nicholas Vaughn; Greg Asner; Christian Giardina

    2014-01-01

    Fragmentation poses one of the greatest threats to tropical forests with short-term changes to the structure of forest canopies affecting microclimate, tree mortality, and growth. Yet the long-term effects of fragmentation are poorly understood because (1) most effects require many decades to materialize, but long-term studies are very rare, (2) the effects of edges on...

  16. Wildlife conservation in fragmented tropical forests: A case of South Garo Hills, Meghalaya, North East India

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ashish. Kumar; Bruce G. Marcot; Rohitkumar. Patel

    2017-01-01

    This volume presents findings on, and implications for, wildlife conservation in the tropical forests in Garo Hills of Meghalaya state in the North East India. A companion volume presented the findings on forest fragmentation due to practice of slash and burn agriculture in the region. Both of the volumes summarize work completed over more than a decade on...

  17. Estimating the opportunity costs of activities that cause degradation in tropical dry forest: Implications for REDD +

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Borrego, Armonia; Skutsch, Margaret

    2014-01-01

    The viability of national REDD + programs will depend in part on whether funds generated from sales of carbon credits are sufficient to cover the opportunity costs (OC) of forgone uses of the forest. We present the results of a study in which OC were estimated in dry tropical forest, in western Mexi

  18. Seasonally dependent iron limitation of nitrogen fixation in tropical forests of karst landscapes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Winbourne, J. B.; Brewer, S.; Houlton, B. Z.

    2015-12-01

    Limestone tropical forests in karst topography are one of the most poorly studied ecosystems on Earth, and has been substantially cleared by human activities throughout much of Central America. This ecosystem is noted for its high level of plant productivity, biomass, endemism and biological diversity compared to nearby neighboring tropical forests on volcanic rock substrates (Brewer et al. 2002). A question remains as to how limestone tropical forests are able to maintain the high nutrient demands of plant photosynthesis and tree biomass growth. Here, we demonstrate that rates of nitrogen (N) fixation are higher in limestone versus volcanic soil substrates, with direct evidence for the emergence of seasonally dependent iron limitation of N fixation in limestone tropical forest. N fixation rates showed a three-fold increase in response to iron additions, especially during the wet season when N demands of the forest trees are highest. In contrast, adjacent forests growing on the more classical acidic volcanic soils showed no response to iron or other nutrient additions. Biologically available pools of iron were exceedingly low in the limestone forest site, consistent with the complexation of iron under high pH conditions. Biological acquisition of iron, as measured by the concentration of iron chelating compounds (i.e. siderophores), provided additional evidence for iron limitation of microbial processes in limestone tropical forests, where concentrations were six times higher than those at the volcanic site. Our results suggest that the functioning of limestone tropical forest is strongly regulated by interactions between iron, soil pH, and N cycling.

  19. TanDEM-X data for aboveground biomass retrieval in a tropical peat swamp forest

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Schlund, Michael; Poncet, von Felicitas; Kuntz, Steffen; Schmullius, Christiane; Hoekman, D.H.

    2015-01-01

    Forests play an important role in the global carbon cycle as a carbon sink. Deforestation and degradation of forests lead to carbon emissions, which should be prevented or minimized by protecting forests. Radar remote sensing has proven to be particularly useful to monitor forests especially in t

  20. Tropical countries may be willing to pay more to protect their forests.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vincent, Jeffrey R; Carson, Richard T; DeShazo, J R; Schwabe, Kurt A; Ahmad, Ismariah; Chong, Siew Kook; Chang, Yii Tan; Potts, Matthew D

    2014-07-15

    Inadequate funding from developed countries has hampered international efforts to conserve biodiversity in tropical forests. We present two complementary research approaches that reveal a significant increase in public demand for conservation within tropical developing countries as those countries reach upper-middle-income (UMI) status. We highlight UMI tropical countries because they contain nearly four-fifths of tropical primary forests, which are rich in biodiversity and stored carbon. The first approach is a set of statistical analyses of various cross-country conservation indicators, which suggests that protective government policies have lagged behind the increase in public demand in these countries. The second approach is a case study from Malaysia, which reveals in a more integrated fashion the linkages from rising household income to increased household willingness to pay for conservation, nongovernmental organization activity, and delayed government action. Our findings suggest that domestic funding in UMI tropical countries can play a larger role in (i) closing the funding gap for tropical forest conservation, and (ii) paying for supplementary conservation actions linked to international payments for reduced greenhouse gas emissions from deforestation and forest degradation in tropical countries.

  1. Land cover change and remote sensing: Examples of quantifying spatiotemporal dynamics in tropical forests

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Krummel, J.R.; Su, Haiping [Argonne National Lab., IL (United States); Fox, J. [East-West Center, Honolulu, HI (United States); Yarnasan, S.; Ekasingh, M. [Chiang Mai Univ. (Thailand)

    1995-06-01

    Research on human impacts or natural processes that operate over broad geographic areas must explicitly address issues of scale and spatial heterogeneity. While the tropical forests of Southeast Asia and Mexico have been occupied and used to meet human needs for thousands of years, traditional forest management systems are currently being transformed by rapid and far-reaching demographic, political, economic, and environmental changes. The dynamics of population growth, migration into the remaining frontiers, and responses to national and international market forces result in a demand for land to produce food and fiber. These results illustrate some of the mechanisms that drive current land use changes, especially in the tropical forest frontiers. By linking the outcome of individual land use decisions and measures of landscape fragmentation and change, the aggregated results shows the hierarchy of temporal and spatial events that in summation result in global changes to the most complex and sensitive biome -- tropical forests. By quantifying the spatial and temporal patterns of tropical forest change, researchers can assist policy makers by showing how landscape systems in these tropical forests are controlled by physical, biological, social, and economic parameters.

  2. Developing synergy regression models with space-borne ALOS PALSAR and Landsat TM sensors for retrieving tropical forest biomass

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Suman Sinha; C Jeganathan; L K L K Sharma; M S Nathawat; Anup K Das; Shiv Mohan

    2016-06-01

    Forest stand biomass serves as an effective indicator for monitoring REDD (reducing emissions fromdeforestation and forest degradation). Optical remote sensing data have been widely used to derive forestbiophysical parameters inspite of their poor sensitivity towards the forest properties. Microwave remotesensing provides a better alternative owing to its inherent ability to penetrate the forest vegetation.This study aims at developing optimal regression models for retrieving forest above-ground bole biomass(AGBB) utilising optical data from Landsat TM and microwave data from L-band of ALOS PALSARdata over Indian subcontinental tropical deciduous mixed forests located in Munger (Bihar, India). Spatialbiomass models were developed. The results using Landsat TM showed poor correlation (R^2 =0.295and RMSE=35 t/ha) when compared to HH polarized L-band SAR (R^2 =0.868 and RMSE=16.06 t/ha).However, the prediction model performed even better when both the optical and SAR were used simultaneously(R^2 =0.892 and RMSE=14.08 t/ha). The addition of TM metrics has positively contributed inimproving PALSAR estimates of forest biomass. Hence, the study recommends the combined use of bothoptical and SAR sensors for better assessment of stand biomass with significant contribution towardsoperational forestry.

  3. A large-scale field assessment of carbon stocks in human-modified tropical forests.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berenguer, Erika; Ferreira, Joice; Gardner, Toby Alan; Aragão, Luiz Eduardo Oliveira Cruz; De Camargo, Plínio Barbosa; Cerri, Carlos Eduardo; Durigan, Mariana; Cosme De Oliveira Junior, Raimundo; Vieira, Ima Célia Guimarães; Barlow, Jos

    2014-12-01

    Tropical rainforests store enormous amounts of carbon, the protection of which represents a vital component of efforts to mitigate global climate change. Currently, tropical forest conservation, science, policies, and climate mitigation actions focus predominantly on reducing carbon emissions from deforestation alone. However, every year vast areas of the humid tropics are disturbed by selective logging, understory fires, and habitat fragmentation. There is an urgent need to understand the effect of such disturbances on carbon stocks, and how stocks in disturbed forests compare to those found in undisturbed primary forests as well as in regenerating secondary forests. Here, we present the results of the largest field study to date on the impacts of human disturbances on above and belowground carbon stocks in tropical forests. Live vegetation, the largest carbon pool, was extremely sensitive to disturbance: forests that experienced both selective logging and understory fires stored, on average, 40% less aboveground carbon than undisturbed forests and were structurally similar to secondary forests. Edge effects also played an important role in explaining variability in aboveground carbon stocks of disturbed forests. Results indicate a potential rapid recovery of the dead wood and litter carbon pools, while soil stocks (0-30 cm) appeared to be resistant to the effects of logging and fire. Carbon loss and subsequent emissions due to human disturbances remain largely unaccounted for in greenhouse gas inventories, but by comparing our estimates of depleted carbon stocks in disturbed forests with Brazilian government assessments of the total forest area annually disturbed in the Amazon, we show that these emissions could represent up to 40% of the carbon loss from deforestation in the region. We conclude that conservation programs aiming to ensure the long-term permanence of forest carbon stocks, such as REDD+, will remain limited in their success unless they effectively

  4. Phenology-Based Method for Mapping Tropical Evergreen Forests by Integrating of MODIS and Landsat Imagery

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Weili Kou

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Updated extent, area, and spatial distribution of tropical evergreen forests from inventory data provides valuable knowledge for research of the carbon cycle, biodiversity, and ecosystem services in tropical regions. However, acquiring these data in mountainous regions requires labor-intensive, often cost-prohibitive field protocols. Here, we report about validated methods to rapidly identify the spatial distribution of tropical forests, and obtain accurate extent estimates using phenology-based procedures that integrate the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS and Landsat imagery. Firstly, an analysis of temporal profiles of annual time-series MODIS Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI, Enhanced Vegetation Index (EVI, and Land Surface Water Index (LSWI was developed to identify the key phenology phase for extraction of tropical evergreen forests in five typical lands cover types. Secondly, identification signatures of tropical evergreen forests were selected and their related thresholds were calculated based on Landsat NDVI, EVI, and LSWI extracted from ground true samples of different land cover types during the key phenology phase. Finally, a map of tropical evergreen forests was created by a pixel-based thresholding. The developed methods were tested in Xishuangbanna, China, and the results show: (1 Integration of Landsat and MODIS images performs well in extracting evergreen forests in tropical complex mountainous regions. The overall accuracy of the resulting map of the case study was 92%; (2 Annual time series of high-temporal-resolution remote sensing images (MODIS can effectively be used for identification of the key phenology phase (between Julian Date 20 and 120 to extract tropical evergreen forested areas through analysis of NDVI, EVI, and LSWI of different land cover types; (3 NDVI and LSWI are two effective metrics (NDVI ≥ 0.670 and 0.447 ≥ LSWI ≥ 0.222 to depict evergreen forests from other land cover

  5. [Modified-habitat use by tropical forest-dependent birds in the Caribbean region of Guatemala].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cerezo, Alexis; Robbins, Chandler S; Dowell, Barbara

    2009-01-01

    Modified-habitat use by tropical forest-dependent birds in the Caribbean region of Guatemala. As natural areas are reduced into isolated remnants, the importance of secondary habitats for species conservation will increase. Consequently, the conservation value of human-modified or created secondary habitats must be determined. In this study, we evaluated the conservation potential of three habitats associated to cattle ranching (riparian forest, live fence, and pasture) for tropical forest birds in the Caribbean region of Guatemala. We studied the bird communities of five tropical forest and riparian forest (henceforth river) sites, three live fence sites and four pasture sites, in five cattle ranches in the region, and compared the four habitats based on the following parameters: species richness, number of individuals, species composition and an index of conservation importance. A 10-point series was sampled (six repetitions of each series) in each habitat site using the point-count method, in march and april of 1998 and 1999. Although forest, river and live fence had similar mean species numbers, considering all species (111, 96 and 94 species, respectively), and river and live fence surpassed the forest in mean number of individuals (80 and 72 compared to 56 individuals), river and live fence had significantly fewer mean numbers of interior-forest resident species and individuals (56, 21 and 15 species, and 61, 19 and eight individuals in forest, river and live fence, respectively). River and live fence, when compared to forest, had no significant differences in the number of resident forest-edge species and individuals, but their edge-species composition was significantly different from forest. Those resident edge species that were relatively abundant in forest had very low abundances in the modified habitats, and those that were abundant in river and live fence were rare or absent in forest sites. With respect to migratory species, both river and live fence

  6. Diversity and aboveground biomass of lianas in the tropical seasonal rain forests of Xishuangbanna, SW China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lü, Xiao-Tao; Tang, Jian-Wei; Feng, Zhi-Li; Li, Mai-He

    2009-01-01

    Lianas are important components of tropical forests and have significant impacts on the diversity, structure and dynamics of tropical forests. The present study documented the liana flora in a Chinese tropical region. Species richness, abundance, size-class distribution and spatial patterns of lianas were investigated in three 1-ha plots in tropical seasonal rain forests in Xishuangbanna, SW China. All lianas with > or = 2 cm diameter at breast height (dbh) were measured, tagged and identified. A total of 458 liana stems belonging to 95 species (ranging from 38 to 50 species/ha), 59 genera and 32 families were recorded in the three plots. The most well-represented families were Loganiaceae, Annonceae, Papilionaceae, Apocynaceae and Rhamnaceae. Papilionaceae (14 species recorded) was the most important family in the study forests. The population density, basal area and importance value index (IVI) varied greatly across the three plots. Strychnos cathayensis, Byttneria grandifolia and Bousigonia mekongensis were the dominant species in terms of IVI across the three plots. The mean aboveground biomass of lianas (3 396 kg/ha) accounted for 1.4% of the total community above-ground biomass. The abundance, diversity and biomass of lianas in Xishuangbanna tropical seasonal rain forests are lower than those in tropical moist and wet forests, but higher than those in tropical dry forests. This study provides new data on lianas from a geographical region that has been little-studied. Our findings emphasize that other factors beyond the amount and seasonality of precipitation should be included when considering the liana abundance patterns across scales.

  7. Quantifying forest LAI succession in sub-tropical forests using time-series of Landsat data, 1987 -2015

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Q.; Song, J.; Wang, J.; Chen, S.; Yu, B.; Liao, L.

    2016-12-01

    Monitoring the dynamics of leaf area index (LAI) throughout the life-cycle of forests (from seeding to maturity) is vital for simulating forest growth and quantifying carbon sequestration. However, all current global LAI produts show extremely low accuracy in forests and the coarse spatial resolution(nearly 1-km) mismatch with the spatial scale of forest inventory plots (nearly 26m*26m). To date, several studies have explored the possibility of satellite data to classify forest succession or predict stand age. And a few studies have explored the potential of using long term Landsat data to monitor the growing trend of forests, but no studies have quantified the inter-annual and intra-annual LAI dynamics along with forest succession. Vegetation indexes are not perfect variables in quantifying forest foliage dynamics. Hallet (1995) suggested remote sensing of biophysical characteristics should shift away from direct inference from vegetation indices toward more physically based algorithms. This work intends to be a pioneer example for improving the accuracy of forests LAI and providing temporal-spatial matching LAI datasets for monitoring forest processes. We integrates the Geometric-Optical and Radiative Transfer (GORT) model with the Physiological Principles Predicting Growth (3-PG) model to improve the estimation of the forest canopy LAI dynamics. Reflectance time-series data from 1987 to 2015 were collected and preprocessed for forests in southern China, using all available Landsat data (with policy and such methods may be applied in other similar forests.

  8. Observation and Monitoring of Mangrove Forests Using Remote Sensing: Opportunities and Challenges

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chandra Giri

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available Mangrove forests, distributed in the tropical and subtropical regions of the world, are in a constant flux. They provide important ecosystem goods and services to nature and society. In recent years, the carbon sequestration potential and protective role of mangrove forests from natural disasters is being highlighted as an effective option for climate change adaptation and mitigation. The forests are under threat from both natural and anthropogenic forces. However, accurate, reliable, and timely information of the distribution and dynamics of mangrove forests of the world is not readily available. Recent developments in the availability and accessibility of remotely sensed data, advancement in image pre-processing and classification algorithms, significant improvement in computing, availability of expertise in handling remotely sensed data, and an increasing awareness of the applicability of remote sensing products has greatly improved our scientific understanding of changing mangrove forest cover attributes. As reported in this special issue, the use of both optical and radar satellite data at various spatial resolutions (i.e., 1 m to 30 m to derive meaningful forest cover attributes (e.g., species discrimination, above ground biomass is on the rise. This multi-sensor trend is likely to continue into the future providing a more complete inventory of global mangrove forest distributions and attribute inventories at enhanced temporal frequency. The papers presented in this “Special Issue” provide important remote sensing monitoring advancements needed to meet future scientific objectives for global mangrove forest monitoring from local to global scales.

  9. Carbon pools recover more quickly than plant biodiversity in tropical secondary forests.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martin, Philip A; Newton, Adrian C; Bullock, James M

    2013-12-22

    Although increasing efforts are being made to restore tropical forests, little information is available regarding the time scales required for carbon and plant biodiversity to recover to the values associated with undisturbed forests. To address this knowledge gap, we carried out a meta-analysis comparing data from more than 600 secondary tropical forest sites with nearby undisturbed reference forests. Above-ground biomass approached equivalence to reference values within 80 years since last disturbance, whereas below-ground biomass took longer to recover. Soil carbon content showed little relationship with time since disturbance. Tree species richness recovered after about 50 years. By contrast, epiphyte richness did not reach equivalence to undisturbed forests. The proportion of undisturbed forest trees and epiphyte species found in secondary forests was low and changed little over time. Our results indicate that carbon pools and biodiversity show different recovery rates under passive, secondary succession and that colonization by undisturbed forest plant species is slow. Initiatives such as the Convention on Biological Diversity and REDD+ should therefore encourage active management to help to achieve their aims of restoring both carbon and biodiversity in tropical forests.

  10. MAPPING TROPICAL FOREST FOR SUSTAINABLE MANAGEMENT USING SPOT 5 SATELLITE IMAGE

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    H. T. T. Nguyen

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available This paper describes the combination of multi-data in stratifying the natural evergreen broadleaved tropical forest of the Central Highlands of Vietnam. The forests were stratified using both unsupervised and supervised classification methods based on SPOT5 and field data. The forests were classified into 3 and 4 strata separably. Correlation between stratified forest classes and forest variables was analyzed in order to find out 1 how many classes is suitable to stratify for the forest in this area and 2 how closely the forest variables are related with forest classes. The correlation coefficient shows although all forest variables did have a significant correlation with the forest classes, stand volume appeared to have the strongest correlation with forest classes. These are 0.64 and 0.59 for four and three strata respectively. The results of supervised classification also show the four strata of heavily degraded forest, moderate disturbance, insignificant disturbance, and dense forest were discriminated more clearly comparing to the forest stratified into three classes. The proof is that overall accuracy of supervised classification was 86% with Kappa of 0.8 for four classes, meanwhile, these are 77% and 0.62 respectively for forest area classified into 3 classes.

