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tropical forest

Matthew Jacobs, Martin Lopez-Garcia, O-Phart Phrathep, Tracy Lawson, Ruth Oulton, Heather M Whitney
Enhanced light harvesting is an area of interest for optimizing both natural photosynthesis and artificial solar energy capture(1,2). Iridescence has been shown to exist widely and in diverse forms in plants and other photosynthetic organisms and symbioses(3,4), but there has yet to be any direct link demonstrated between iridescence and photosynthesis. Here we show that epidermal chloroplasts, also known as iridoplasts, in shade-dwelling species of Begonia(5), notable for their brilliant blue iridescence, have a photonic crystal structure formed from a periodic arrangement of the light-absorbing thylakoid tissue itself...
October 24, 2016: Nature Plants
Pedro Guilherme Lemes, José Cola Zanuncio, José Eduardo Serrão, Simon A Lawson
The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) was the first non-governmental organization composed of multi-stakeholders to ensure the social, environmental, and economic sustainability of forest resources. FSC prohibits certain chemicals and active ingredients in certified forest plantations. A company seeking certification must discontinue use of products so listed and many face problems to comply with these constraints. The aim of this study was to assess the impacts of certification on pest management from the perspective of Brazilian private forestry sector...
October 22, 2016: Environmental Science and Pollution Research International
Yadvinder Malhi, Cécile A J Girardin, Gregory R Goldsmith, Christopher E Doughty, Norma Salinas, Daniel B Metcalfe, Walter Huaraca Huasco, Javier E Silva-Espejo, Jhon Del Aguilla-Pasquell, Filio Farfán Amézquita, Luiz E O C Aragão, Rossella Guerrieri, Françoise Yoko Ishida, Nur H A Bahar, William Farfan-Rios, Oliver L Phillips, Patrick Meir, Miles Silman
Why do forest productivity and biomass decline with elevation? To address this question, research to date generally has focused on correlative approaches describing changes in woody growth and biomass with elevation. We present a novel, mechanistic approach to this question by quantifying the autotrophic carbon budget in 16 forest plots along a 3300 m elevation transect in Peru. Low growth rates at high elevations appear primarily driven by low gross primary productivity (GPP), with little shift in either carbon use efficiency (CUE) or allocation of net primary productivity (NPP) between wood, fine roots and canopy...
October 21, 2016: New Phytologist
André P Antunes, Rachel M Fewster, Eduardo M Venticinque, Carlos A Peres, Taal Levi, Fabio Rohe, Glenn H Shepard
The Amazon basin is the largest and most species-rich tropical forest and river system in the world, playing a pivotal role in global climate regulation and harboring hundreds of traditional and indigenous cultures. It is a matter of intense debate whether the ecosystem is threatened by hunting practices, whereby an "empty forest" loses critical ecological functions. Strikingly, no previous study has examined Amazonian ecosystem resilience through the perspective of the massive 20th century international trade in furs and skins...
October 2016: Science Advances
Oliver R Wearn, Chris Carbone, J Marcus Rowcliffe, Henry Bernard, Robert M Ewers
Diversity responses to land-use change are poorly understood at local scales, hindering our ability to make forecasts and management recommendations at scales which are of practical relevance. A key barrier in this has been the underappreciation of grain-dependent diversity responses and the role that β-diversity (variation in community composition across space) plays in this. Decisions about the most effective spatial arrangement of conservation set-aside, for example high conservation value areas, have also neglected β-diversity, despite its role in determining the complementarity of sites...
July 2016: Ecological Applications: a Publication of the Ecological Society of America
R K Bhomia, R A MacKenzie, D Murdiyarso, S D Sasmito, J Purbopuspito
Globally, mangrove forests represents only 0.7% of world's tropical forested area but are highly threatened due to susceptibility to climate change, sea level rise, and increasing pressures from human population growth in coastal regions. Our study was carried out in the Bhitarkanika Conservation Area (BCA), the second-largest mangrove area in eastern India. We assessed total ecosystem carbon (C) stocks at four land use types representing varying degree of disturbances. Ranked in order of increasing impacts, these sites included dense mangrove forests, scrub mangroves, restored/planted mangroves, and abandoned aquaculture ponds...