  11. Leaf litter decomposition rates increase with rising mean annual temperature in Hawaiian tropical montane wet forests

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lori D. Bothwell

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available Decomposing litter in forest ecosystems supplies nutrients to plants, carbon to heterotrophic soil microorganisms and is a large source of CO2 to the atmosphere. Despite its essential role in carbon and nutrient cycling, the temperature sensitivity of leaf litter decay in tropical forest ecosystems remains poorly resolved, especially in tropical montane wet forests where the warming trend may be amplified compared to tropical wet forests at lower elevations. We quantified leaf litter decomposition rates along a highly constrained 5.2 °C mean annual temperature (MAT gradient in tropical montane wet forests on the Island of Hawaii. Dominant vegetation, substrate type and age, soil moisture, and disturbance history are all nearly constant across this gradient, allowing us to isolate the effect of rising MAT on leaf litter decomposition and nutrient release. Leaf litter decomposition rates were a positive linear function of MAT, causing the residence time of leaf litter on the forest floor to decline by ∼31 days for each 1 °C increase in MAT. Our estimate of the Q10 temperature coefficient for leaf litter decomposition was 2.17, within the commonly reported range for heterotrophic organic matter decomposition (1.5–2.5 across a broad range of ecosystems. The percentage of leaf litter nitrogen (N remaining after six months declined linearly with increasing MAT from ∼88% of initial N at the coolest site to ∼74% at the warmest site. The lack of net N immobilization during all three litter collection periods at all MAT plots indicates that N was not limiting to leaf litter decomposition, regardless of temperature. These results suggest that leaf litter decay in tropical montane wet forests may be more sensitive to rising MAT than in tropical lowland wet forests, and that increased rates of N release from decomposing litter could delay or prevent progressive N limitation to net primary productivity with climate warming.

  12. Changes in biodiversity and ecosystem function during the restoration of a tropical forest in south china

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2007-01-01

    Tropical forests continue to vanish rapidly,but few long-term studies have ever examined if and how the lost forests can be restored.Based on a 45-year restoration study in south China,we found that a tropical rain forest,once completely destroyed,could not recover naturally without deliberate restoration efforts.We identified two kinds of thresholds that must be overcome with human ameliorative measures before the ecosystem was able to recover.The first threshold was imposed primarily by extreme physical conditions such as exceedingly high surface temperature and impoverished soil,while the second was characterized by a critical level of biodiversity and a landscape context that accommodates dispersal and colonization processes.Our three treatment catchments(un-restored barren land,single-species plantation,and mixed-forest stand)exhibited dramatically different changes in biodiversity and ecosystem functioning over 4 decades.The mixed forest,having the highest level of biodiversity and ecosystem functioning,possesses several major properties of tropical rain forest.These findings may have important implications for the restoration of many severely degraded or lost tropical forest ecosystems.

  13. Changes in biodiversity and ecosystem function during the restoration of a tropical forest in south China

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    REN Hai; LI ZhiAn; SHEN WeiJun; YU ZuoYue; PENG ShaoLin; LIAO ChongHui; DING MingMao; WU JianGuo

    2007-01-01

    Tropical forests continue to vanish rapidly, but few long-term studies have ever examined if and how the lost forests can be restored. Based on a 45-year restoration study in south China, we found that a tropical rain forest, once completely destroyed, could not recover naturally without deliberate restoration efforts. We identified two kinds of thresholds that must be overcome with human ameliorative measures before the ecosystem was able to recover. The first threshold was imposed primarily by extreme physical conditions such as exceedingly high surface temperature and impoverished soil, while the second was characterized by a critical level of biodiversity and a landscape context that accommodates dispersal and colonization processes. Our three treatment catchments (un-restored barren land, single-species plantation, and mixed-forest stand) exhibited dramatically different changes in biodiversity and ecosystem functioning over 4 decades. The mixed forest, having the highest level of biodiversity and ecosystem functioning, possesses several major properties of tropical rain forest.These findings may have important implications for the restoration of many severely degraded or lost tropical forest ecosystems.

  14. Tropical rain forest structure, tree growth and dynamics along a 2700-m elevational transect in Costa Rica.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David B Clark

    Full Text Available Rapid biological changes are expected to occur on tropical elevational gradients as species migrate upslope or go extinct in the face of global warming. We established a series of 9 1-ha plots in old-growth tropical rainforest in Costa Rica along a 2700 m relief elevational gradient to carry out long-term monitoring of tropical rain forest structure, dynamics and tree growth. Within each plot we mapped, identified, and annually measured diameter for all woody individuals with stem diameters >10 cm for periods of 3-10 years. Wood species diversity peaked at 400-600 m and decreased substantially at higher elevations. Basal area and stem number varied by less than two-fold, with the exception of the 2800 m cloud forest summit, where basal area and stem number were approximately double that of lower sites. Canopy gaps extending to the forest floor accounted for <3% of microsites at all elevations. Height of highest crowns and the coefficient of variation of crown height both decreased with increasing elevation. Rates of turnover of individuals and of stand basal area decreased with elevation, but rates of diameter growth and stand basal area showed no simple relation to elevation. We discuss issues encountered in the design and implementation of this network of plots, including biased sampling, missing key meteorological and biomass data, and strategies for improving species-level research. Taking full advantage of the major research potential of tropical forest elevational transects will require sustaining and extending ground based studies, incorporation of new remotely-sensed data and data-acquisition platforms, and new funding models to support decadal research on these rapidly-changing systems.

  15. The inventory of the carbon stocks in sub tropical forests of Pakistan for reporting under Kyoto Protocol

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Syed Moazzam Nizami

    2012-01-01

    The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) requires reporting net carbon stock changes and anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions,including those related to forests.This paper describes the status of carbon stocks in sub tropical forests of Pakistan.There are two major sub types in subtropical forests of Pakistan viz a viz Subtropical Chir Pine and Subtropical broadleaved forests.A network of sample plots was laid out in four selected site.Two sites were selected from sub tropical Chit Pine (Pinus roxburghii) forests and two from Subtropical broadleaved forests.Measurement and data acquisition protocols were developed specifically for the inventory carried out from 2005 to 2010.In total 261 plots (each of lha.) were established.Estimation of diameter,basal area,height,volume and biomass was carried out to estimate carbon stocks in each of the four carbon pools of above- and below-ground live biomass.Soil carbon stocks were also determined by doing soil sampling.In mature (~100 years old) pine forest stand at Ghoragali and Lehterar sites,a mean basal area of 30.38and 26.11 m2·ha-1 represented mean volume of 243 and 197 m3·ha-1,respectively.The average biomass (t·ha-1) was 237 in Ghoragali site and 186 t.ha-1in Lehterar site,which is equal to 128 and 100 t C ha-1 including soil C.However,on average basis both the forests have 114.5± 2.26 t·ha-1 of carbon stock which comprises of 92% in tree biomass and only 8% in the top soils.In mixed broadleaved evergreen forests a mean basal area (m2·ha-1) was 3.06 at Kherimurat with stem volume of 12.86 and 2.65 at Sohawa with stem volume of 1 1.40 m3·ha-1.The average upper and under storey biomass (t·ha-1) was 50.93 in Kherimurat site and 40.43 t·ha-1in Sohawa site,which is equal to 31.18 and 24.36 t C ha-1 including soil C stocks.This study provides a protocol and valuable baseline data for monitoring biomass and carbon stocks in Pakistan's managed and unmanaged sub-tropical forests.

  16. ALLOMETRIC EQUATIONS FOR ESTIMATING ABOVEGROUND BIOMASS IN PAPUA TROPICAL FOREST

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sandhi Imam Maulana

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available Allometric equations can be used to estimate biomass and carbon stock of  the forest. However, so far the allometric equations for commercial species in Papua tropical forests have not been appropriately developed. In this research, allometric equations are presented based on the genera of  commercial species. Few equations have been developed for the commercial species of  Intsia, Pometia, Palaquium and Vatica genera and an equation of  a mix of  these genera. The number of  trees sampled in this research was 49, with diameters (1.30 m above-ground or above buttresses ranging from 5 to 40 cm. Destructive sampling was used to collect the samples where Diameter at Breast Height (DBH and Wood Density (WD were used as predictors for dry weight of  Total Above-Ground Biomass (TAGB. Model comparison and selection were based on the values of  F-statistics, R-sq, R-sq (adj, and average deviation. Based on these statistical indicators, the most suitable model for Intsia, Pometia, Palaquium and Vatica genera respectively are Log(TAGB = -0.76 + 2.51Log(DBH, Log(TAGB = -0.84 + 2.57Log(DBH, Log(TAGB = -1.52 + 2.96Log(DBH, and Log(TAGB = -0.09 + 2.08Log(DBH. Additional explanatory variables such as Commercial Bole Height (CBH do not really increase the indicators’ goodness of  fit for the equation. An alternative model to incorporate wood density should  be considered for estimating the above-ground biomass for mixed genera. Comparing the presented mixed-genera equation; Log(TAGB = 0.205 + 2.08Log(DBH + 1.75Log(WD, R-sq: 97.0%, R-sq (adj: 96.9%, F statistics 750.67, average deviation: 3.5%; to previously published datashows that this local species specific equation differs substantially from previously published equations and this site-specific equation is  considered to give a better estimation of  biomass.

  17. Tropical Forest Landscape Fragmentation in Batang Toru Watershed, North Sumatra

    OpenAIRE

    Samsuri Samsuri; I Nengah Surati Jaya; Cecep Kusmana; Kukuh Murtilaksono

    2014-01-01

    Timber-based forest management is now shifting to as broader scope including ecosystem-based management. Timber-oriented forest management frequently affects the fragmentation of forest landscape. This paper defines the degree of forest landscape fragmentation in Batang Toru watershed, North Sumatra through indentification of correlation between forest landscape fragmentation and driving factors including biophysical and anthropogenic factors. Identification structure, pattern, and fragmentat...

  18. Ant Foraging As an Indicator of Tropical Dry Forest Restoration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hernández-Flores, J; Osorio-Beristain, M; Martínez-Garza, C

    2016-08-01

    Variation in foraging behavior may indicate differences in food availability and allow assessment of restoration actions. Ants are prominent bioindicators used in assessing ecological responses to disturbance. However, behavioral data have been poorly incorporated as an index. The foraging performance of red harvester ants was quantified in order to evaluate the success of a restoration ecology experiment in the tropical dry forest of Sierra de Huautla, Morelos, in central Mexico. Foraging performance by granivorous, Pogonomyrmex barbatus, ants was diminished after 6 and 8 years of cattle grazing and wood harvest were excluded as part of a restoration experiment in a highly degraded biome. Despite investing more time in foraging, ant colonies in exclusion plots showed lower foraging success and acquired less seed biomass than colonies in control plots. In line with the predictions of optimal foraging theory, in restored plots where ant foraging performance was poor, ants harvested a higher diversity of seeds. Reduced foraging success and increased harvest of non-preferred foods in exclusion plots were likely due to the growth of herbaceous vegetation, which impedes travel by foragers. Moreover, by 8 years of exclusion, 37% of nests in exclusion plots had disappeared compared to 0% of nests in control plots. Ants' foraging success and behavior were sensitive to changes in habitat quality due to the plant successional process triggered by a restoration intervention. This study spotlights on the utility of animal foraging behavior in the evaluation of habitat restoration programs. © The Authors 2016. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Entomological Society of America. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  19. Precipitation signal in pollen rain from tropical forests, South India.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barboni, D; Bonnefille, R

    2001-04-01

    We have analyzed the pollen content of 51 surface soil samples collected in tropical evergreen and deciduous forests from the Western Ghats of South India sampled along a west to east gradient of decreasing rainfall (between 11 degrees 30-13 degrees 20'N and 75 degrees 30-76 degrees 30'E). Values of mean annual precipitation (Pann, mm/yr) have been calculated at each of the 51 sampling sites from a great number of meteorological stations in South India, using a method of data interpolation based on artificial neural network. Interpolated values at the pollen sites of Pann range from 1200 to 5555mm/yr, while mean temperature of the coldest month (MTCO) remains >15 degrees C and humidity factor (AET/PET, the actual evapotranspiration to potential evapotranspiration ratio) remains also included between 65 and 72%.Results are presented in the form of percentage pollen diagrams where samples are arranged according to increasing values of annual precipitation. They indicate that the climatic signal of rainfall is clearly evidenced by distinct pollen associations. Numerical analyses show that annual precipitation is an important parameter explaining the modern distribution of pollen taxa in this region. Pollen taxa markers of high rainfall (Pann >2500mm/yr) are Mallotus type, Elaeocarpus, Syzygium type, Olea dioica, Gnetum ula, and Hopea type, associated with Ixora type and Caryota. Pollen taxa markers of low rainfall (Pann <2500mm/yr) are Melastomataceae/Combretaceae, Maytenus type, Lagerstroemia and Grewia. The proportions of evergreen taxa and of arboreal taxa vary according to rainfall values. Indeed, when rainfall is <2500mm/yr, percentage of arboreal pollen (AP) is <50% and proportion of evergreen taxa is <20%. When rainfall exceeds 2500mm/yr, AP values average 70%, and proportion of evergreen taxa increases from 60 to 90%. Moreover, a good correlation between precipitation and proportion of evergreen taxa (0.85) presumes that precipitation can be estimated from

  20. Spatial variations of nitrogen trace gas emissions from tropical mountain forests in Nyungwe, Rwanda

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    N. Gharahi Ghehi

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available Globally, tropical forest soils represent the second largest source of N2O and NO. However, there is still considerable uncertainty on the spatial variability and soil properties controlling N trace gas emission. To investigate how soil properties affect N2O and NO emission, we carried out an incubation experiment with soils from 31 locations in the Nyungwe tropical mountain forest in southwestern Rwanda. All soils were incubated at three different moisture levels (50, 70 and 90% water filled pore space (WFPS at 17 °C. Nitrous oxide emission varied between 4.5 and 400 μg N m−2 h−1, while NO emission varied from 6.6 to 265 μg N m−2 h−1. Mean N2O emission at different moisture levels was 46.5 ± 11.1 (50% WFPS, 71.7 ± 11.5 (70% WFPS and 98.8 ± 16.4 (90% WFPS μg N m−2 h−1, while mean NO emission was 69.3 ± 9.3 (50% WFPS, 47.1 ± 5.8 (70% WFPS and 36.1 ± 4.2 (90% WFPS μg N m−2 h−1. The latter suggests that climate (i.e. dry vs. wet season controls N2O and NO emissions. Positive correlations with soil carbon and nitrogen indicate a biological control over N2O and NO production. But interestingly N2O and NO emissions also showed a negative correlation (only N2O with soil pH and a positive correlation with free iron. The latter suggest that chemo-denitrification might, at least for N2O, be an important production pathway. In conclusion improved understanding and process based modeling of N trace gas emission from tropical forests will not only benefit from better spatial explicit trace gas emission and basic soil property monitoring, but also by differentiating between biological and chemical pathways for N trace gas formation.

  1. Effects of nitrogen additions on above- and belowground carbon dynamics in two tropical forests

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Cusack, D.; Silver, W.L.; Torn, M.S.; McDowell, W.H.

    2011-04-15

    Anthropogenic nitrogen (N) deposition is increasing rapidly in tropical regions, adding N to ecosystems that often have high background N availability. Tropical forests play an important role in the global carbon (C) cycle, yet the effects of N deposition on C cycling in these ecosystems are poorly understood. We used a field N-fertilization experiment in lower and upper elevation tropical rain forests in Puerto Rico to explore the responses of above- and belowground C pools to N addition. As expected, tree stem growth and litterfall productivity did not respond to N fertilization in either of these Nrich forests, indicating a lack of N limitation to net primary productivity (NPP). In contrast, soil C concentrations increased significantly with N fertilization in both forests, leading to larger C stocks in fertilized plots. However, different soil C pools responded to N fertilization differently. Labile (low density) soil C fractions and live fine roots declined with fertilization, while mineral-associated soil C increased in both forests. Decreased soil CO2 fluxes in fertilized plots were correlated with smaller labile soil C pools in the lower elevation forest (R2 = 0.65, p\\0.05), and with lower live fine root biomass in the upper elevation forest (R2 = 0.90, p\\0.05). Our results indicate that soil C storage is sensitive to N deposition in tropical forests, even where plant productivity is not N-limited. The mineral-associated soil C pool has the potential to respond relatively quickly to N additions, and can drive increases in bulk soil C stocks in tropical forests.

  2. Asynchronous response of tropical forest leaf phenology to seasonal and el Nino-driven drought.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stephanie Pau

    Full Text Available The Hawaiian Islands are an ideal location to study the response of tropical forests to climate variability because of their extreme isolation in the middle of the Pacific, which makes them especially sensitive to El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO. Most research examining the response of tropical forests to drought or El Niño have focused on rainforests, however, tropical dry forests cover a large area of the tropics and may respond very differently than rainforests. We use satellite-derived Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI from February 2000-February 2009 to show that rainforests and dry forests in the Hawaiian Islands exhibit asynchronous responses in leaf phenology to seasonal and El Niño-driven drought. Dry forest NDVI was more tightly coupled with precipitation compared to rainforest NDVI. Rainforest cloud frequency was negatively correlated with the degree of asynchronicity (Delta(NDVI between forest types, most strongly at a 1-month lag. Rainforest green-up and dry forest brown-down was particularly apparent during the 2002-003 El Niño. The spatial pattern of NDVI response to the NINO 3.4 Sea Surface Temperature (SST index during 2002-2003 showed that the leeward side exhibited significant negative correlations to increased SSTs, whereas the windward side exhibited significant positive correlations to increased SSTs, most evident at an 8 to 9-month lag. This study demonstrates that different tropical forest types exhibit asynchronous responses to seasonal and El Niño-driven drought, and suggests that mechanisms controlling dry forest leaf phenology are related to water-limitation, whereas rainforests are more light-limited.

  3. Ecology of Nitrogen Fixing, Nitrifying, and Denitrifying Microorganisms in Tropical Forest Soils.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pajares, Silvia; Bohannan, Brendan J M

    2016-01-01

    Soil microorganisms play important roles in nitrogen cycling within forest ecosystems. Current research has revealed that a wider variety of microorganisms, with unexpected diversity in their functions and phylogenies, are involved in the nitrogen cycle than previously thought, including nitrogen-fixing bacteria, ammonia-oxidizing bacteria and archaea, heterotrophic nitrifying microorganisms, and anammox bacteria, as well as denitrifying bacteria, archaea, and fungi. However, the vast majority of this research has been focused in temperate regions, and relatively little is known regarding the ecology of nitrogen-cycling microorganisms within tropical and subtropical ecosystems. Tropical forests are characterized by relatively high precipitation, low annual temperature fluctuation, high heterogeneity in plant diversity, large amounts of plant litter, and unique soil chemistry. For these reasons, regulation of the nitrogen cycle in tropical forests may be very different from that of temperate ecosystems. This is of great importance because of growing concerns regarding the effect of land use change and chronic-elevated nitrogen deposition on nitrogen-cycling processes in tropical forests. In the context of global change, it is crucial to understand how environmental factors and land use changes in tropical ecosystems influence the composition, abundance and activity of key players in the nitrogen cycle. In this review, we synthesize the limited currently available information regarding the microbial communities involved in nitrogen fixation, nitrification and denitrification, to provide deeper insight into the mechanisms regulating nitrogen cycling in tropical forest ecosystems. We also highlight the large gaps in our understanding of microbially mediated nitrogen processes in tropical forest soils and identify important areas for future research.

  4. Ecology of Nitrogen Fixing, Nitrifying, and Denitrifying Microorganisms in Tropical Forest Soils

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pajares, Silvia; Bohannan, Brendan J. M.

    2016-01-01

    Soil microorganisms play important roles in nitrogen cycling within forest ecosystems. Current research has revealed that a wider variety of microorganisms, with unexpected diversity in their functions and phylogenies, are involved in the nitrogen cycle than previously thought, including nitrogen-fixing bacteria, ammonia-oxidizing bacteria and archaea, heterotrophic nitrifying microorganisms, and anammox bacteria, as well as denitrifying bacteria, archaea, and fungi. However, the vast majority of this research has been focused in temperate regions, and relatively little is known regarding the ecology of nitrogen-cycling microorganisms within tropical and subtropical ecosystems. Tropical forests are characterized by relatively high precipitation, low annual temperature fluctuation, high heterogeneity in plant diversity, large amounts of plant litter, and unique soil chemistry. For these reasons, regulation of the nitrogen cycle in tropical forests may be very different from that of temperate ecosystems. This is of great importance because of growing concerns regarding the effect of land use change and chronic-elevated nitrogen deposition on nitrogen-cycling processes in tropical forests. In the context of global change, it is crucial to understand how environmental factors and land use changes in tropical ecosystems influence the composition, abundance and activity of key players in the nitrogen cycle. In this review, we synthesize the limited currently available information regarding the microbial communities involved in nitrogen fixation, nitrification and denitrification, to provide deeper insight into the mechanisms regulating nitrogen cycling in tropical forest ecosystems. We also highlight the large gaps in our understanding of microbially mediated nitrogen processes in tropical forest soils and identify important areas for future research. PMID:27468277

  5. Closing a gap in tropical forest biomass estimation: taking crown mass variation into account in pantropical allometries

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ploton, Pierre; Barbier, Nicolas; Takoudjou Momo, Stéphane; Réjou-Méchain, Maxime; Boyemba Bosela, Faustin; Chuyong, Georges; Dauby, Gilles; Droissart, Vincent; Fayolle, Adeline; Calisto Goodman, Rosa; Henry, Matieu; Kamdem, Narcisse Guy; Katembo Mukirania, John; Kenfack, David; Libalah, Moses; Ngomanda, Alfred; Rossi, Vivien; Sonké, Bonaventure; Texier, Nicolas; Thomas, Duncan; Zebaze, Donatien; Couteron, Pierre; Berger, Uta; Pélissier, Raphaël

    2016-03-01

    Accurately monitoring tropical forest carbon stocks is a challenge that remains outstanding. Allometric models that consider tree diameter, height and wood density as predictors are currently used in most tropical forest carbon studies. In particular, a pantropical biomass model has been widely used for approximately a decade, and its most recent version will certainly constitute a reference model in the coming years. However, this reference model shows a systematic bias towards the largest trees. Because large trees are key drivers of forest carbon stocks and dynamics, understanding the origin and the consequences of this bias is of utmost concern. In this study, we compiled a unique tree mass data set of 673 trees destructively sampled in five tropical countries (101 trees > 100 cm in diameter) and an original data set of 130 forest plots (1 ha) from central Africa to quantify the prediction error of biomass allometric models at the individual and plot levels when explicitly taking crown mass variations into account or not doing so. We first showed that the proportion of crown to total tree aboveground biomass is highly variable among trees, ranging from 3 to 88 %. This proportion was constant on average for trees account in a newly developed model consistently removed the bias observed for large trees (> 1 Mg) and reduced the range of plot-level error (in %) from [-23; 16] to [0; 10]. The disproportionally higher allocation of large trees to crown mass may thus explain the bias observed recently in the reference pantropical model. This bias leads to far-from-negligible, but often overlooked, systematic errors at the plot level and may be easily corrected by taking a crown mass proxy for the largest trees in a stand into account, thus suggesting that the accuracy of forest carbon estimates can be significantly improved at a minimal cost.

  6. Preserving the world's tropical forests--a price on carbon may not do.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Persson, U Martin; Azar, Christian

    2010-01-01

    Climate policy will create both disincentives and incentives for tropical deforestation. Disincentives if the carbon emissions from forest clearing are priced, as is currently being discussed within the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC); incentives as a price on carbon will increase the demand for carbon-neutral energy sources, including bioenergy, making deforestation for biomass cultivation increasingly profitable. The question is whether the increased cost for forest clearing, through the price on carbon emissions, will be enough to counter-balance the increased profitability of deforestation through the escalating value of agricultural land. In an attempt to answer this question we analyze the profitability of tropical deforestation and subsequent bioenergy production, taking oil palm plantations as an illustrative example. We estimate that deforesting for palm oil bioenergy production is likely to remain highly profitable, even in the face of a price on the carbon emissions from forest clearing. Current efforts to include carbon emissions from tropical deforestation in a future international climate regime, while a step in the right direction, may therefore not suffice as protection for the world's tropical forests. Additional, and stronger, protection measures for the world's tropical forests will still be needed.

  7. Corridors restore animal-mediated pollination in fragmented tropical forest landscapes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kormann, Urs; Scherber, Christoph; Tscharntke, Teja; Klein, Nadja; Larbig, Manuel; Valente, Jonathon J; Hadley, Adam S; Betts, Matthew G

    2016-01-27

    Tropical biodiversity and associated ecosystem functions have become heavily eroded through habitat loss. Animal-mediated pollination is required in more than 94% of higher tropical plant species and 75% of the world's leading food crops, but it remains unclear if corridors avert deforestation-driven pollination breakdown in fragmented tropical landscapes. Here, we used manipulative resource experiments and field observations to show that corridors functionally connect neotropical forest fragments for forest-associated hummingbirds and increase pollen transfer. Further, corridors boosted forest-associated pollinator availability in fragments by 14.3 times compared with unconnected equivalents, increasing overall pollination success. Plants in patches without corridors showed pollination rates equal to bagged control flowers, indicating pollination failure in isolated fragments. This indicates, for the first time, that corridors benefit tropical forest ecosystems beyond boosting local species richness, by functionally connecting mutualistic network partners. We conclude that small-scale adjustments to landscape configuration safeguard native pollinators and associated pollination services in tropical forest landscapes. © 2016 The Author(s).

  8. Predicting pan-tropical climate change induced forest stock gains and losses—implications for REDD

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gumpenberger, Marlies; Vohland, Katrin; Heyder, Ursula; Poulter, Benjamin; Macey, Kirsten; Rammig, Anja; Popp, Alexander; Cramer, Wolfgang

    2010-01-01

    Deforestation is a major threat to tropical forests worldwide, contributing up to one-fifth of global carbon emissions into the atmosphere. Despite protection efforts, deforestation of tropical forests has continued in recent years. Providing incentives to reducing deforestation has been proposed in the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Bali negotiations in 2007 to decelerate emissions from deforestation (REDD—reduced emissions from deforestation and forest degradation). A number of methodological issues such as ensuring permanence, establishing reference emissions levels that do not reward business-as-usual and having a measuring, reporting and verification system in place are essential elements in implementing successful REDD schemes. To assess the combined impacts of climate and land-use change on tropical forest carbon stocks in the 21st century, we use a dynamic global vegetation model (LPJ DGVM) driven by five different climate change projections under a given greenhouse gas emission scenario (SRES A2) and two contrasting land-use change scenarios. We find that even under a complete stop of deforestation after the period of the Kyoto Protocol (post-2012) some countries may continue to lose carbon stocks due to climate change. Especially at risk is tropical Latin America, although the presence and magnitude of the risk depends on the climate change scenario. By contrast, strong protection of forests could increase carbon uptake in many tropical countries, due to CO2 fertilization effects, even under altered climate regimes.

  9. Limited carbon and biodiversity co-benefits for tropical forest mammals and birds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beaudrot, Lydia; Kroetz, Kailin; Alvarez-Loayza, Patricia; Amaral, Eda; Breuer, Thomas; Fletcher, Christine; Jansen, Patrick A; Kenfack, David; Lima, Marcela Guimarães Moreira; Marshall, Andrew R; Martin, Emanuel H; Ndoundou-Hockemba, Mireille; O'Brien, Timothy; Razafimahaimodison, Jean Claude; Romero-Saltos, Hugo; Rovero, Francesco; Roy, Cisquet Hector; Sheil, Douglas; Silva, Carlos E F; Spironello, Wilson Roberto; Valencia, Renato; Zvoleff, Alex; Ahumada, Jorge; Andelman, Sandy

    2016-06-01

    The conservation of tropical forest carbon stocks offers the opportunity to curb climate change by reducing greenhouse gas emissions from deforestation and simultaneously conserve biodiversity. However, there has been considerable debate about the extent to which carbon stock conservation will provide benefits to biodiversity in part because whether forests that contain high carbon density in their aboveground biomass also contain high animal diversity is unknown. Here, we empirically examined medium to large bodied ground-dwelling mammal and bird (hereafter "wildlife") diversity and carbon stock levels within the tropics using camera trap and vegetation data from a pantropical network of sites. Specifically, we tested whether tropical forests that stored more carbon contained higher wildlife species richness, taxonomic diversity, and trait diversity. We found that carbon stocks were not a significant predictor for any of these three measures of diversity, which suggests that benefits for wildlife diversity will not be maximized unless wildlife diversity is explicitly taken into account; prioritizing carbon stocks alone will not necessarily meet biodiversity conservation goals. We recommend conservation planning that considers both objectives because there is the potential for more wildlife diversity and carbon stock conservation to be achieved for the same total budget if both objectives are pursued in tandem rather than independently. Tropical forests with low elevation variability and low tree density supported significantly higher wildlife diversity. These tropical forest characteristics may provide more affordable proxies of wildlife diversity for future multi-objective conservation planning when fine scale data on wildlife are lacking.

  10. Tropical forest responses to increasing [CO2]: current knowledge and opportunities for future research

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Cernusak, Lucas [Australian National University, Canberra, Australia; Winter, Klaus [Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute; Dalling, James [University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign; Holtum, Joseph [James Cook University; Jaramillo, Carlos [Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute; Korner, Christian [University of Basel; Leakey, Andrew D.B. [University of Illinois; Norby, Richard J [ORNL; Poulter, Benjamin [Laboratoire des Sciences du Climat et de l' Environement, France; Turner, Benjamin [Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute; Wright, S. Joseph [Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute

    2013-01-01

    Elevated atmospheric [CO2] (ca) will undoubtedly affect the metabolism of tropical forests worldwide; however, critical aspects of how tropical forests will respond remain largely unknown. Here we review the current state of knowledge about physiological and ecological responses, with the aim of providing a framework that can help to guide future experimental research. Modelling studies have indicated that elevated ca can potentially stimulate photosynthesis more in the tropics than at higher latitudes, because suppression of photorespiration by elevated ca increases with temperature. However, canopy leaves in tropical forests could also potentially reach a high temperature threshold under elevated ca that will moderate the rise in photosynthesis. Belowground responses, including fine root production, nutrient foraging, and soil organic matter processing, will be especially important to the integrated ecosystem response to elevated CO2. Water-use efficiency will increase as ca rises, potentially impacting upon soil moisture status and nutrient availability. Recruitment may be differentially altered for some functional groups, potentially decreasing ecosystem carbon storage. Whole-forest CO2 enrichment experiments are urgently needed to test predictions of tropical forest functioning under elevated ca. Smaller scale experiments in the understory and in gaps would also be informative, and could provide stepping stones toward stand-scale manipulations.

  11. Carbon sequestration potential of second-growth forest regeneration in the Latin American tropics

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Chazdon, Robin L.; Broadbent, Eben N.; Rozendaal, Danaë M. A.

    2016-01-01

    Regrowth of tropical secondary forests following complete or nearly complete removal of forest vegetation actively stores carbon in aboveground biomass, partially counterbalancing carbon emissions from deforestation, forest degradation, burning of fossil fuels, and other anthropogenic sources. We...... area). Over 40 years, these lands can potentially accumulate a total aboveground carbon stock of 8.48 Pg C (petagrams of carbon) in aboveground biomass via low-cost natural regeneration or assisted regeneration, corresponding to a total CO2 sequestration of 31.09 Pg CO2. This total is equivalent...... estimate the age and spatial extent of lowland second-growth forests in the Latin American tropics and model their potential aboveground carbon accumulation over four decades. Our model shows that, in 2008, second-growth forests (1 to 60 years old) covered 2.4 million km2 of land (28.1% of the total study...

  12. Above-ground biomass and structure of 260 African tropical forests

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lewis, Simon L.; Sonké, Bonaventure; Sunderland, Terry; Begne, Serge K.; Lopez-Gonzalez, Gabriela; van der Heijden, Geertje M. F.; Phillips, Oliver L.; Affum-Baffoe, Kofi; Baker, Timothy R.; Banin, Lindsay; Bastin, Jean-François; Beeckman, Hans; Boeckx, Pascal; Bogaert, Jan; De Cannière, Charles; Chezeaux, Eric; Clark, Connie J.; Collins, Murray; Djagbletey, Gloria; Djuikouo, Marie Noël K.; Droissart, Vincent; Doucet, Jean-Louis; Ewango, Cornielle E. N.; Fauset, Sophie; Feldpausch, Ted R.; Foli, Ernest G.; Gillet, Jean-François; Hamilton, Alan C.; Harris, David J.; Hart, Terese B.; de Haulleville, Thales; Hladik, Annette; Hufkens, Koen; Huygens, Dries; Jeanmart, Philippe; Jeffery, Kathryn J.; Kearsley, Elizabeth; Leal, Miguel E.; Lloyd, Jon; Lovett, Jon C.; Makana, Jean-Remy; Malhi, Yadvinder; Marshall, Andrew R.; Ojo, Lucas; Peh, Kelvin S.-H.; Pickavance, Georgia; Poulsen, John R.; Reitsma, Jan M.; Sheil, Douglas; Simo, Murielle; Steppe, Kathy; Taedoumg, Hermann E.; Talbot, Joey; Taplin, James R. D.; Taylor, David; Thomas, Sean C.; Toirambe, Benjamin; Verbeeck, Hans; Vleminckx, Jason; White, Lee J. T.; Willcock, Simon; Woell, Hannsjorg; Zemagho, Lise

    2013-01-01

    We report above-ground biomass (AGB), basal area, stem density and wood mass density estimates from 260 sample plots (mean size: 1.2 ha) in intact closed-canopy tropical forests across 12 African countries. Mean AGB is 395.7 Mg dry mass ha−1 (95% CI: 14.3), substantially higher than Amazonian values, with the Congo Basin and contiguous forest region attaining AGB values (429 Mg ha−1) similar to those of Bornean forests, and significantly greater than East or West African forests. AGB therefore appears generally higher in palaeo- compared with neotropical forests. However, mean stem density is low (426 ± 11 stems ha−1 greater than or equal to 100 mm diameter) compared with both Amazonian and Bornean forests (cf. approx. 600) and is the signature structural feature of African tropical forests. While spatial autocorrelation complicates analyses, AGB shows a positive relationship with rainfall in the driest nine months of the year, and an opposite association with the wettest three months of the year; a negative relationship with temperature; positive relationship with clay-rich soils; and negative relationships with C : N ratio (suggesting a positive soil phosphorus–AGB relationship), and soil fertility computed as the sum of base cations. The results indicate that AGB is mediated by both climate and soils, and suggest that the AGB of African closed-canopy tropical forests may be particularly sensitive to future precipitation and temperature changes. PMID:23878327

  13. Changes in microbial community characteristics and soil organic matter with nitrogen additions in two tropical forests.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cusack, Daniela F; Silver, Whendee L; Torn, Margaret S; Burton, Sarah D; Firestone, Mary K

    2011-03-01

    Microbial communities and their associated enzyme activities affect the amount and chemical quality of carbon (C) in soils. Increasing nitrogen (N) deposition, particularly in N-rich tropical forests, is likely to change the composition and behavior of microbial communities and feed back on ecosystem structure and function. This study presents a novel assessment of mechanistic links between microbial responses to N deposition and shifts in soil organic matter (SOM) quality and quantity. We used phospholipid fatty acid (PLFA) analysis and microbial enzyme assays in soils to assess microbial community responses to long-term N additions in two distinct tropical rain forests. We used soil density fractionation and 13C nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy to measure related changes in SOM pool sizes and chemical quality. Microbial biomass increased in response to N fertilization in both tropical forests and corresponded to declines in pools of low-density SOM. The chemical quality of this soil C pool reflected ecosystem-specific changes in microbial community composition. In the lower-elevation forest, there was an increase in gram-negative bacteria PLFA biomass, and there were significant losses of labile C chemical groups (O-alkyls). In contrast, the upper-elevation tropical forest had an increase in fungal PLFAs with N additions and declines in C groups associated with increased soil C storage (alkyls). The dynamics of microbial enzymatic activities with N addition provided a functional link between changes in microbial community structure and SOM chemistry. Ecosystem-specific changes in microbial community composition are likely to have far-reaching effects on soil carbon storage and cycling. This study indicates that microbial communities in N-rich tropical forests can be sensitive to added N, but we can expect significant variability in how ecosystem structure and function respond to N deposition among tropical forest types.

  14. Geospatial observations on biodiversity and biogeochemistry of a tropical forest rhizosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wolf, Jeffrey Arien

    Understanding the links between biodiversity and biogeochemistry in a spatial context within tropical forest plant communities is an unresolved problem. High plant diversity -- phylogenetic, functional, and genetic -- often characteristic of tropical forests, is poorly understood in the context of soils. I collected and georeferenced a large sample of surface soil cores (n=625, 6.25 cm diameter x 10 cm depth) from the Barro Colorado Island (BCI) 50 ha (0.5 km2) Forest Dynamics Plot (FDP), Republic of Panama (9.15 N, 79.8 W) -- described in Chapter One. In Chapter Two, I tested a commonly made assumption in research on plot scales in tropical forests, that abiotic controls entirely explain plot scale soil heterogeneity. To do this, I analyzed a high spatial resolution and multiple spatial scale (multiscale) set of topography features from airborne light detection and ranging (LiDAR), a bedrock map, and the geospatial soil chemical observations to test if abiotic controls (erosion, hydrology, bedrock) were sufficient to explain soil heterogeneity in the BCI tree community. In Chapter Three, I evaluate whether spatial variation in soil organic matter (SOM) and patterns of correlation with rock-derived nutrients are consistent with plants changing soils through litterfall. In Chapter Four, I document the first use of high-throughput DNA sequencing data for observing plant species roots in a tropical forest rhizosphere. The main findings of my dissertation are that at the plot scale in a tropical forest soil chemical heterogeneity was weakly related to abiotic controls and rock-derived macronutrients vary in association strength with soil organic matter in a manner consistent with plants exerting strong biotic controls on the spatial heterogeneity of soil calcium. Furthermore, that research is needed to understand plant nutrient cycling within the context of tropical forest plant communities.