July 2016: Ecological Applications: a Publication of the Ecological Society of America
Matthew E Fagan, Ruth S DeFries, Steven E Sesnie, J Pablo Arroyo-Mora, Robin L Chazdon
Re-establishing connectivity between protected areas isolated by habitat clearing is a key conservation goal in the humid tropics. In northeastern Costa Rica, payments for environmental services (PES) and a government ban on deforestation have subsidized forest protection and reforestation in the San Juan-La Selva Biological Corridor (SJLSBC), resulting in a decline in mature forest loss and the expansion of tree plantations. We use field studies and graph models to assess how conservation efforts have altered functional connectivity over the last 25 years for four species of insectivorous understory birds...
July 2016: Ecological Applications: a Publication of the Ecological Society of America
Julia C Sfair, Víctor Arroyo-Rodríguez, Bráulio A Santos, Marcelo Tabarelli
Tropical forests are being exposed to increasing levels of habitat loss and fragmentation, threatening the maintenance of global biodiversity. However, the effect that land-use change may have on the spatial dissimilarities in taxonomic and functional composition of remaining assemblages (i.e., taxonomic/functional β-diversity) remains poorly understood. We examined a large vegetation database from an old and severely fragmented Atlantic forest landscape to test two alternative hypotheses: (1) tree assemblages experience a taxonomic and functional homogenization (reduced β-diversity) between forest fragments and along forest edges, or alternatively, (2) these edge-affected forests show increased taxonomic and functional differentiation (increased β-diversity) when compared to forest interior (reference) stands...
September 2016: Ecological Applications: a Publication of the Ecological Society of America
Benedicte Bachelot, María Uriarte, Jess K Zimmerman, Jill Thompson, Jonathan W Leff, Ava Asiaii, Jenny Koshner, Krista McGuire
Our understanding of the long-lasting effects of human land use on soil fungal communities in tropical forests is limited. Yet, over 70% of all remaining tropical forests are growing in former agricultural or logged areas. We investigated the relationship among land use history, biotic and abiotic factors, and soil fungal community composition and diversity in a second-growth tropical forest in Puerto Rico. We coupled high-throughput DNA sequencing with tree community and environmental data to determine whether land use history had an effect on soil fungal community descriptors...
September 2016: Ecological Applications: a Publication of the Ecological Society of America
Luciana Cristina Vitorino, Matheus S Lima-Ribeiro, Levi Carina Terribile, Rosane G Collevatti
BACKGROUND: We studied the phylogeography and demographical history of Tabebuia serratifolia (Bignoniaceae) to understand the disjunct geographical distribution of South American seasonally dry tropical forests (SDTFs). We specifically tested if the multiple and isolated patches of SDTFs are current climatic relicts of a widespread and continuously distributed dry forest during the last glacial maximum (LGM), the so called South American dry forest refugia hypothesis, using ecological niche modelling (ENM) and statistical phylogeography...
October 13, 2016: BMC Evolutionary Biology
Israel Estrada-Contreras, Miguel Equihua, Javier Laborde, Enrique Martínez Meyer, Lázaro R Sánchez-Velásquez
Climate change is recognized as an important threat to global biodiversity because it increases the risk of extinction of many species on the planet. Mexico is a megadiverse country and native tree species such as red cedar (Cedrela odorata) can be used to maintain forests while helping mitigate climate change, because it is considered a fast growing pioneer species with great economic potential in the forestry industry. In order to assess possible shifts in areas suitable for C. odorata plantations in Mexico with ecological niche models, we used the MaxLike algorithm, climate variables, the geo-referenced records of this species, three general circulation models and three scenarios of future emissions...