  15. Forest Structure, Composition and Above Ground Biomass of Tree Community in Tropical Dry Forests of Eastern Ghats, India

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sudam Charan SAHU

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available The study of biomass, structure and composition of tropical forests implies also the investigation of forest productivity, protection of biodiversity and removal of CO2 from the atmosphere via C-stocks. The hereby study aimed at understanding the forest structure, composition and above ground biomass (AGB of tropical dry deciduous forests of Eastern Ghats, India, where as a total of 128 sample plots (20 x 20 meters were laid. The study showed the presence of 71 tree species belonging to 57 genera and 30 families. Dominant tree species was Shorea robusta with an importance value index (IVI of 40.72, while Combretaceae had the highest family importance value (FIV of 39.01. Mean stand density was 479 trees ha-1 and a basal area of 15.20 m2 ha-1. Shannon’s diversity index was 2.01 ± 0.22 and Simpson’s index was 0.85 ± 0.03. About 54% individuals were in the size between 10 and 20 cm DBH, indicating growing forests. Mean above ground biomass value was 98.87 ± 68.8 Mg ha-1. Some of the dominant species that contributed to above ground biomass were Shorea robusta (17.2%, Madhuca indica (7.9%, Mangifera indica (6.9%, Terminalia alata (6.9% and Diospyros melanoxylon (4.4%, warranting extra efforts for their conservation. The results suggested that C-stocks of tropical dry forests can be enhanced by in-situ conserving the high C-density species and also by selecting these species for afforestation and stand improvement programs. Correlations were computed to understand the relationship between above ground biomass, diversity indices, density and basal area, which may be helpful for implementation of REDD+ (reduce emissions from deforestation and forest degradation, and foster conservation, sustainable management of forests and enhancement of forest carbon stocks scheme.

  16. Mapping Clearances in Tropical Dry Forests Using Breakpoints, Trend, and Seasonal Components from MODIS Time Series: Does Forest Type Matter?

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Grogan, Kenneth; Pflugmacher, Dirk; Hostert, Patrick; Verbesselt, Jan; Fensholt, Rasmus

    2016-01-01

    Tropical environments present a unique challenge for optical time series analysis, primarily owing to fragmented data availability, persistent cloud cover and atmospheric aerosols. Additionally, little is known of whether the performance of time series change detection is affected by diverse forest

  17. Remote Sensing of Aboveground Biomass in Tropical Secondary Forests: A Review

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. M. Barbosa

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Tropical landscapes are, in general, a mosaic of pasture, agriculture, and forest undergoing various stages of succession. Forest succession is comprised of continuous structural changes over time and results in increases in aboveground biomass (AGB. New remote sensing methods, including sensors, image processing, statistical methods, and uncertainty evaluations, are constantly being developed to estimate biophysical forest changes. We review 318 peer-reviewed studies related to the use of remotely sensed AGB estimations in tropical forest succession studies and summarize their geographic distribution, sensors and methods used, and their most frequent ecological inferences. Remotely sensed AGB is broadly used in forest management studies, conservation status evaluations, carbon source and sink investigations, and for studies of the relationships between environmental conditions and forest structure. Uncertainties in AGB estimations were found to be heterogeneous with biases related to sensor type, processing methodology, ground truthing availability, and forest characteristics. Remotely sensed AGB of successional forests is more reliable for the study of spatial patterns of forest succession and over large time scales than that of individual stands. Remote sensing of temporal patterns in biomass requires further study, in particular, as it is critical for understanding forest regrowth at scales useful for regional or global analyses.

  18. Tropical forest heterogeneity from TanDEM-X InSAR and lidar observations in Indonesia

    Science.gov (United States)

    De Grandi, Elsa Carla; Mitchard, Edward

    2016-10-01

    Fires exacerbated during El Niño Southern Oscillation are a serious threat in Indonesia leading to the destruction and degradation of tropical forests and emissions of CO2 in the atmosphere. Forest structural changes which occurred due to the 1997-1998 El Niño Southern Oscillation in the Sungai Wain Protection Forest (East Kalimantan, Indonesia), a previously intact forest reserve have led to the development of a range of landcover from secondary forest to areas dominated by grassland. These structural differences can be appreciated over large areas by remote sensing instruments such as TanDEM-X and LiDAR that provide information that are sensitive to vegetation vertical and horizontal structure. One-point statistics of TanDEM-X coherence (mean and CV) and LiDAR CHM (mean, CV) and derived metrics such as vegetation volume and canopy cover were tested for the discrimination between 4 landcover classes. Jeffries-Matusita (JM) separability was high between forest classes (primary or secondary forest) and non-forest (grassland) while, primary and secondary forest were not separable. The study tests the potential and the importance of potential of TanDEM-X coherence and LiDAR observations to characterize structural heterogeneity based on one-point statistics in tropical forest but requires improved characterization using two-point statistical measures.

  19. Fine-scale movement decisions of tropical forest birds in a fragmented landscape.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gillies, Cameron S; Beyer, Hawthorne L; St Clair, Colleen Cassady

    2011-04-01

    The persistence of forest-dependent species in fragmented landscapes is fundamentally linked to the movement of individuals among subpopulations. The paths taken by dispersing individuals can be considered a series of steps built from individual route choices. Despite the importance of these fine-scale movement decisions, it has proved difficult to collect such data that reveal how forest birds move in novel landscapes. We collected unprecedented route information about the movement of translocated forest birds from two species in the highly fragmented tropical dry forest of Costa Rica. In this pasture-dominated landscape, forest remains in patches or riparian corridors, with lesser amounts of living fencerows and individual trees or "stepping stones." We used step selection functions to quantify how route choice was influenced by these habitat elements. We found that the amount of risk these birds were willing to take by crossing open habitat was context dependent. The forest-specialist Barred Antshrike (Thamnophilus doliatus) exhibited stronger selection for forested routes when moving in novel landscapes distant from its territory relative to locations closer to its territory. It also selected forested routes when its step originated in forest habitat. It preferred steps ending in stepping stones when the available routes had little forest cover, but avoided them when routes had greater forest cover. The forest-generalist Rufous-naped Wren (Campylorhynchus rufinucha) preferred steps that contained more pasture, but only when starting from non-forest habitats. Our results showed that forested corridors (i.e., riparian corridors) best facilitated the movement of a sensitive forest specialist through this fragmented landscape. They also suggested that stepping stones can be important in highly fragmented forests with little remaining forest cover. We expect that naturally dispersing birds and species with greater forest dependence would exhibit even stronger

  20. Effect of taxes and climate policy instruments on harvesting of managed forests and on tropical deforestation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Barua, Sepul K.

    2011-07-01

    This dissertation examines the effects of taxes and policy instruments that aim to regulate climate services from forests. It consists of a summary section and four articles. Articles (1) and (2) examine the effects of taxes on management decisions in the context of managed boreal forests distinguished by forest-owners amenity preferences and also their age. Articles (3) and (4) examine the role of carbon-based policy instruments in the presence of taxes on land incomes in curbing tropical deforestation. Article (1) reveals that the intensity of forest-owners preferences for forest amenities affects the non-neutrality of forest taxes pertaining to forest harvesting. Therefore, the effects of taxes depend on this intensity. This highlights the importance of developing methods to measure forest-owners amenity preferences quantitatively. Article (2) shows that the age of forest-owners governs their propensity to consume as opposed to leave bequests. Furthermore, it shown that the effects of capital income and inheritance taxes vary across different age-groups of forest-owners. Article (3) demonstrates that taxes on forestry and cash-crop incomes, per se, may be ineffective in curbing tropical forest loss. The carbon payments may complement these taxes, and an effective policy to combat tropical deforestation should jointly target forestry and cash-crop sectors. Article (4) demonstrates the link between carbon compensation policies and land income taxation. An optimal carbon compensation scheme may require that national governments are allowed to use different compensation rates from that applied globally when passing national level compensations on to the local level. These results suggest that existing policies such as taxation should be accounted for in the analysis and design of international carbon policy instruments that aim at enhancing forests role in climate change mitigation. (orig.)

  1. Fire Patterns and Drivers of Fires in the West African Tropical Forest

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dwomoh, F. K.; Wimberly, M. C.

    2015-12-01

    The West African tropical forest (referred to as the Upper Guinean forest, UGF), is a global biodiversity hotspot providing vital ecosystem services for the region's socio-economic and environmental wellbeing. It is also one of the most fragmented and human-modified tropical forest ecosystems, with the only remaining large patches of original forests contained in protected areas. However, these remnant forests are susceptible to continued fire-mediated degradation and forest loss due to intense climatic, demographic and land use pressures. We analyzed human and climatic drivers of fire activity in the sub-region to better understand the spatial and temporal patterns of these risks. We utilized MODIS active fire and burned area products to identify fire activity within the sub-region. We measured climatic variability using TRMM rainfall data and derived indicators of human land use from a variety of geospatial datasets. We used a boosted regression trees model to determine the influences of predictor variables on fire activity. Our analyses indicated that the spatial and temporal variability of precipitation is a key driving factor of fire activity in the UGF. Anthropogenic effects on fire activity in the area were evident through the influences of agriculture and low-density populations. These human footprints in the landscape make forests more susceptible to fires through forest fragmentation, degradation, and fire spread from agricultural areas. Forested protected areas within the forest savanna mosaic experienced frequent fires, whereas the more humid forest areas located in the south and south-western portions of the study area had fewer fires as these rainforests tend to offer some buffering against fire encroachment. These results improve characterization of UGF fire regime and expand our understanding of the spatio-temporal dynamics of tropical forest fires in response to human and climatic pressures.

  2. Influence of persistent monodominance on functional diversity and functional community assembly in African tropical forests.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kearsley, Elizabeth; Verbeeck, Hans; Hufkens, Koen; Beeckman, Hans; Steppe, Kathy; Boeckx, Pascal; Huygens, Dries

    2015-04-01

    Lowland tropical rainforest are taxonomically diverse and complex systems, although not all tropical communities are equally diverse. Naturally occuring monodominant patches of Gilbertiodendron dewevrei are commonly found across Central Africa alongside higher diversity forests. Nevertheless, a low taxonomical diversity does not necessarily indicate an equivalently low functional diverse system. We investigate the functional diversity and functional community assembly of mixed and monodominant tropical forests in a central region of the Congo Basin in D. R. Congo using 15 leaf and wood traits covering 95% of all species within each community. This unique dataset allows us to investigate differences in functional diversity and ecosystem functioning between mixed and monodominant forest types. Functional richness, functional divergence and functional evenness are three functional diversity measures providing different aspects of functional diversity. The largest difference between the two forest types was found for functional richness, with a lower functional richness in the monodominant forest indicating a higher amount of niche space filled in the mixed forest. The mixed forest also had a higher species richness and Simpson diversity index, indicating that the higher species richness increases the functional niche space. Subsequently, we identified whole community trait shifts within the monodominant forest compared to the mixed forest. The dominance of Gilbertiodendron dewevrei, for which a distinct niche is found for most traits, presented a significant influence on the entire (trait) community expressing fundamental differences in ecosystem functioning. More detailed investigation of species unique within the monodominant forest and species occurring in both forest types provide more insight into the influence of Gilbertiodendron dewevrei. Both the unique and the shared species showed significant shifts in leaf nutrients, specific leaf area and water use

  3. Patterns of loss and regeneration of tropical dry forest in Madagascar: the social institutional context.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thomas Elmqvist

    Full Text Available Loss of tropical forests and changes in land-use/land-cover are of growing concern worldwide. Although knowledge exists about the institutional context in which tropical forest loss is embedded, little is known about the role of social institutions in influencing regeneration of tropical forests. In the present study we used Landsat images from southern Madagascar from three different years (1984, 1993 and 2000 and covering 5500 km(2, and made a time-series analysis of three distinct large-scale patterns: 1 loss of forest cover, 2 increased forest cover, and 3 stable forest cover. Institutional characteristics underlying these three patterns were analyzed, testing the hypothesis that forest cover change is a function of strength and enforcement of local social institutions. The results showed a minor decrease of 7% total forest cover in the study area during the whole period 1984-2000, but an overall net increase of 4% during the period 1993-2000. The highest loss of forest cover occurred in a low human population density area with long distances to markets, while a stable forest cover occurred in the area with highest population density and good market access. Analyses of institutions revealed that loss of forest cover occurred mainly in areas characterized by insecure property rights, while areas with well-defined property rights showed either regenerating or stable forest cover. The results thus corroborate our hypothesis. The large-scale spontaneous regeneration dominated by native endemic species appears to be a result of a combination of changes in precipitation, migration and decreased human population and livestock grazing pressure, but under conditions of maintained and well-defined property rights. Our study emphasizes the large capacity of a semi-arid system to spontaneously regenerate, triggered by decreased pressures, but where existing social institutions mitigate other drivers of deforestation and alternative land-use.

  4. Patterns of loss and regeneration of tropical dry forest in Madagascar: the social institutional context.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Elmqvist, Thomas; Pyykönen, Markku; Tengö, Maria; Rakotondrasoa, Fanambinantsoa; Rabakonandrianina, Elisabeth; Radimilahy, Chantal

    2007-05-02

    Loss of tropical forests and changes in land-use/land-cover are of growing concern worldwide. Although knowledge exists about the institutional context in which tropical forest loss is embedded, little is known about the role of social institutions in influencing regeneration of tropical forests. In the present study we used Landsat images from southern Madagascar from three different years (1984, 1993 and 2000) and covering 5500 km(2), and made a time-series analysis of three distinct large-scale patterns: 1) loss of forest cover, 2) increased forest cover, and 3) stable forest cover. Institutional characteristics underlying these three patterns were analyzed, testing the hypothesis that forest cover change is a function of strength and enforcement of local social institutions. The results showed a minor decrease of 7% total forest cover in the study area during the whole period 1984-2000, but an overall net increase of 4% during the period 1993-2000. The highest loss of forest cover occurred in a low human population density area with long distances to markets, while a stable forest cover occurred in the area with highest population density and good market access. Analyses of institutions revealed that loss of forest cover occurred mainly in areas characterized by insecure property rights, while areas with well-defined property rights showed either regenerating or stable forest cover. The results thus corroborate our hypothesis. The large-scale spontaneous regeneration dominated by native endemic species appears to be a result of a combination of changes in precipitation, migration and decreased human population and livestock grazing pressure, but under conditions of maintained and well-defined property rights. Our study emphasizes the large capacity of a semi-arid system to spontaneously regenerate, triggered by decreased pressures, but where existing social institutions mitigate other drivers of deforestation and alternative land-use.

  5. A universal airborne LiDAR approach for tropical forest carbon mapping.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Asner, Gregory P; Mascaro, Joseph; Muller-Landau, Helene C; Vieilledent, Ghislain; Vaudry, Romuald; Rasamoelina, Maminiaina; Hall, Jefferson S; van Breugel, Michiel

    2012-04-01

    Airborne light detection and ranging (LiDAR) is fast turning the corner from demonstration technology to a key tool for assessing carbon stocks in tropical forests. With its ability to penetrate tropical forest canopies and detect three-dimensional forest structure, LiDAR may prove to be a major component of international strategies to measure and account for carbon emissions from and uptake by tropical forests. To date, however, basic ecological information such as height-diameter allometry and stand-level wood density have not been mechanistically incorporated into methods for mapping forest carbon at regional and global scales. A better incorporation of these structural patterns in forests may reduce the considerable time needed to calibrate airborne data with ground-based forest inventory plots, which presently necessitate exhaustive measurements of tree diameters and heights, as well as tree identifications for wood density estimation. Here, we develop a new approach that can facilitate rapid LiDAR calibration with minimal field data. Throughout four tropical regions (Panama, Peru, Madagascar, and Hawaii), we were able to predict aboveground carbon density estimated in field inventory plots using a single universal LiDAR model (r ( 2 ) = 0.80, RMSE = 27.6 Mg C ha(-1)). This model is comparable in predictive power to locally calibrated models, but relies on limited inputs of basal area and wood density information for a given region, rather than on traditional plot inventories. With this approach, we propose to radically decrease the time required to calibrate airborne LiDAR data and thus increase the output of high-resolution carbon maps, supporting tropical forest conservation and climate mitigation policy.

  6. Methods to assess tropical rain forest canopy structure: an overview

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bongers, F.

    2001-01-01

    Forest canopy structure (sensu latu) is the combination of forest texture (the qualitative and quantitative composition of the vegetation as to different morphological elements), and forest structure (sensu strictu, the spatial arrangement of these elements). Scale is an aspect of major importance.

  7. Survival rates of birds of tropical and temperate forests: will the dogma survive?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karr, J.R.; Nichols, J.D.; Klimkiewicz, M.K.; Brawn, J.D.

    1990-01-01

    Survival rates of tropical forest birds are widely assumed to be high relative to the survival rates of temperate forest birds. Much life-history theory is based on this assumption despite the lack of empirical data to support it. We provide the first detailed comparison of survival rates of tropical and temperate forest birds based on extensive data bases and modern capture-recapture models. We find no support for the conventional wisdom. Because clutch size is only one component of reproductive rate, the frequently assumed, simple association between clutch size and adult survival rates should not necessarily be expected. Our results emphasize the need to consider components of fecundity in addition to clutch size when comparing the life histories of tropical and temperate birds and suggest similar considerations in the development of vertebrate life-history theory.

  8. Impacts of Land Cover Change on the Carbon Dynamics in Indonesian Tropical Forested Wetlands- Mangroves and Peat Swamp Forests

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kauffman, J. B.; Arifanti, V. B.; Basuki, I.; Kurnianto, S.; Novita, N.; Murdiyarso, D.

    2014-12-01

    Tropical wetland forests including mangroves and lowland peat swamp forests contain among the highest carbon stocks of any ecosystem on the planet. This is largely due to the accumulation of deep organic rich soils which have been sequestering carbon for millennia. Depth of organic layers (peats) can exceed 3 m in mangrove and 10 m in the peat swamp forests. The ecosystem carbon stocks may exceed 2000 Mg/ha in mangroves and 5000 Mg/ha in peat swamp forests. Ironically, rates of deforestation of these tropical forests are among the highest in the tropics. With land cover change comes dramatic shifts in carbon stocks, net ecosystem productivity, and greenhouse gas emissions. Land cover change results in carbon losses of practically all aboveground pools as well as losses arising from soil pools. Based upon studies where we have compared stock changes due to land use the carbon emissions arising from land cover change to shrimp ponds and oil palm have ranged from 800-3000 Mg CO2e/ha. The lowered carbon sequestration rates coupled with increased or similar emissions from decomposition results in an ecosystem shift from a carbon sink to a carbon source. Clearly the large carbon stocks, high rates of deforestation, and large emissions resulting from their degradation suggest that these ecosystems should receive great consideration in climate change mitigation and adaptation strategies.

  9. Challenges for measuring and modeling carbon cycling in degraded tropical forests: Examples from the Brazilian Amazon

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keller, M. M.; Longo, M.; Morton, D. C.; Leitold, V.; Pinagé, E. R.; dos-Santos, M. N.; Scaranello, M. A., Sr.

    2016-12-01

    Deforestation has cleared almost 20% of the forest in the Brazilian Amazon region. Logging, and understory forest fires may have degraded a similar area of forest. Despite the significant reduction of deforestation over the past decade, forest degradation through logging and understory fire continues to affect carbon stocks and fluxes. Recent studies using atmospheric data show that uptake by Amazon ecosystems balances or exceeds the carbon dioxide release by deforestation in normal (non-drought) years. However, old growth forest carbon dioxide uptake appears to be declining. Therefore, regeneration of degraded and secondary forests may be playing an ever more important role in the carbon balance of the world's largest extent of tropical forest. There are multiple challenges for understanding the role of degraded forests in regional and global carbon cycling. First, to date, no reliable estimates of the total area of degraded forest or the carbon losses associated with degradation exist in the Amazon. Remote sensing detection of forest degradation is far more difficult than detection of deforestation because changes in canopy characteristics are subtler. Second, forests may be subject to multiple degradation events and forest structure and species composition resulting from degradation is highly variable. Third, the structure of forests that result from degradation can be radically different from more commonly studied old-growth and secondary forests. Finally, there are few measurements that quantify degraded forest function. We will demonstrate pathways to resolving these challenges including (i) multi-temporal remote sensing studies of forest degradation dynamics on the Amazon frontier; (ii) forest structure and biomass estimates using airborne lidar data; (iii) changes in species composition based on forest inventory; and (iv) approaches for incorporating lidar data into a demographic modeling framework.

  10. A comparative assessment of land cover dynamics of three protected forest areas in tropical eastern Africa.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lung, Tobias; Schaab, Gertrud

    2010-02-01

    Processes of deforestation, known to threaten tropical forest biodiversity, have not yet been studied sufficiently in East Africa. To shed light on the patterns and causes of human influences on protected forest ecosystems, comparisons of different study areas regarding land cover dynamics and potential drivers are needed. We analyze the development of land cover since the early 1970s for three protected East African rainforests and their surrounding farmlands and assess the relationship between the observed changes in the context of the protection status of the forests. Processing of Landsat satellite imagery of eight or seven time steps in regular intervals results in 12 land cover classes for the Kakamega-Nandi forests (Kenya) and Budongo Forest (Uganda) whereas ten are distinguished for Mabira Forest (Uganda). The overall classification accuracy assessed for the year 2001 or 2003 is similarly high for all three study areas (81% to 85%). The time series reveal that, despite their protection status, Kakamega-Nandi forests and Mabira Forest experienced major forest decrease, the first a continuous forest loss of 31% between 1972/1973 and 2001, the latter an abrupt loss of 24% in the late 1970s/early 1980s. For both forests, the temporally dense time series show short-term fluctuations in forest classes (e.g., areas of forest regrowth since the 1980s or exotic secondary bushland species from the 1990s onwards). Although selectively logged, Budongo Forest shows a much more stable forest cover extent. A visual overlay with population distribution for all three regions clearly indicates a relationship between forest loss and areas of high population density, suggesting population pressure as a main driver of deforestation. The revealed forest losses due to local and commercial exploitation further demonstrate that weak management impedes effective forest protection in East Africa.

  11. The role of phosphorus dynamics in tropical forests – a modeling study using CLM-CNP

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    X. Yang

    2013-08-01

    Full Text Available Tropical forests play a significant role in the global carbon cycle and global climate. However, tropical carbon cycling and the feedbacks from tropical ecosystems to the climate system remain critical uncertainties in current generation carbon-climate models. One of the major uncertainties comes from the lack of representation of phosphorus (P, the most limiting nutrient in tropical regions. Here we introduce P dynamics and C–N–P interactions into the CLM4-CN model and investigate the role of P cycling in controlling the productivity of tropical ecosystems. The newly developed CLM-CNP model includes all major biological and geochemical processes controlling P availability in soils and the interactions between C, N, and P cycles. Model simulations at sites along a Hawaiian soil chronosequence indicate that the introduction of P limitation greatly improved the model performance at the P-limited site. The model is also able to capture the shift in nutrient limitation along this chronosequence (from N limited to P limited, as shown in the comparison of model simulated plant responses to fertilization with the observed data. Model simulations at Amazonian forest sites show that CLM-CNP is capable of capturing the overall trend in NPP along the P availability gradient. This comparison also suggests a significant interaction between nutrient limitation and land use history. Model experiments under elevated atmospheric CO2 ([CO2] condition suggest that tropical forest responses to increasing [CO2] will interact strongly with changes in the P cycle. We highlight the importance of two feedback pathways (biochemical mineralization and desorption of secondary mineral P that can significantly affect P availability and determine the extent of P limitation in tropical forests under elevated [CO2]. Field experiments with elevated CO2 are therefore needed to help quantify these important feedbacks. Predictive modeling of C–P interactions will have

  12. Rubber and pulp plantations represent a double threat to Hainan's natural tropical forests.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhai, De-Li; Cannon, Charles H; Slik, J W Ferry; Zhang, Cui-Ping; Dai, Zhi-Cong

    2012-04-15

    Hainan, the largest tropical island in China, belongs to the Indo-Burma biodiversity hotspot and harbors large areas of tropical forests, particularly in the uplands. The Changhua watershed is the cradle of Hainan's main river and a center of endemism for plants and birds. The watershed contains great habitat diversity and is an important conservation area. We analyzed the impact of rubber and pulp plantations on the distribution and area of tropical forest in the watershed, using remote sensing analysis of Landsat images from 1988, 1995 and 2005. From 1988 to 1995, natural forest increased in area (979-1040 sq km) but decreased rapidly (763 sq km) over the next decade. Rubber plantations increased steadily through the study period while pulp plantations appeared after 1995 but occupied 152 sq km by 2005. Rubber and pulp plantations displace different types of natural forest and do not replace one another. Because pulp is not as profitable as rubber and existing pulp processing capacity greatly exceeds local supply, considerable pressure exists on remaining upland forests. We recommend for future management that these plantation forests be reclassified as 'industrial', making a clear policy distinction between natural and industrial forestry. Additionally, the local government should work to enforce existing laws preventing forest conversion on marginal and protected areas.

  13. The responses of tropical forest species to global climate change: acclimate, adapt, migrate, or go extinct?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Brian Machovina

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available In the face of ongoing and future climate change, species must acclimate, adapt or shift their geographic distributions (i.e., "migrate" in order to avoid habitat loss and eventual extinction. Perhaps nowhere are the challenges posed by climate change more poignant and daunting than in tropical forests, which harbor the majority of Earth’s species and are facing especially rapid rates of climate change relative to current spatial or temporal variability. Due to the rapid changes in climate predicted for the tropics, coupled with the apparently low capacities of tropical tree species to either acclimate or adapt to sustained changes in environmental conditions, it is believed that the greatest hope for avoiding the loss of biodiversity in tropical forest is species migrations. This is supported by the fact that topical forests responded to historic changes in climate (e.g., post glacial warming through distributional shifts. However, a great deal of uncertainty remains as to if tropical plant and tree species can migrate, and if so, if they can migrate at the rates required to keep pace with accelerating changes in multiple climatic factors in conjunction with ongoing deforestation and other anthropogenic disturbances. In order to resolve this uncertainty, as will be required to predict, and eventually mitigate, the impacts of global climate change on tropical and global biodiversity, more basic data is required on the distributions and ecologies of tens of thousands of plants species in combination with more directed studies and large-scale experimental manipulations.

  14. Effect of Skidding Operations on Soil Carbon Storage of a Tropical Peat Swamp Forest

    OpenAIRE

    Anton E. Satrio; Seca Gandaseca; Osumanu H. Ahmed; Nik M.A. Majid

    2009-01-01

    Problem statement: There is still lack of a study that compares the soil carbon storage of kuda-kuda skidding system and excavator skidding system in tropical peat swamp forests. The objective of this study was to determine whether skidding operations affects soil carbon storage of a tropical peat swamp forest. Approach: Soil sampling was conducted on two different plots (0.3 ha each plot) to a depth of 15 cm under different skidding systems at Sibu, Sarawak, Malaysia. Plots were in the same ...

  15. High retention of (15) N-labeled nitrogen deposition in a nitrogen saturated old-growth tropical forest.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gurmesa, Geshere Abdisa; Lu, Xiankai; Gundersen, Per; Mao, Qinggong; Zhou, Kaijun; Fang, Yunting; Mo, Jiangming

    2016-11-01

    The effects of increased reactive nitrogen (N) deposition in forests depend largely on its fate in the ecosystems. However, our knowledge on the fates of deposited N in tropical forest ecosystems and its retention mechanisms is limited. Here, we report the results from the first whole ecosystem (15) N labeling experiment performed in a N-rich old-growth tropical forest in southern China. We added (15) N tracer monthly as (15) NH4(15) NO3 for 1 year to control plots and to N-fertilized plots (N-plots, receiving additions of 50 kg N ha(-1)  yr(-1) for 10 years). Tracer recoveries in major ecosystem compartments were quantified 4 months after the last addition. Tracer recoveries in soil solution were monitored monthly to quantify leaching losses. Total tracer recovery in plant and soil (N retention) in the control plots was 72% and similar to those observed in temperate forests. The retention decreased to 52% in the N-plots. Soil was the dominant sink, retaining 37% and 28% of the labeled N input in the control and N-plots, respectively. Leaching below 20 cm was 50 kg N ha(-1)  yr(-1) in the control plots and was close to the N input (51 kg N ha(-1)  yr(-1) ), indicating N saturation of the top soil. Nitrogen addition increased N leaching to 73 kg N ha(-1)  yr(-1) . However, of these only 7 and 23 kg N ha(-1)  yr(-1) in the control and N-plots, respectively, originated from the labeled N input. Our findings indicate that deposited N, like in temperate forests, is largely incorporated into plant and soil pools in the short term, although the forest is N-saturated, but high cycling rates may later release the N for leaching and/or gaseous loss. Thus, N cycling rates rather than short-term N retention represent the main difference between temperate forests and the studied tropical forest.

  16. Tropical Montane Cloud Forests: Hydrometeorological variability in three neighbouring catchments with different forest cover

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ramírez, Beatriz H.; Teuling, Adriaan J.; Ganzeveld, Laurens; Hegger, Zita; Leemans, Rik

    2017-09-01

    Mountain areas are characterized by a large heterogeneity in hydrological and meteorological conditions. This heterogeneity is currently poorly represented by gauging networks and by the coarse scale of global and regional climate and hydrological models. Tropical Montane Cloud Forests (TMCFs) are found in a narrow elevation range and are characterized by persistent fog. Their water balance depends on local and upwind temperatures and moisture, therefore, changes in these parameters will alter TMCF hydrology. Until recently the hydrological functioning of TMCFs was mainly studied in coastal regions, while continental TMCFs were largely ignored. This study contributes to fill this gap by focusing on a TMCF which is located on the northern eastern Andes at an elevation of 1550-2300 m asl, in the Orinoco river basin highlands. In this study, we describe the spatial and seasonal meteorological variability, analyse the corresponding catchment hydrological response to different land cover, and perform a sensitivity analysis on uncertainties related to rainfall interpolation, catchment area estimation and streamflow measurements. Hydro-meteorological measurements, including hourly solar radiation, temperature, relative humidity, wind speed, precipitation, soil moisture and streamflow, were collected from June 2013 to May 2014 at three gauged neighbouring catchments with contrasting TMCF/grassland cover and less than 250 m elevation difference. We found wetter and less seasonally contrasting conditions at higher elevations, indicating a positive relation between elevation and fog or rainfall persistence. This pattern is similar to that of other eastern Andean TMCFs, however, the study site had higher wet season rainfall and lower dry season rainfall suggesting that upwind contrasts in land cover and moisture can influence the meteorological conditions at eastern Andean TMCFs. Contrasting streamflow dynamics between the studied catchments reflect the overall system response

  17. Aerial Seeding: An Effective Forest Restoration Method in Highly Degraded Forest Landscapes of Sub-Tropic Regions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xin Xiao

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available Carbon stock is an important indicator of cumulative ecosystem productivity. Using this indicator, and based on field sampling data, this paper compared the long-term difference in carbon stocks between aerial seeding (AS and natural regeneration (NR forests of Pinus massoniana in sub-tropic forests, China, in order to assess the effectiveness of AS in a highly degraded forest landscape. The results showed that the carbon stocks of stems, branches, roots, and trees (including stems, branches, leaves, and roots were 140%, 85%, 110%, and 110%, significantly higher (p < 0.05 in the NR forests than those in the AS forests at the ages of 11–20 years, respectively. In addition, the carbon stocks of understory, litter and soil were also 176%, 151%, and 77%, significantly higher (p < 0.05 in the NR forests than those in the AS forests at the same age range, respectively. However, with increasing age (i.e., >21 years, those differences became statistically insignificant (p > 0.05. The total carbon stocks of the two forest types also showed a similar pattern. Those results clearly demonstrate that AS was an effective mean for restoring carbon stocks in highly degraded areas, even though their early growth was lower than the NR forests, and thus can be applied in the regions where the areas with limited seed sources and road accessibility.

  18. Net ecosystem CO2 exchange of a primary tropical peat swamp forest in Sarawak, Malaysia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tang Che Ing, A.; Stoy, P. C.; Melling, L.

    2014-12-01

    Tropical peat swamp forests are widely recognized as one of the world's most efficient ecosystems for the sequestration and storage of carbon through both their aboveground biomass and underlying thick deposits of peat. As the peat characteristics exhibit high spatial and temporal variability as well as the structural and functional complexity of forests, tropical peat ecosystems can act naturally as both carbon sinks and sources over their life cycles. Nonetheless, few reports of studies on the ecosystem-scale CO2 exchange of tropical peat swamp forests are available to-date and their present roles in the global carbon cycle remain uncertain. To quantify CO2 exchange and unravel the prevailing factors and potential underlying mechanism regulating net CO2 fluxes, an eddy covariance tower was erected in a tropical peat swamp forest in Sarawak, Malaysia. We observed that the diurnal and seasonal patterns of net ecosystem CO2 exchange (NEE) and its components (gross primary productivity (GPP) and ecosystem respiration (RE)) varied between seasons and years. Rates of NEE declined in the wet season relative to the dry season. Conversely, both the gross primary productivity (GPP) and ecosystem respiration (RE) were found to be higher during the wet season than the dry season, in which GPP was strongly negatively correlated with NEE. The average annual NEE was 385 ± 74 g C m-2 yr-1, indicating the primary peat swamp forest functioned as net source of CO2 to the atmosphere over the observation period.

  19. Iron controls over di-nitrogen fixation in karst tropical forest.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Winbourne, Joy B; Brewer, Steven W; Houlton, Benjamin Z

    2017-03-01

    Limestone tropical forests represent a meaningful fraction of the land area in Central America (25%) and Southeast Asia (40%). These ecosystems are marked by high biological diversity, CO2 uptake capacity, and high pH soils, the latter making them fundamentally different from the majority of lowland tropical forest areas in the Amazon and Congo basins. Here, we examine the role of bedrock geology in determining biological nitrogen fixation (BNF) rates in volcanic (low pH) vs. limestone (high pH) tropical forests located in the Maya Mountains of Belize. We experimentally test how BNF in the leaf-litter responds to nitrogen, phosphorus, molybdenum, and iron additions across different parent materials. We find evidence for iron limitation of BNF rates in limestone forests during the wet but not dry season (response ratio 3.2 ± 0.2; P = 0.03). In contrast, BNF in low pH volcanic forest soil was stimulated by the trace-metal molybdenum during the dry season. The parent-material induced patterns of limitation track changes in siderophore activity and iron bioavailability among parent materials. These findings point to a new role for iron in regulating BNF in karst tropical soils, consistent with observations for other high pH systems such as the open ocean and calcareous agricultural ecosystems.

  20. A ranking of net national contributions to climate change mitigation through tropical forest conservation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carrasco, L R; Papworth, S K

    2014-12-15

    Deforestation in tropical regions causes 15% of global anthropogenic carbon emissions and reduces the mitigation potential of carbon sequestration services. A global market failure occurs as the value of many ecosystem services provided by forests is not recognised by the markets. Identifying the contribution of individual countries to tropical carbon stocks and sequestration might help identify responsibilities and facilitate debate towards the correction of the market failure through international payments for ecosystem services. We compare and rank tropical countries' contributions by estimating carbon sequestration services vs. emissions disservices. The annual value of tropical carbon sequestration services in 2010 from 88 tropical countries was estimated to range from $2.8 to $30.7 billion, using market and social prices of carbon respectively. Democratic Republic of Congo, India and Sudan contribute the highest net carbon sequestration, whereas Brazil, Nigeria and Indonesia are the highest net emitters.

  1. Spatio-temporal analysis on land transformation in a forested tropical landscape in Jambi Province, Sumatra

    Science.gov (United States)

    Melati, Dian N.; Nengah Surati Jaya, I.; Pérez-Cruzado, César; Zuhdi, Muhammad; Fehrmann, Lutz; Magdon, Paul; Kleinn, Christoph

    2015-04-01

    Land use/land cover (LULC) in forested tropical landscapes is very dynamically developing. In particular, the pace of forest conversion in the tropics is a global concern as it directly impacts the global carbon cycle and biodiversity conservation. Expansion of agriculture is known to be among the major drivers of forest loss especially in the tropics. This is also the case in Jambi Province, Sumatra, Indonesia where it is the mainly expansion of tree crops that triggers deforestation: oil palm and rubber trees. Another transformation system in Jambi is the one from natural forest into jungle rubber, which is an agroforestry system where a certain density of forest trees accompanies the rubber tree crop, also for production of wood and non-wood forest products. The spatial distribution and the dynamics of these transformation systems and of the remaining forests are essential information for example for further research on ecosystem services and on the drivers of land transformation. In order to study land transformation, maps from the years 1990, 2000, 2011, and 2013 were utilized, derived from visual interpretation of Landsat images. From these maps, we analyze the land use/land cover change (LULCC) in the study region. It is found that secondary dryland forest (on mineral soils) and secondary swamp forest have been transformed largely into (temporary) shrub land, plantation forests, mixed dryland agriculture, bare lands and estate crops where the latter include the oil palm and rubber plantations. In addition, we present some analyses of the spatial pattern of land transformation to better understand the process of LULC fragmentation within the studied periods. Furthermore, the driving forces are analyzed.

  2. Carbon stocks and dynamics at different successional stages in an Afromontane tropical forest

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nyirambangutse, Brigitte; Zibera, Etienne; Uwizeye, Félicien K.; Nsabimana, Donat; Bizuru, Elias; Pleijel, Håkan; Uddling, Johan; Wallin, Göran

    2017-03-01

    As a result of different types of disturbance, forests are a mixture of stands at different stages of ecological succession. Successional stage is likely to influence forest productivity and carbon storage, linking the degree of forest disturbance to the global carbon cycle and climate. Although tropical montane forests are an important part of tropical forest ecosystems (ca. 8 %, elevation > 1000 m a.s.l.), there are still significant knowledge gaps regarding the carbon dynamics and stocks of these forests, and how these differ between early (ES) and late successional (LS) stages. This study examines the carbon (C) stock, relative growth rate (RGR) and net primary production (NPP) of ES and LS forest stands in an Afromontane tropical rainforest using data from inventories of quantitatively important ecosystem compartments in fifteen 0.5 ha plots in Nyungwe National Park in Rwanda. The total C stock was 35 % larger in LS compared to ES plots due to significantly larger above-ground biomass (AGB; 185 and 76 Mg C ha-1 in LS and ES plots), while the soil and root C stock (down to 45 cm depth in the mineral soil) did not significantly differ between the two successional stages (178 and 204 Mg C ha-1 in LS and ES plots). The main reasons for the difference in AGB were that ES trees had significantly lower stature and wood density compared to LS trees. However, ES and LS stands had similar total NPP (canopy, wood and roots of all plots ˜ 9.4 Mg C ha-1) due to counterbalancing effects of differences in AGB (higher in LS stands) and RGR (higher in ES stands). The AGB in the LS plots was considerably higher than the average value reported for old-growth tropical montane forest of south-east Asia and Central and South America at similar elevations and temperatures, and of the same magnitude as in tropical lowland forest of these regions. The results of this study highlight the importance of accounting for disturbance regimes and differences in wood density and allometry of

  3. Trading Forests: Quantifying the Contribution of Global Commodity Markets to Emissions from Tropical Deforestation

    OpenAIRE

    Persson, Martin; Henders, Sabine; Kastner, Thomas

    2014-01-01

    This paper aims to improve our understanding of how and where global supply-chains linkconsumers of agricultural and forest commodities across the world to forest destruction in tropicalcountries. A better understanding of these linkages can help inform and support the design ofdemand-side interventions to reduce tropical deforestation. To that end, we map the link betweendeforestation for four commodities (beef, soybeans, palm oil, and wood products) in eight casecountries (Argentina, Bolivi...