2016: PloS One
Yann Clough, Vijesh V Krishna, Marife D Corre, Kevin Darras, Lisa H Denmead, Ana Meijide, Stefan Moser, Oliver Musshoff, Stefanie Steinebach, Edzo Veldkamp, Kara Allen, Andrew D Barnes, Natalie Breidenbach, Ulrich Brose, Damayanti Buchori, Rolf Daniel, Reiner Finkeldey, Idham Harahap, Dietrich Hertel, A Mareike Holtkamp, Elvira Hörandl, Bambang Irawan, I Nengah Surati Jaya, Malte Jochum, Bernhard Klarner, Alexander Knohl, Martyna M Kotowska, Valentyna Krashevska, Holger Kreft, Syahrul Kurniawan, Christoph Leuschner, Mark Maraun, Dian Nuraini Melati, Nicole Opfermann, César Pérez-Cruzado, Walesa Edho Prabowo, Katja Rembold, Akhmad Rizali, Ratna Rubiana, Dominik Schneider, Sri Sudarmiyati Tjitrosoedirdjo, Aiyen Tjoa, Teja Tscharntke, Stefan Scheu
Smallholder-dominated agricultural mosaic landscapes are highlighted as model production systems that deliver both economic and ecological goods in tropical agricultural landscapes, but trade-offs underlying current land-use dynamics are poorly known. Here, using the most comprehensive quantification of land-use change and associated bundles of ecosystem functions, services and economic benefits to date, we show that Indonesian smallholders predominantly choose farm portfolios with high economic productivity but low ecological value...
October 11, 2016: Nature Communications
Joseph A LaManna, Thomas E Martin
Understanding the causes underlying changes in species diversity is a fundamental pursuit of ecology. Animal species richness and composition often change with decreased forest structural complexity associated with logging. Yet differences in latitude and forest type may strongly influence how species diversity responds to logging. We performed a meta-analysis of logging effects on local species richness and composition of birds across the world and assessed responses by different guilds (nesting strata, foraging strata, diet, and body size)...
October 10, 2016: Biological Reviews of the Cambridge Philosophical Society
Michael Jacques Lathuillière, Cecile Bulle, Mark S Johnson
The incorporation of soil moisture regenerated by precipitation, or green water, into life cycle assessment has been of growing interest given the global importance of this resource for terrestrial ecosystems and food production. This paper proposes a new impact assessment model to relate land and water use in seasonally dry, semi-arid, and arid regions where precipitation and evapotranspiration are closely coupled. We introduce the Precipitation Reduction Potential mid-point impact representing the change in downwind precipitation as a result of a land transformation and occupation activity...
October 7, 2016: Environmental Science & Technology
Adolfo Campos C, Lourdes Cruz H, Sandra Rocha O
We used fine root and litter mass from a tropical mountain cloud forest to assess their relative contribution to nutrient content and to examine mineralization processes during a laboratory incubation experiment. Our results showed that average fine root mass density ranged from 2.86kgm(-3) to 11.59kgm(-3), while litter mass density ranged from 72.5kgm(-3) to 177.3kgm(-3). On average, fine root mass density represented 4.7% of the mass density of the O horizon. Fine root mass density followed an exponentially declining trend with soil depth...
October 4, 2016: Science of the Total Environment
Denise D Dell'aglio, Martin Stevens, Chris D Jiggins
1. Birds are considered to be the primary selective agents for warning colouration in butterflies, and select for aposematic mimicry by learning to avoid brightly coloured prey after unpleasant experiences. It has long been thought that bright colouration plays an important role in promoting the avoidance of distasteful prey by birds. 2. The hypothesis that warning colouration facilitates memorability and promotes predator avoidance was tested by means of a field experiment using distasteful model butterflies...