  4. Height-diameter relationships of tropical Atlantic moist forest trees in southeastern Brazil

    OpenAIRE

    Marcos Augusto da Silva Scaranello; Luciana Ferreira Alves; Simone Aparecida Vieira; Plinio Barbosa Camargo; Carlos Alfredo Joly; Luiz Antônio Martinelli

    2013-01-01

    Site-specific height-diameter models may be used to improve biomass estimates for forest inventories where only diameter at breast height (DBH) measurements are available. In this study, we fit height-diameter models for vegetation types of a tropical Atlantic forest using field measurements of height across plots along an altitudinal gradient. To fit height-diameter models, we sampled trees by DBH class and measured tree height within 13 one-hectare permanent plots established at four altitu...

  5. Does functional trait diversity predict aboveground biomass and productivity of tropical forests? Testing three alternative hypotheses

    OpenAIRE

    Finegan, B.; Pena Claros, M.; Silva de Oliveira, A.; ASCARRUNZ, N.; Bret-Harte, M. S.; Carreño Rocabado, I.G.; Casanoves, F; Diaz, S; Eguiguren Velepucha, P.; Fernandez, F.; Licona, J.C.; Lorenzo, L; Salgado Negret, B.; Vaz, M; L. Poorter

    2014-01-01

    1. Tropical forests are globally important, but it is not clear whether biodiversity enhances carbon storage and sequestration in them. We tested this relationship focusing on components of functional trait biodiversity as predictors. 2. Data are presented for three rain forests in Bolivia, Brazil and Costa Rica. Initial above-ground biomass and biomass increments of survivors, recruits and survivors + recruits (total) were estimated for trees ≥10 cm d.b.h. in 62 and 21 1.0-ha plots, respecti...

  6. The tropical rain forests of Suriname : exploitation and management 1600-1975

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Peter Boomgaard

    1992-07-01

    Full Text Available First, an introduction of the geomorphology of Suriname and the characteristics of its forests is given. Then, the author explains how it is possible that Suriname still has a high proportion of tropical rainforest while it has been a plantation economy for centuries. He looks at the usual sources of destruction of wooded areas, government policy, role of the Forest Service, and Western enterprise.

  7. The Significance of Forest Monitoring Programmes: the Finnish Perspective

    Science.gov (United States)

    Merila, P.; Derome, J.; Lindgren, M.

    2007-12-01

    Finland has been participating in the ICP Forests programme (the International Co-operative Programme on the Assessment and Monitoring of Air Pollution Effects on Forests) based on international agreements on the long- range transportation of air pollutants (LRTAP) and other associated monitoring programmes (e.g. Forest Focus, ICP Integrated Monitoring, ICP Vegetation) since 1985. The knowledge gained during the years has greatly increased our understanding of the overall condition of our forests and the factors affecting forest condition, the processes underlying forest ecosystem functioning, and the potential threats to our forests posed by human activities, both at home and abroad. The success of the monitoring activities in Finland is largely based on the experience gained during the early 1980's with our own national acidification project and, during the late 1980's and early 1990"s, in a number of regional monitoring projects. Finland's membership of the European Union (entry in 1996) has enabled us to further develop the infrastructure and coverage of both our extensive and intensive level networks. This broadening of our ecological understanding and development of international collaboration are now providing us with an invaluable basis for addressing the new monitoring challenges (biodiversity, climate change). The results gained in our monitoring activities clearly demonstrate the value of long-term monitoring programmes. The main results have been regularly reported both at the European (e.g. http://www.icp- forests.org/Reports.htm) and national level (e.g. http://www.metla.fi/julkaisut/workingpapers/2007/mwp045- en.htm). However, the datasets have not been intensively explored and exploited, and few of the important methodological and ecological findings have been published in peer-reviewed scientific journals. This has, understandably, not been the first priority of the international monitoring programmes. A number of the intensive forest monitoring

  8. Sustainable Forest Management and Carbon in Tropical Latin America: The Case for REDD+

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sven Wunder

    2011-02-01

    Full Text Available In this review paper, we assess the economical, governance, and technical conditions that shape forest management in tropical Latin America with particular regard to efforts to reduce forest-based carbon emissions. We provide a framework for discussions about ways to improve forest management that achieve environmental objectives while promoting local and national development and contributing to local livelihoods. We argue that many management practices that lead towards sustainability are only likely to be adopted where there is good governance backed by financial incentives for effective enforcement of management regulations. We propose some policy interventions designed to lower net greenhouse gas emissions by decreasing rates of forest degradation and increasing carbon stock recovery in logged-over or otherwise degraded forests. Implementation of REDD+ could provide critical compensation to forest users for improved management practices in the absence of, or in combination with other economic incentives.

  9. Mapping Above-Ground Biomass in a Tropical Forest in Cambodia Using Canopy Textures Derived from Google Earth

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Minerva Singh

    2015-04-01

    Full Text Available This study develops a modelling framework for utilizing very high-resolution (VHR aerial imagery for monitoring stocks of above-ground biomass (AGB in a tropical forest in Southeast Asia. Three different texture-based methods (grey level co-occurrence metric (GLCM, Gabor wavelets and Fourier-based textural ordination (FOTO were used in conjunction with two different machine learning (ML-based regression techniques (support vector regression (SVR and random forest (RF regression. These methods were implemented on both 50-cm resolution Digital Globe data extracted from Google Earth™ (GE and 8-cm commercially obtained VHR imagery. This study further examines the role of forest biophysical parameters, such as ground-measured canopy cover and vertical canopy height, in explaining AGB distribution. Three models were developed using: (i horizontal canopy variables (i.e., canopy cover and texture variables plus vertical canopy height; (ii horizontal variables only; and (iii texture variables only. AGB was variable across the site, ranging from 51.02 Mg/ha to 356.34 Mg/ha. GE-based AGB estimates were comparable to those derived from commercial aerial imagery. The findings demonstrate that novel use of this array of texture-based techniques with GE imagery can help promote the wider use of freely available imagery for low-cost, fine-resolution monitoring of forests parameters at the landscape scale.

  10. Markedly Divergent Tree Assemblage Responses to Tropical Forest Loss and Fragmentation across a Strong Seasonality Gradient.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rodrigo L L Orihuela

    Full Text Available We examine the effects of forest fragmentation on the structure and composition of tree assemblages within three seasonal and aseasonal forest types of southern Brazil, including evergreen, Araucaria, and deciduous forests. We sampled three southernmost Atlantic Forest landscapes, including the largest continuous forest protected areas within each forest type. Tree assemblages in each forest type were sampled within 10 plots of 0.1 ha in both continuous forests and 10 adjacent forest fragments. All trees within each plot were assigned to trait categories describing their regeneration strategy, vertical stratification, seed-dispersal mode, seed size, and wood density. We detected differences among both forest types and landscape contexts in terms of overall tree species richness, and the density and species richness of different functional groups in terms of regeneration strategy, seed dispersal mode and woody density. Overall, evergreen forest fragments exhibited the largest deviations from continuous forest plots in assemblage structure. Evergreen, Araucaria and deciduous forests diverge in the functional composition of tree floras, particularly in relation to regeneration strategy and stress tolerance. By supporting a more diversified light-demanding and stress-tolerant flora with reduced richness and abundance of shade-tolerant, old-growth species, both deciduous and Araucaria forest tree assemblages are more intrinsically resilient to contemporary human-disturbances, including fragmentation-induced edge effects, in terms of species erosion and functional shifts. We suggest that these intrinsic differences in the direction and magnitude of responses to changes in landscape structure between forest types should guide a wide range of conservation strategies in restoring fragmented tropical forest landscapes worldwide.

  11. Minimizing Risks of Invasive Alien Plant Species in Tropical Production Forest Management

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael Padmanaba

    2014-08-01

    Full Text Available Timber production is the most pervasive human impact on tropical forests, but studies of logging impacts have largely focused on timber species and vertebrates. This review focuses on the risk from invasive alien plant species, which has been frequently neglected in production forest management in the tropics. Our literature search resulted in 114 publications with relevant information, including books, book chapters, reports and papers. Examples of both invasions by aliens into tropical production forests and plantation forests as sources of invasions are presented. We discuss species traits and processes affecting spread and invasion, and silvicultural practices that favor invasions. We also highlight potential impacts of invasive plant species and discuss options for managing them in production forests. We suggest that future forestry practices need to reduce the risks of plant invasions by conducting surveillance for invasive species; minimizing canopy opening during harvesting; encouraging rapid canopy closure in plantations; minimizing the width of access roads; and ensuring that vehicles and other equipment are not transporting seeds of invasive species. Potential invasive species should not be planted within dispersal range of production forests. In invasive species management, forewarned is forearmed.

  12. Taxonomic Diversity of Lianas in Tropical Forests of Northern Eastern Ghats of Andhra Pradesh, India

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maradana TARAKESWARA NAIDU

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available Lianas are important in forest ecosystem and strongly influence the forest dynamics and diversity. Lianas are common in the tropical moist deciduous and rain forests, which are competing with other forest trees. Little information is known on the habitat specialization in tropical lianas diversity and the root causes for variation among forests in liana species composition. A total of 170 liana species (≥ 1.5 cm girth at breast height representing 109 genera and 43 families were reported in 5×5 m quadrate samples along with their climbing modes in the tropical forests of northern Eastern Ghats of Andhra Pradesh, India. A total of 210 grids were sampled in study area and reported that Convolvulaceae was the dominant family with 23 species followed by Papilionaceae, 22 species and Asclepiadaceae, 19 species and Ipomoea was the largest genera. Woody lianas were dominated by 128 species and these are classified into six climbing modes consisting in stem climbers (53.5% that were the most predominant followed by stragglersunarmed (14.7%, stragglers armed and tendril climbers (13.5% each, root climbers (2.9% and hook climbers (1.8%. The most dominant liana species in the northern Eastern Ghats were Acacia sinuata and Bauhinia vahlii. The results of this investigation suggests that better management and protection is an important for in situ conservation of liana diversity and involving local people is emphasized.

  13. Tropical Rain Forest and Climate Dynamics of the Atlantic Lowland, Southern Brazil, during the Late Quaternary

    Science.gov (United States)

    Behling, Hermann; Negrelle, Raquel R. B.

    2001-11-01

    Palynological analysis of a core from the Atlantic rain forest region in Brazil provides unprecedented insight into late Quaternary vegetational and climate dynamics within this southern tropical lowland. The 576-cm-long sediment core is from a former beach-ridge "valley," located 3 km inland from the Atlantic Ocean. Radio-carbon dates suggest that sediment deposition began prior to 35,000 14C yr B.P. Between ca. 37,500 and ca. 27,500 14C yr B.P. and during the last glacial maximum (LGM; ca. 27,500 to ca. 14,500 14C yr B.P.), the coastal rain forest was replaced by grassland and patches of cold-adapted forest. Tropical trees, such as Alchornea, Moraceae/Urticaceae, and Arecaceae, were almost completely absent during the LGM. Furthermore, their distributions were shifted at least 750 km further north, suggesting a cooling between 3°C and 7°C and a strengthening of Antarctic cold fronts during full-glacial times. A depauperate tropical rain forest developed as part of a successional sequence after ca. 12,300 14C yr B.P. There is no evidence that Araucaria trees occurred in the Atlantic lowland during glacial times. The rain forest was disturbed by marine incursions during the early Holocene period until ca. 6100 14C yr B.P., as indicated by the presence of microforaminifera. A closed Atlantic rain forest then developed at the study site.

  14. Satellite Data Aid Monitoring of Nation's Forests

    Science.gov (United States)

    2014-01-01

    The USDA Forest Service’s Asheville, North Carolina-based Eastern Forest Environmental Threat Assessment Center and Prineville, Oregon-based Western Wildlands Environmental Threat Assessment Center partnered with Stennis Space Center and other agencies to create an early warning system to identify, characterize, and track disturbances from potential forest threats. The result was ForWarn, which is now being used by federal and state forest and natural resource managers.

  15. REDD and PINC: A new policy framework to fund tropical forests as global 'eco-utilities'

    Science.gov (United States)

    Trivedi, M. R.; Mitchell, A. W.; Mardas, N.; Parker, C.; Watson, J. E.; Nobre, A. D.

    2009-11-01

    Tropical forests are 'eco-utilities' providing critical ecosystem services that underpin food, energy, water and climate security at local to global scales. Currently, these services are unrecognised and unrewarded in international policy and financial frameworks, causing forests to be worth more dead than alive. Much attention is currently focused on REDD (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation) and A/R (Afforestation and Reforestation) as mitigation options. In this article we propose an additional mechanism - PINC (Proactive Investment in Natural Capital) - that recognises and rewards the value of ecosystem services provided by standing tropical forests, especially from a climate change adaptation perspective. Using Amazonian forests as a case study we show that PINC could improve the wellbeing of rural and forest-dependent populations, enabling them to cope with the impacts associated with climate change and deforestation. By investing pro-actively in areas where deforestation pressures are currently low, the long-term costs of mitigation and adaptation will be reduced. We suggest a number of ways in which funds could be raised through emerging financial mechanisms to provide positive incentives to maintain standing forests. To develop PINC, a new research and capacity-building agenda is needed that explores the interdependence between communities, the forest eco-utility and the wider economy.

  16. CTFS-ForestGEO: a worldwide network monitoring forests in an era of global change

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Anderson-Teixeira, Kristina J. [Smithsonian Tropical Research Inst. (STRI), Panama (Panama). Center for Tropical Forest Science. Forest Global Earth Observatory; Smithsonian Conservation Biology Inst. (SCBI), Front Royal, VA (United States). National Zoological Park. Conservation Ecology Center; Davies, Stuart J. [Smithsonian Tropical Research Inst. (STRI), Panama (Panama). Center for Tropical Forest Science. Forest Global Earth Observatory; National Museum of Natural History, Washington, DC (United States). Dept. of Botany; Bennett, Amy C. [Smithsonian Conservation Biology Inst. (SCBI), Front Royal, VA (United States). National Zoological Park. Conservation Ecology Center; Gonzalez-Akre, Erika B. [Smithsonian Conservation Biology Inst. (SCBI), Front Royal, VA (United States). National Zoological Park. Conservation Ecology Center; Muller-Landau, Helene C. [Smithsonian Tropical Research Inst. (STRI), Panama (Panama). Center for Tropical Forest Science. Forest Global Earth Observatory; Joseph Wright, S. [Smithsonian Tropical Research Inst. (STRI), Panama (Panama). Center for Tropical Forest Science. Forest Global Earth Observatory; Abu Salim, Kamariah [Univ. of Brunei Darussalam, Bandar Seri Begawan (Brunei). Faculty of Science. Environmental and Life Sciences; Almeyda Zambrano, Angélica M. [Smithsonian Conservation Biology Inst. (SCBI), Front Royal, VA (United States). National Zoological Park. Conservation Ecology Center; Stanford Univ., CA (United States). Stanford Woods Inst. for the Environment; Univ. of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, AL (United States). Dept. of Geography; Alonso, Alfonso [Smithsonian Conservation Biology Inst., Washington, DC (United States). National Zoological Park. Center for Conservation Education and Sustainability; Baltzer, Jennifer L. [Wilfrid Laurier Univ., Waterloo, ON (Canada). Dept. of Biology; Basset, Yves [Smithsonian Tropical Research Inst. (STRI), Panama (Panama). Center for Tropical Forest Science. Forest Global Earth Observatory; Bourg, Norman A. [Smithsonian Conservation Biology Inst. (SCBI), Front Royal, VA (United States). National Zoological Park. Conservation Ecology Center; Broadbent, Eben N. [Smithsonian Conservation Biology Inst. (SCBI), Front Royal, VA (United States). National Zoological Park. Conservation Ecology Center; Stanford Univ., CA (United States). Stanford Woods Inst. for the Environment; Univ. of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, AL (United States). Dept. of Geography; Brockelman, Warren Y. [Mahidol Univ., Bangkok (Thailand). Dept. of Biology; Bunyavejchewin, Sarayudh [Dept. of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation, Bangkok (Thailand). Research Office; Burslem, David F. R. P. [Univ. of Aberdeen (United Kingdom). School of Biological Sciences; Butt, Nathalie [Univ. of Queensland, St. Lucia (Australia). School of Biological Sciences; Univ. of Oxford (United Kingdom). School of Geography and the Environment. Environmental Change Inst.; Cao, Min [Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), Kunming (China). Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden. Key Lab. of Tropical Forest Ecology; Cardenas, Dairon [Sinchi Amazonic Inst. of Scientific Research, Bogota (Colombia); Chuyong, George B. [Univ. of Buea (Cameroon). Dept. of Botany and Plant Physiology; Clay, Keith [Indiana Univ., Bloomington, IN (United States). Dept. of Biology; Cordell, Susan [USDA Forest Service, Hilo, HI (United States). Inst. of Pacific Islands Forestry; Dattaraja, Handanakere S. [Indian Inst. of Science, Bangalore (India). Centre for Ecological Sciences; Deng, Xiaobao [Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), Kunming (China). Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden. Key Lab. of Tropical Forest Ecology; Detto, Matteo [Smithsonian Tropical Research Inst. (STRI), Panama (Panama). Center for Tropical Forest Science. Forest Global Earth Observatory; Du, Xiaojun [Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), Beijing (China). Inst. of Botany; Duque, Alvaro [Univ. Nacional de Colombia, Medellin (Colombia). Dept. de Ciencias Forestales; Erikson, David L. [National Museum of Natural History, Washington, DC (United States). Dept. of Botany

    2014-09-25

    Global change is impacting forests worldwide, threatening biodiversity and ecosystem services, including climate regulation. Understanding how forests respond is critical to forest conservation and climate protection. This review describes an international network of 59 long-term forest dynamic research sites useful for characterizing forest responses to global change. The broad suite of measurements made at the CTFS-ForestGEO sites make it possible to investigate the complex ways in which global change is impacting forest dynamics. ongoing research across the network is yielding insights into how and why the forests are changing, and continued monitoring will provide vital contributions to understanding worldwide forest diversity and dynamics in a era of global change

  17. A Global Analysis of Deforestation in Moist Tropical Forest Protected Areas.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spracklen, B D; Kalamandeen, M; Galbraith, D; Gloor, E; Spracklen, D V

    2015-01-01

    Protected areas (PAs) have been established to conserve tropical forests, but their effectiveness at reducing deforestation is uncertain. To explore this issue, we combined high resolution data of global forest loss over the period 2000-2012 with data on PAs. For each PA we quantified forest loss within the PA, in buffer zones 1, 5, 10 and 15 km outside the PA boundary as well as a 1 km buffer within the PA boundary. We analysed 3376 tropical and subtropical moist forest PAs in 56 countries over 4 continents. We found that 73% of PAs experienced substantial deforestation pressure, with >0.1% a(-1) forest loss in the outer 1 km buffer. Forest loss within PAs was greatest in Asia (0.25% a(-1)) compared to Africa (0.1% a(-1)), the Neotropics (0.1% a(-1)) and Australasia (Australia and Papua New Guinea; 0.03% a(-1)). We defined performance (P) of a PA as the ratio of forest loss in the inner 1 km buffer compared to the loss that would have occurred in the absence of the PA, calculated as the loss in the outer 1 km buffer corrected for any difference in deforestation pressure between the two buffers. To remove the potential bias due to terrain, we analysed a subset of PAs (n = 1804) where slope and elevation in inner and outer 1 km buffers were similar (within 1° and 100 m, respectively). We found 41% of PAs in this subset reduced forest loss in the inner buffer by at least 25% compared to the expected inner buffer forest loss (P<0.75). Median performance (P) of subset reserves was 0.87, meaning a reduction in forest loss within the PA of 13%. We found PAs were most effective in Australasia (P = 0.16), moderately successful in the Neotropics (P = 0.72) and Africa (p = 0.83), but ineffective in Asia (P = 1). We found many countries have PAs that give little or no protection to forest loss, particularly in parts of Asia, west Africa and central America. Across the tropics, the median effectiveness of PAs at the national level improved with gross domestic product per

  18. The value of the flood control service of tropical forests

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Brookhuis, B.J.; Hein, L.G.

    2016-01-01

    To date there have been only few case studies that specify howhydrological processes regulated by forests convey into benefits for society. The objective of this paper is to analyse the relation between forest cover and the reduction of flood risks on Trinidad. Our hypothesis is that the relation

  19. Conservative species drive biomass productivity in tropical dry forests

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Prado-Junior, Jamir A.; Schiavini, Ivan; Vale, Vagner S.; Sande, van der Masha T.; Lohbeck, Madelon; Poorter, Lourens

    2016-01-01

    Forests account for a substantial part of the terrestrial biomass storage and productivity. To better understand forest productivity, we need to disentangle the processes underlying net biomass change. We tested how above-ground net biomass change and its underlying biomass dynamics (biomass recr

  20. Growth and yield model application in tropical rain forest management

    Science.gov (United States)

    James Atta-Boateng; John W., Jr. Moser

    2000-01-01

    Analytical tools are needed to evaluate the impact of management policies on the sustainable use of rain forest. Optimal decisions concerning the level of management inputs require accurate predictions of output at all relevant input levels. Using growth data from 40 l-hectare permanent plots obtained from the semi-deciduous forest of Ghana, a system of 77 differential...

  1. Characterizing forest carbon stocks at tropical biome and landscape level in Mount Apo National Park, Philippines

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rubas, L. C.

    2012-12-01

    Forest resources sequester and store carbon, and serve as a natural brake on climate change. In the tropics, the largest source of greenhouse emission is from deforestation and forest degradation (Gibbs et al 2007). This paper attempts to compile sixty (60) existing studies on using remote sensing to measure key environmental forest indicators at two levels of scales: biome and landscape level. At the tropical forest biome level, there is not as much remote sensing studies that have been done as compared to other forest biomes. Also, existing studies on tropical Asia is still sparse compared to other tropical regions in Latin America and Africa. Biomass map is also produced for the tropical biome using keyhole macro language (KML) which is projected on Google Earth. The compiled studies showed there are four indicators being measured using remote sensors in tropical forest. These are biomass, landcover classification, deforestation and cloud cover. The landscape level will focus on Mount Apo National Park in the Philippines which is encompassing a total area of 54,974.87 hectares. It is one of the ten priority sites targeted in the World Bank-assisted Biodiversity Conservation Program. This park serves as the major watershed for the three provinces with 19 major rivers emanating from the montane formations. Only a small fraction of the natural forest that once covered the country remains. In spite of different policies that aim to reduce logging recent commercial deforestation, illegal logging and agricultural expansion pose an important threat to the remaining forest areas. In some locations in the country, these hotspots of deforestation overlap with the protected areas (Verburg et al 2006). The study site was clipped using ArcGIS from the forest biomass carbon density map produced by Gibbs and Brown (2007). Characterization on this national park using vegetation density, elevation, slope, land cover and precipitation will be conducted to determine factors that

  2. Anthropogenic disturbance in tropical forests can double biodiversity loss from deforestation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barlow, Jos; Lennox, Gareth D; Ferreira, Joice; Berenguer, Erika; Lees, Alexander C; Mac Nally, Ralph; Thomson, James R; Ferraz, Silvio Frosini de Barros; Louzada, Julio; Oliveira, Victor Hugo Fonseca; Parry, Luke; Solar, Ricardo Ribeiro de Castro; Vieira, Ima C G; Aragão, Luiz E O C; Begotti, Rodrigo Anzolin; Braga, Rodrigo F; Cardoso, Thiago Moreira; de Oliveira, Raimundo Cosme; Souza, Carlos M; Moura, Nárgila G; Nunes, Sâmia Serra; Siqueira, João Victor; Pardini, Renata; Silveira, Juliana M; Vaz-de-Mello, Fernando Z; Veiga, Ruan Carlo Stulpen; Venturieri, Adriano; Gardner, Toby A

    2016-07-07

    for policy interventions that go beyond the maintenance of forest cover to safeguard the hyper-diversity of tropical forest ecosystems.

  3. Airborne Lidar-Based Estimates of Tropical Forest Structure in Complex Terrain: Opportunities and Trade-Offs for REDD+

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leitold, Veronika; Keller, Michael; Morton, Douglas C.; Cook, Bruce D.; Shimabukuro, Yosio E.

    2015-01-01

    Background: Carbon stocks and fluxes in tropical forests remain large sources of uncertainty in the global carbon budget. Airborne lidar remote sensing is a powerful tool for estimating aboveground biomass, provided that lidar measurements penetrate dense forest vegetation to generate accurate estimates of surface topography and canopy heights. Tropical forest areas with complex topography present a challenge for lidar remote sensing. Results: We compared digital terrain models (DTM) derived from airborne lidar data from a mountainous region of the Atlantic Forest in Brazil to 35 ground control points measured with survey grade GNSS receivers. The terrain model generated from full-density (approx. 20 returns/sq m) data was highly accurate (mean signed error of 0.19 +/-0.97 m), while those derived from reduced-density datasets (8/sq m, 4/sq m, 2/sq m and 1/sq m) were increasingly less accurate. Canopy heights calculated from reduced-density lidar data declined as data density decreased due to the inability to accurately model the terrain surface. For lidar return densities below 4/sq m, the bias in height estimates translated into errors of 80-125 Mg/ha in predicted aboveground biomass. Conclusions: Given the growing emphasis on the use of airborne lidar for forest management, carbon monitoring, and conservation efforts, the results of this study highlight the importance of careful survey planning and consistent sampling for accurate quantification of aboveground biomass stocks and dynamics. Approaches that rely primarily on canopy height to estimate aboveground biomass are sensitive to DTM errors from variability in lidar sampling density.

  4. Airborne Lidar-Based Estimates of Tropical Forest Structure in Complex Terrain: Opportunities and Trade-Offs for REDD+

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leitold, Veronika; Keller, Michael; Morton, Douglas C.; Cook, Bruce D.; Shimabukuro, Yosio E.

    2015-01-01

    Background: Carbon stocks and fluxes in tropical forests remain large sources of uncertainty in the global carbon budget. Airborne lidar remote sensing is a powerful tool for estimating aboveground biomass, provided that lidar measurements penetrate dense forest vegetation to generate accurate estimates of surface topography and canopy heights. Tropical forest areas with complex topography present a challenge for lidar remote sensing. Results: We compared digital terrain models (DTM) derived from airborne lidar data from a mountainous region of the Atlantic Forest in Brazil to 35 ground control points measured with survey grade GNSS receivers. The terrain model generated from full-density (approx. 20 returns/sq m) data was highly accurate (mean signed error of 0.19 +/-0.97 m), while those derived from reduced-density datasets (8/sq m, 4/sq m, 2/sq m and 1/sq m) were increasingly less accurate. Canopy heights calculated from reduced-density lidar data declined as data density decreased due to the inability to accurately model the terrain surface. For lidar return densities below 4/sq m, the bias in height estimates translated into errors of 80-125 Mg/ha in predicted aboveground biomass. Conclusions: Given the growing emphasis on the use of airborne lidar for forest management, carbon monitoring, and conservation efforts, the results of this study highlight the importance of careful survey planning and consistent sampling for accurate quantification of aboveground biomass stocks and dynamics. Approaches that rely primarily on canopy height to estimate aboveground biomass are sensitive to DTM errors from variability in lidar sampling density.

  5. Mapping tropical forest trees using high-resolution aerial digital photographs

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Garzon-Lopez, Carol X.; Bohlman, Stephanie A.; Olff, Han; Jansen, Patrick A.

    2013-01-01

    The spatial arrangement of tree species is a key aspect of community ecology. Because tree species in tropical forests occur at low densities, it is logistically challenging to measure distributions across large areas. In this study, we evaluated the potential use of canopy tree crown maps, derived

  6. Strong persistent growth differences govern individual performance and population dynamics in a tropical forest understorey palm

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Jansen, M.; Zuidema, P.A.; Anten, N.P.R.; Martínez-Ramos, M.

    2012-01-01

    1. Persistent variation in growth rate between individual plants can have strong effects on population dynamics as fast growers reach the reproductive size at an earlier age and thus potentially contribute more to population growth than slow growers. In tropical forests, such persistent growth diffe

  7. Controls on diurnal variation in labile soil phosphorus of a humid tropical forest, Puerto Rico

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wood, T. E.; Vandecar, K. L.; Matthews, D.; Lawrence, D.

    2011-12-01

    Tropical forests are typically considered phosphorous (P) limited. Variability in nutrient availability has been shown to affect forest productivity and foliar nutrient concentrations, as well as the rate of soil carbon (C) loss via effects on decomposition and soil respiration rates. It follows that the C efflux and long-term stability of C stocks in tropical soils is likely to depend on nutrient availability. We quantified short-term variability (hours to days) in labile P in a Puerto Rican wet tropical forest and investigated potential environmental and biotic controls such as soil moisture, soil temperature, light and soil respiration. We measured hourly changes in labile P from sunrise to sunset on five separate days in July of 2008. Labile P varied significantly both within and among days. Concentrations of labile P ranged from 2.75-3.75 μg/g. Labile P was positively related to volumetric soil moisture (R2= 0.3, p<0.05). These results suggest that the labile P pool is highly dynamic on short timescales, even in relatively a-seasonal tropical forest.

  8. Ecological Function Value of Tropical Forests in the Central Mountainous Areas of Hainan Island

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Jing; GAO; Zuguang; ZHOU

    2013-01-01

    The integrated value of the ecological function of tropical forests in the central mountainous areas of Hainan Island was 33.064 8 billion yuan/a in 2010(soil improvement,soil consolidation,soil nutrient maintenance,water storage and moisture regulation,water purification,carbon sequestration,oxygen releasing,air purification,biodiversity conservation,eco-tourism),equivalent to 16.1%of GDP in Hainan Province this year(205.212 billion yuan).The tropical forests in the central mountainous areas of Hainan Island make great contribution to Hainan Island’s ecology,and play an important role in maintaining the stability of the ecological environment in Hainan Island.Through the understanding of major ecological function value of tropical forests,it is necessary to make people cherish the tropical forests in the central ecological function conservation areas of Hainan Province,and spontaneously throw themselves into the ecological environment protection and construction,to promote the rapid and sustainable development of construction in Hainan Province as an international tourism island.

  9. BIOGENIC VOLATILE ORGANIC COMPOUND EMISSIONS FROM A LOWLAND TROPICAL WET FOREST IN COSTA RICA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Twenty common plant species were screened for emissions of biogenic volatile organic compounds (BVOCS) at a lowland tropical wet forest site in Costa Rica. Ten of the species. examined emitted substantial quantities of isoprene. These species accounted for 35-50% of the total bas...

  10. Taxonomy and remote sensing of leaf mass per area (LMA) in humid tropical forests

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gregory P. Asner; Roberta E. Martin; Raul Tupayachi; Ruth Emerson; Paola Martinez; Felipe Sinca; George V.N. Powell; S. Joseph Wright; Ariel E. Lugo

    2011-01-01

    Leaf mass per area (LMA) is a trait of central importance to plant physiology and ecosystem function, but LMA patterns in the upper canopies of humid tropical forests have proved elusive due to tall species and high diversity. We collected top-of-canopy leaf samples from 2873 individuals in 57 sites spread across the Neotropics, Australasia, and Caribbean and Pacific...

  11. Constraints on physiological function associated with branch architecture and wood density in tropical forest trees

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frederick C. Meinzer; Paula I. Campanello; Jean-Christophe Domec; M. Genoveva Gatti; Guillermo Goldstein; Randol Villalobos-Vega; David R. Woodruff

    2008-01-01

    This study examined how leaf and stem functional traits related to gas exchange and water balance scale with two potential proxies for tree hydraulic architecture: the leaf area:sapwood area ratio (AL:AS) and wood density (W). We studied the upper crowns of individuals of 15 tropical forest...

  12. Recognizing the importance of tropical forests in limiting rainfall-induced debris flows

    Science.gov (United States)

    Worldwide concern for continuing loss of montane forest cover in the tropics usually focuses on adverse ecological consequences. Less recognized, but equally important to inhabitants of these affected regions, is an increasing susceptibility to rainfall-induced debris flows and t...

  13. Tree growth variation in the tropical forest: understanding effects of temperature, rainfall and CO2

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Schippers, P.; Sterck, F.J.; Vlam, M.; Zuidema, P.A.

    2015-01-01

    Tropical forest responses to climatic variability have important consequences for global carbon cycling, but are poorly understood. As empirical, correlative studies cannot disentangle the interactive effects of climatic variables on tree growth, we used a tree growth model (IBTREE) to unravel the c

  14. Water-use advantage for lianas over trees in tropical seasonal forests

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Chen, Y.J.; Cao, K.F.; Schnitzer, S.A.; Fan, Z.X.; Zhang, J.L.; Bongers, F.

    2015-01-01

    •Lianas exhibit peak abundance in tropical forests with strong seasonal droughts, the eco-physiological mechanisms associated with lianas coping with water deficits are poorly understood. •We examined soil water partitioning, sap flow, and canopy eco-physiological properties for 99 individuals of 15

  15. Limited carbon and biodiversity co-benefits for tropical forest mammals and birds

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Beaudrot, L.; Kroetz, K.; Alvarez-Loayza, P.; Amaral, I.; Breuer, T.; Fletcher, C.D.; Jansen, P.A.; Kenfack, D.; Andelman, S.

    2016-01-01

    The conservation of tropical forest carbon stocks offers the opportunity to curb climate change by reducing greenhouse gas emissions from deforestation and simultaneously conserve biodiversity. However, there has been considerable debate about the extent to which carbon storage will provide benefits

  16. Limited carbon and biodiversity co-benefits for tropical forest mammals and birds

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Beaudrot, L.; Kroetz, K.; Alvarez-Loayza, P.; Amaral, I.; Breuer, T.; Fletcher, C.D.; Jansen, P.A.; Kenfack, D.; Andelman, S.

    2016-01-01

    The conservation of tropical forest carbon stocks offers the opportunity to curb climate change by reducing greenhouse gas emissions from deforestation and simultaneously conserve biodiversity. However, there has been considerable debate about the extent to which carbon storage will provide benefits

  17. Sampling methods for titica vine (Heteropsis spp.) inventory in a tropical forest

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carine Klauberg; Edson Vidal; Carlos Alberto Silva; Michelliny de M. Bentes; Andrew Thomas. Hudak

    2016-01-01

    Titica vine provides useful raw fiber material. Using sampling schemes that reduce sampling error can provide direction for sustainable forest management of this vine. Sampling systematically with rectangular plots (10× 25 m) promoted lower error and greater accuracy in the inventory of titica vines in tropical rainforest.

  18. Functional traits, drought performance, and the distribution of tree species in tropical forests of Ghana

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Amissah, L.

    2014-01-01

      Tropical forests occur along a rainfall gradient where annual amount, the length and intensity of dry season vary and water availability shapes therefore strongly the distribution of tree species. Annual rainfall in West Africa has declined at a rate of 4% per decade, and climate change model

  19. Observation of Tropical Rain Forest Trees by Airborne High-Resolution Interferometric Radar

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hoekman, D.H.; Varekamp, C.

    2001-01-01

    The Indonesian Radar Experiment (INDREX) Campaign was executed in Indonesia to study the potential of high-resolution interferometric airborne radar in support of sustainable tropical forest management. Severe cloud cover limits the use of aerial photography, which is currently applied on a routine

  20. Improving predictions of tropical forest response to climate change through integration of field studies and ecosystem modeling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Feng, Xiaohui; Uriarte, María; González, Grizelle; Reed, Sasha C.; Thompson, J.; Zimmerman, Jess K.; Murphy, Lora

    2017-01-01

    Tropical forests play a critical role in carbon and water cycles at a global scale. Rapid climate change is anticipated in tropical regions over the coming decades and, under a warmer and drier climate, tropical forests are likely to be net sources of carbon rather than sinks. However, our understanding of tropical forest response and feedback to climate change is very limited. Efforts to model climate change impacts on carbon fluxes in tropical forests have not reached a consensus. Here we use the Ecosystem Demography model (ED2) to predict carbon fluxes of a Puerto Rican tropical forest under realistic climate change scenarios. We parameterized ED2 with species-specific tree physiological data using the Predictive Ecosystem Analyzer workflow and projected the fate of this ecosystem under five future climate scenarios. The model successfully captured inter-annual variability in the dynamics of this tropical forest. Model predictions closely followed observed values across a wide range of metrics including above-ground biomass, tree diameter growth, tree size class distributions, and leaf area index. Under a future warming and drying climate scenario, the model predicted reductions in carbon storage and tree growth, together with large shifts in forest community composition and structure. Such rapid changes in climate led the forest to transition from a sink to a source of carbon. Growth respiration and root allocation parameters were responsible for the highest fraction of predictive uncertainty in modeled biomass, highlighting the need to target these processes in future data collection. Our study is the first effort to rely on Bayesian model calibration and synthesis to elucidate the key physiological parameters that drive uncertainty in tropical forests responses to climatic change. We propose a new path forward for model-data synthesis that can substantially reduce uncertainty in our ability to model tropical forest responses to future climate.

  1. Linking Above- and Belowground Dynamics in Tropical Urban Forests

    Science.gov (United States)

    Atkinson, E. E.; Marin-Spiotta, E.