October 2016: Ecological Entomology
Karina Banda-R, Alfonso Delgado-Salinas, Kyle G Dexter, Reynaldo Linares-Palomino, Ary Oliveira-Filho, Darién Prado, Martin Pullan, Catalina Quintana, Ricarda Riina, Gina M Rodríguez M, Julia Weintritt, Pedro Acevedo-Rodríguez, Juan Adarve, Esteban Álvarez, Anairamiz Aranguren B, Julián Camilo Arteaga, Gerardo Aymard, Alejandro Castaño, Natalia Ceballos-Mago, Álvaro Cogollo, Hermes Cuadros, Freddy Delgado, Wilson Devia, Hilda Dueñas, Laurie Fajardo, Ángel Fernández, Miller Ángel Fernández, Janet Franklin, Ethan H Freid, Luciano A Galetti, Reina Gonto, Roy González-M, Roger Graveson, Eileen H Helmer, Álvaro Idárraga, René López, Humfredo Marcano-Vega, Olga G Martínez, Hernán M Maturo, Morag McDonald, Kurt McLaren, Omar Melo, Francisco Mijares, Virginia Mogni, Diego Molina, Natalia Del Pilar Moreno, Jafet M Nassar, Danilo M Neves, Luis J Oakley, Michael Oatham, Alma Rosa Olvera-Luna, Flávia F Pezzini, Orlando Joel Reyes Dominguez, María Elvira Ríos, Orlando Rivera, Nelly Rodríguez, Alicia Rojas, Tiina Särkinen, Roberto Sánchez, Melvin Smith, Carlos Vargas, Boris Villanueva, R Toby Pennington
Seasonally dry tropical forests are distributed across Latin America and the Caribbean and are highly threatened, with less than 10% of their original extent remaining in many countries. Using 835 inventories covering 4660 species of woody plants, we show marked floristic turnover among inventories and regions, which may be higher than in other neotropical biomes, such as savanna. Such high floristic turnover indicates that numerous conservation areas across many countries will be needed to protect the full diversity of tropical dry forests...
September 23, 2016: Science
A M E Noreen, M A Niissalo, S K Y Lum, E L Webb
As deforestation and urbanization continue at rapid rates in tropical regions, urban forest patches are essential repositories of biodiversity. However, almost nothing is known about gene flow of forest-dependent tree species in urban landscapes. In this study, we investigated gene flow in the insect-pollinated, wind-dispersed tropical tree Koompassia malaccensis in and among three remnant forest patches in the urbanized landscape of Singapore. We genotyped the vast majority of adults (N=179) and a large number of recruits (N=2103) with 8 highly polymorphic microsatellite markers...
October 5, 2016: Heredity
Julien Engel, Louise Brousseau, Christopher Baraloto
The tropical rainforest of Amazonia is one of the most species-rich ecosystems on earth, with an estimated 16000 tree species. Due to this high diversity, botanical identification of trees in the Amazon is difficult, even to genus, often requiring the assistance of parataxonomists or taxonomic specialists. Advances in informatics tools offer a promising opportunity to develop user-friendly electronic keys to improve Amazonian tree identification. Here, we introduce an original multi-access electronic key for the identification of 389 tree genera occurring in French Guiana terra-firme forests, based on a set of 79 morphological characters related to vegetative, floral and fruit characters...
2016: PhytoKeys
Gbadamassi G O Dossa, Ekananda Paudel, Kunfang Cao, Douglas Schaefer, Rhett D Harrison
Organic matter decomposition represents a vital ecosystem process by which nutrients are made available for plant uptake and is a major flux in the global carbon cycle. Previous studies have investigated decomposition of different plant parts, but few considered bark decomposition or its role in decomposition of wood. However, bark can comprise a large fraction of tree biomass. We used a common litter-bed approach to investigate factors affecting bark decomposition and its role in wood decomposition for five tree species in a secondary seasonal tropical rain forest in SW China...
October 4, 2016: Scientific Reports
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