    2013-12-01

    Secondary forests that emerge after a long history of agriculture can have altered plant community composition and relative abundances of different species. These forests can look and behave differently compared to pre-agricultural forests due changes in primary productivity, resource allocation, and phenology, which can significantly affect processes such as carbon accumulation and nutrient availability. Our research explores how alternative successional trajectories following intensive agricultural use affect linkages among the establishment of novel plant communities, soil nutrient availability and turnover, and soil microbial community composition and function. We hypothesize that different plant species composition due to differing land use legacies and successional trajectories would drive changes in soil microbial community structure and function, affecting soil C and N chemistry and turnover. We conducted this research in the subtropical dry forest life zone of St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands where island-wide abandonment of sugarcane resulted in a mosaic of sites in different stages of forest succession. We identified replicate sites with the following post-sugarcane trajectories: 1) natural forest regeneration, 2) low intensity pasture use, followed by reforestation with timber plantation, which are no longer being managed, 3) high intensity pasture use and recent natural forest regeneration, and 4) high intensity pasture use and current active grazing. During 2011-2013, we sampled soils seasonally (0-10 cm) and measured tree species composition. The successional trajectories showed distinct tree species composition. The first two trajectories yielded 40-year old mixed-species secondary forest, dominated by the dry forest tree species Melicoccus bijugatas, Guapira fragrans, Maniklara zapota, and Sideroxylon foetidissimum. The tree species Melicoccus bijugatas primarily drove differences between the first two trajectories (natural forest regeneration vs

  2. Climate change, allergy and asthma, and the role of tropical forests.

    Science.gov (United States)

    D'Amato, Gennaro; Vitale, Carolina; Rosario, Nelson; Neto, Herberto Josè Chong; Chong-Silva, Deborah Carla; Mendonça, Francisco; Perini, Josè; Landgraf, Loraine; Solé, Dirceu; Sánchez-Borges, Mario; Ansotegui, Ignacio; D'Amato, Maria

    2017-01-01

    Tropical forests cover less than 10 per cent of all land area (1.8 × 107 km(2)) and over half of the tropical-forest area (1.1 × 107 Km(2)) is represented by humid tropical forests (also called tropical rainforests). The Amazon basin contains the largest rainforest on Earth, almost 5.8 million km(2), and occupies about 40% of South America; more than 60% of the basin is located in Brazil and the rest in Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, French Guiana, Guyana, Peru, Suriname and Venezuela. Over the past decade the positive role of tropical rainforests in capturing large amounts of atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) has been demonstrated. In response to the increase in atmospheric CO2 concentration, tropical forests act as a global carbon sink. Accumulation of carbon in the tropical terrestrial biosphere strongly contributes to slowing the rate of increase of CO2 into the atmosphere, thus resulting in the reduction of greenhouse gas effect. Tropical rainforests have been estimated to account for 32-36% of terrestrial Net Primary Productivity (NPP) that is the difference between total forest photosynthesis and plant respiration. Tropical rainforests have been acting as a strong carbon sink in this way for decades. However, over the past years, increased concentrations of greenhouse gases, and especially CO2, in the atmosphere have significantly affected the net carbon balance of tropical rainforests, and have warmed the planet substantially driving climate changes through more severe and prolonged heat waves, variability in temperature, increased air pollution, forest fires, droughts, and floods. The role of tropical forests in mitigating climate change is therefore critical. Over the past 30 years almost 600,000 km(2) have been deforested in Brazil alone due to the rapid development of Amazonia, this is the reason why currently the region is one of the 'hotspots' of global environmental change on the planet. Deforestation represents the second largest

  3. Catastrophic ecosystem shifts in dry tropical forest: evidence, mechanisms and implications for climate change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lawrence, D.; D'Odorico, P.; Runyan, C.; Diekmann, L.; DeLonge, M. S.; Das, R.; Eaton, J.; Vandecar, K.; Schmook, B.

    2015-12-01

    Tropical dry forests have long been used by humans. Has it been sustainable? Not in the southern Yucatan. Biomass accumulation declines with each cycle of shifting cultivation with implications for both internal recycling of nutrients and external inputs of nutrients. We detail the evidence for a decline in P inputs from biomass burning (aboveground biomass, litter, and coarse woody debris), an increase in leaching losses from deep soils, and a decline in atmospheric inputs of new P from Saharan dust following the transition from mature to secondary forest. Canopy trapping of dust is critical to maintaining P balance in this system. Effective trapping is diminished by changes in the structure of secondary forest--loss of height, leaf area and basal area. Experimental studies show that it is atmospheric transport of dust, not microbial shedding or leaching from live tissues, that explains the difference between throughfall P and P in bulk deposition. Because of net losses in P, uptake of carbon during regrowth is slower with each cycle of shifting cultivation. As much of the tropics has moved beyond a mature forest frontier, the decline in carbon sequestration is likely widespread over both dry and wet forests. The terrestrial carbon sink in the tropics may be declining. The capacity to sequester carbon through afforestation, reforestation and restoration has certainly diminished over time, limiting the effectiveness of such efforts to help mitigate climate change.

  4. Carbon Dioxide Effects Research and Assessment Program. The role of tropical forests on the world carbon cycle

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Brown, S.; Lugo, A. E.; Liegel, B. [eds.

    1980-08-01

    Tropical forests constitute about half of the world's forest and are characterized by rapid rates of organic matter turnover and high storages of organic matter. Tropical forests are considered to be one of the most significant terrestrial elements in the equation that balances the carbon cycle of the world. As discussed in the paper by Tosi, tropical and subtropical latitudes are more complex in terms of climate and vegetation composition than temperate and boreal latitudes. The implications of the complexity of the tropics and the disregard of this complexity by many scientists is made evident in the paper by Brown and Lugo which shows that biomass estimates for tropical ecosystems have been overestimated by at least 100%. The paper by Brown shows that that rates of succession in the tropics are extremely rapid in terms of the ability of moist and wet forests to accumulate organic matter. Yet, in arid tropical Life Zones succession is slow. This leads to the idea that the question of whether tropical forests are sinks or sources of carbon must be analyzed in relation to Life Zones and to intensities of human activity in these Zones. The paper by Lugo presents conceptual models to illustrate this point and the paper by Tosi shows how land uses in the tropics also correspond to Life Zone characteristics. The ultimate significance of land use to the question of the carbon balance in a large region is addressed in the paper by Detwiler and Hall.

  5. The fate of the tropical forest. Carbon or cattle?

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Coomes, Oliver T. [Department of Geography, Burnside Hall Rm 705, McGill University, 805 Sherbrooke Street West, Montreal, PQ (Canada); Grimard, Franque [Department of Economics, Leacock Building, Rm. 433, McGill University, Sherbrooke St West, Montreal, PQ (Canada); Potvin, Catherin [Department of Biology, Stewart Biology Building, McGill University, 1205 Ave Docteur Penfield, Montreal, PQ (Canada); Sima, Philip [Philip Sima, School of Architecture, The University of Texas at Austin, 1 University Station B7500, Austin, Texas 78712-0222 (United States)

    2008-04-01

    Small-scale afforestation/reforestation projects under the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) of the Kyoto Protocol will sequester atmospheric carbon and facilitate carbon trading but they face significant implementation challenges among the rural poor households and communities that are meant to adopt and benefit from them. Avoiding deforestation - a controversial carbon reduction option now under climate policy discussion - shows promise though for both forest conservation and poverty alleviation among indigenous forest peoples. (author)

  6. Population density of tropical forest frogs: relation to retreat sites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stewart, M M; Pough, F H

    1983-08-05

    The forest frog Eleutherodactylus coqui defends specific sites for retreats and nests in the Luquillo Forest, Puerto Rico. The hypothesis that shortages of nest and retreat sites limit population size was tested by placing 100 bamboo frog houses in plots measuring 100 square meters in areas of high frog density. These new sites were readily adopted by adult frogs. After one year, experimental plots had significantly more nests and frogs of all sizes than did control plots.

  7. Forest genetic monitoring: an overview of concepts and definitions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fussi, Barbara; Westergren, Marjana; Aravanopoulos, Filippos; Baier, Roland; Kavaliauskas, Darius; Finzgar, Domen; Alizoti, Paraskevi; Bozic, Gregor; Avramidou, Evangelia; Konnert, Monika; Kraigher, Hojka

    2016-08-01

    Safeguarding sustainability of forest ecosystems with their habitat variability and all their functions is of highest priority. Therefore, the long-term adaptability of forest ecosystems to a changing environment must be secured, e.g., through sustainable forest management. High adaptability is based on biological variation starting at the genetic level. Thus, the ultimate goal of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) to halt the ongoing erosion of biological variation is of utmost importance for forest ecosystem functioning and sustainability. Monitoring of biological diversity over time is needed to detect changes that threaten these biological resources. Genetic variation, as an integral part of biological diversity, needs special attention, and its monitoring can ensure its effective conservation. We compare forest genetic monitoring to other biodiversity monitoring concepts. Forest genetic monitoring (FGM) enables early detection of potentially harmful changes of forest adaptability before these appear at higher biodiversity levels (e.g., species or ecosystem diversity) and can improve the sustainability of applied forest management practices and direct further research. Theoretical genetic monitoring concepts developed up to now need to be evaluated before being implemented on a national and international scale. This article provides an overview of FGM concepts and definitions, discusses their advantages and disadvantages, and provides a flow chart of the steps needed for the optimization and implementation of FGM. FGM is an important module of biodiversity monitoring, and we define an effective FGM scheme as consisting of an assessment of a forest population's capacity to survive, reproduce, and persist under rapid environmental changes on a long-term scale.

  8. Considering Background Condition Effects in Tailoring Tropical Forest Management Systems for Sustainability

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David S. Hammond

    2006-06-01

    Full Text Available Systems devised for managing tropical forests sustainably have yet to prove successful. In many instances, they have fallen short of initial prospects, but the reasons for these shortfalls are often not apparent. Here, we explore factors that can shape the likelihood of success, collectively referred to as background conditions, which are not always adequately considered prior to selecting a suitable management system. We examine the ability of one background condition, geologic terrane, to explain crude spatial variation in a number of trailing indicators of varying forest land use. Forest areas on Precambrian and Phanerozoic terranes show significant differences in production of fossil hydrocarbons, gold, and tropical roundwood, among other indicators, even after considering regional effects. Background conditions are considered to be factors capable of quantifying spatial variation in the likelihood of achieving management success given predefined benchmarks of sustainability. A number of avenues for further exploring and discriminating spatial variation of background conditions are discussed.

  9. Dual-Frequency Interferometric SAR Observations of a Tropical Rain-Forest

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rigot, E.

    1996-01-01

    Repeat-pass, interferometric, radar observations of tropical rain-forest collected by the Shuttle Imaging Radar C (SIR-C) in the state of Rondonia, Brazil, reveal signal coherence is destroyed at C-band (5.6-cm) in the forest, whereas L-band (24-cm) radar signals remain strongly coherent over the entire landscape. At L-band, the rms difference in inferred topographic height between the forest and adjacent clearings is 5 m, equivalent to the height noise. Atmospheric delays are large, however, forming kilometer-sized anomalies with a 1.2-cm rms one way. Radar interferometric studies of the humid tropics must therefore be conducted at long radar wavelengths, with kilometric base-lines or with two antennas operating simultaneously.

  10. Plant DNA barcodes, taxonomic management, and species discovery in tropical forests.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dick, Christopher W; Webb, Campbell O

    2012-01-01

    DNA barcodes have great potential for species identification and taxonomic discovery in tropical forests. This use of DNA barcodes requires a reference DNA library of known taxa with which to match DNA from unidentified specimens. At an even more basic level, it presupposes that the species in the regional species pool have Latin binomials. This is not the case in species-rich tropical forests in which many species are new to science or members of poorly circumscribed species complexes. This chapter describes a workflow geared toward taxonomic discovery, which includes the discovery of new species, distribution records, and hybrid forms, and to management of taxonomic entities in forest inventory plots. It outlines the roles of laboratory technicians, field workers and herbarium-based taxonomists, and concludes with a discussion of potential multilocus nuclear DNA approaches for identifying species in recently evolved clades.

  11. Drought-induced shifts in the floristic and functional composition of tropical forests in Ghana.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fauset, Sophie; Baker, Timothy R; Lewis, Simon L; Feldpausch, Ted R; Affum-Baffoe, Kofi; Foli, Ernest G; Hamer, Keith C; Swaine, Michael D

    2012-10-01

    The future of tropical forests under global environmental change is uncertain, with biodiversity and carbon stocks at risk if precipitation regimes alter. Here, we assess changes in plant functional composition and biomass in 19 plots from a variety of forest types during two decades of long-term drought in Ghana. We find a consistent increase in dry forest, deciduous, canopy species with intermediate light demand and a concomitant decrease in wet forest, evergreen, sub-canopy and shade-tolerant species. These changes in composition are accompanied by an increase in above-ground biomass. Our results indicate that by altering composition in favour of drought-tolerant species, the biomass stocks of these forests may be more resilient to longer term drought than short-term studies of severe individual droughts suggest.

  12. Channel Islands, Kelp Forest Monitoring, Survey, 5m Quadrat

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This dataset from the Channel Islands National Park's Kelp Forest Monitoring Program has measurements of the abundance of selected rare, clumped, sedentary indicator...

  13. Channel Islands, Kelp Forest Monitoring, Survey, Band Transect

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This dataset from the Channel Islands National Park's Kelp Forest Monitoring Program has measurements of the abundance and distribution of rare and clumped organisms...

  14. Channel Islands, Kelp Forest Monitoring, Survey, 1m Quadrat

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This dataset from the Channel Islands National Park's Kelp Forest Monitoring Program has measurements of the abundance (density) of relatively abundant selected...

  15. US Forest Service Monitoring Trends in Burn Severity

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Forest Service, Department of Agriculture — The Monitoring Trends in Burn Severity (MTBS) project maps the location, extent, and severity of all large fires in the conterminous United States (CONUS), Alaska,...

  16. Channel Islands, Kelp Forest Monitoring, Survey, Random Point Contact

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This dataset from the Channel Islands National Park's Kelp Forest Monitoring Program has estimates of substrate composition and percent cover of selected algal and...

  17. Site Management and Productivity in Tropical Forest Plantations

    Science.gov (United States)

    A. Tiarks; E.K.S. Nambiar; C. Cossalter

    1998-01-01

    Tropical countries are expanding plantation forestry to develop sustainable woodproduction systems. Much of this is based on short rotations of exotic species. These systems require large capital investments, represent intensive land use and increase the demands on the soil. To develop options for maintaining or increasing productivity a partner-project was initiated...

  18. Evaluation on the decomposability of tropical forest peat soils after conversion to an oil palm plantation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sangok, Faustina E; Maie, Nagamitsu; Melling, Lulie; Watanabe, Akira

    2017-06-01

    To understand the variations in the decomposability of tropical peat soil following deforestation for an oil palm plantation, a field incubation experiment was conducted in Sarawak, Malaysia. Peat soils collected from three types of primary forest, namely Mixed Peat Swamp (MPS; Gonystylus-Dactylocladus-Neoscrotechinia association), Alan Batu (ABt; Shorea albida-Gonstylus-Strenonurus association), and Alan Bunga (ABg; Shorea albida association), were packed in polyvinyl chloride pipes and installed in an oil palm plantation. Carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane (CH4) fluxes from soil were monthly measured for 3years. Environmental variables including soil temperature, soil moisture content, and groundwater table were also monitored. The pH, loss on ignition, and total carbon (C) content were similar among the three soils, while total N content was larger in the MPS than in the ABg soils. Based on (13)C nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy, C composition of the MPS and ABg soils was characterized by the largest proportion of C present as alkyl C and O-alkyl C, respectively. The C composition of the ABt soil was intermediate between the MPS and ABg soils. The CO2 fluxes from the three soils ranged from 78 to 625mgCm(-2)h(-1) with a negative correlation to groundwater level. The CH4 fluxes ranged from -67 to 653μgCm(-2)h(-1). Both total CO2 and CH4 fluxes were larger in the order ABg>ABt>MPS (P<0.05). Annual rate of peat decomposition as was estimated from cumulative C loss differed up to 2 times, and the rate constant in exponential decay model was 0.033y(-1) for the MPS soil and 0.066y(-1) for the ABg soil. The field incubation results of the three forest peat soils seem to reflect the difference in the labile organic matter content, represented by polysaccharides.

  19. Strong carbon sink of monsoon tropical seasonal forest in Southern Vietnam

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deshcherevskaya, Olga; Anichkin, Alexandr; Avilov, Vitaly; Duy Dinh, Ba; Luu Do, Phong; Huan Tran, Cong; Kurbatova, Julia

    2014-05-01

    Comparison between anthropogenic emission of carbon dioxide and atmospheric carbon pool change displays that only half of emitted CO2 remains in air, leaving so-called 'missing sink' of carbon. Terrestrial biosphere and ocean accumulate each about a half of this value (Gifford, 1994). Forest biomes play the decisive role in 'missing sink' because of high primary production flux and large carbon pool. Almost all the sink belongs to boreal forests, because warming and wetting coupled with increasing CO2 concentration and N deposition gives more favorable conditions for boreal ecosystems. On the contrary, tropical climate changes effect on forests is not obvious, probably cause more drought conditions; tropical forests suffer from 1.2 % per year area reduction and disturbance. Whether primary tropical forests act as carbon sink is still unclear. Biomass inventories at 146 forest plots across all the tropics in 1987-1997 revealed low carbon sink in humid forests biomass of 49 (29-66; 95% C.I.) g C m-2 year-1 on average (Malhi, 2010). Estimates for undisturbed African forests are close to global (Ciais et al., 2008). Eddy covariance (EC) observations with weak-turbulence correction in Amazonia reveal near-zero or small negative (i.e. sink) balance (Clark, 2004). Three EC sites in SE Asia primary forests give near-zero balance again (Saigusa et al., 2008; Kosugi et al., 2012). There are two main groups of explanations of moderate tropical carbon sink: (a) recovering of large-disturbance in the past or (b) response to current atmospheric changes: increase of CO2 concentration and/or climate change. So, strong carbon accumulation is not common for primary tropical forests. In this context sink of 402 g C m-2 in 2012 at EC station of Nam Cat Tien (NCT), Southern Vietnam (N 11°27', E 107°24', 134 m a.s.l.) in primary monsoon tropical forest looks questionably. EC instrument set at NCT consists of CSAT3 sonic anemometer and LI-7500A open-path gas analyzer. All the standard

  20. Towards ground-truthing of spaceborne estimates of above-ground biomass and leaf area index in tropical rain forests

    Science.gov (United States)

    Köhler, P.; Huth, A.

    2010-05-01

    The canopy height of forests is a key variable which can be obtained using air- or spaceborne remote sensing techniques such as radar interferometry or lidar. If new allometric relationships between canopy height and the biomass stored in the vegetation can be established this would offer the possibility for a global monitoring of the above-ground carbon content on land. In the absence of adequate field data we use simulation results of a tropical rain forest growth model to propose what degree of information might be generated from canopy height and thus to enable ground-truthing of potential future satellite observations. We here analyse the correlation between canopy height in a tropical rain forest with other structural characteristics, such as above-ground biomass (AGB) (and thus carbon content of vegetation) and leaf area index (LAI). The process-based forest growth model FORMIND2.0 was applied to simulate (a) undisturbed forest growth and (b) a wide range of possible disturbance regimes typically for local tree logging conditions for a tropical rain forest site on Borneo (Sabah, Malaysia) in South-East Asia. It is found that for undisturbed forest and a variety of disturbed forests situations AGB can be expressed as a power-law function of canopy height h (AGB=a·hb) with an r2~60% for a spatial resolution of 20 m×20 m (0.04 ha, also called plot size). The regression is becoming significant better for the hectare wide analysis of the disturbed forest sites (r2=91%). There seems to exist no functional dependency between LAI and canopy height, but there is also a linear correlation (r2~60%) between AGB and the area fraction in which the canopy is highly disturbed. A reasonable agreement of our results with observations is obtained from a comparison of the simulations with permanent sampling plot data from the same region and with the large-scale forest invent