Navigation Links
Scientists must offer solutions for conserving tropical forests in a rapidly changing world

As the future of the tropics unfolds, scientists must explain the dimensions and mechanisms of forest responses to rapid human-population increase and environmental changesAs human populations and their impacts on the world increase, tropical forests are changing in many different ways. Forests are being cleared, burned, logged, fragmented, and overhunted and an unprecedented pace, and they are also being altered in insidious ways by global climatic and atmospheric changes. "The evidence for global effects suggests that a massive reorganization of the structure and dynamics of tropical forests is already underway" writes ecologist S. Joseph Wright, "The tropics support over half of all species and over two-thirds of all people. Without an appropriate commitment from the scientific community, the two are unlikely to continue to coexist," concludes the scientist.

Tropical forest landscapes are changing rapidly in the eyes of scientists working on tropical monitoring plots around the globe, while human populations and their economic activities grow. Old-growth forests become agricultural lands, degraded land is abandoned, urbanization intensifies, and the populations of tropical countries will increase by two billion over the next 25 years.

But what is happening in protected areas? Globally, 18% of all tropical and subtropical moist forest and 9% of all tropical dry forests are nominally protected by governments. Increasingly, even these areas seem to be bearing the indelible marks of human activity.

On Barro Colorado Island (BCI) administered by the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI) in the Republic of Panama, the old-growth forest has escaped fire and agriculture for at least 1500 years. STRIs Center for Tropical Forest Science (CTFS) has repeatedly censused all steams one centimeter of diameter or more at 1.3 m height in a 50-hectare plot every five years since 1985. Wright notes that the aboveground biomass on BCI was almost co nstant since the first census. But lianas increased substantially (from 9% to 13% of all leaf biomass) between 1986 and 2002.

In another protected area, the Kibale National Park in Uganda, a 30-year record suggests that reproductive activity by forest trees is increasing; and at La Selva, Costa Rica, diameter-growth rates decreased among surviving individuals for cohorts of nine species measured annually for 17 years. These mysterious changes may be caused by large-scale drivers, such as increasing carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, intense droughts, or other poorly understood phenomena.

Wright, who has studied tropical forests and its plant and animal inhabitants since the late '70 at STRI, encourages tropical scientists to conduct assessments based on existing long-term records. Basic research will help us to understand the dimensions and mechanisms of forest responses to anthropogenic forcing. Conservation scientists must help to mitigate the number of species lost to extinction by enhancing the effectiveness of the network of protected areas. Other applied research will help to rehabilitate degraded lands and to improve agricultural yields and living standards.

According to William F. Laurance, Wright's colleague at STRI and frequent spokesman for conservation efforts in Africa and the Amazon, "the commitment of tropical biologists must go a step further to include effective communication of their findings to decision makers and the general public. It is those who will eventually demand that governments invest in research and conservation of tropical forests and who will work to slow the rapid, unsustainable growth of human populations in the tropics."


'"/>

Source:Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute


Related biology news :

1. Scientists ID molecular switch in liver that triggers harmful effects of saturated and trans fats
2. Scientists Replicate Hepatitis C Virus in Laboratory
3. Scientists detect probable genetic cause of some Parkinsons disease cases
4. Scientists find missing enzyme for tuberculosis iron scavenging pathway
5. Scientists seek answers on what activates deadly anthrax spores
6. Yale Scientists Find MicroRNA Regulates Ras Cancer Gene
7. Scientists collaborate to assess health of global environment
8. Scientists decipher genome of fungus that can cause life-threatening infections
9. Scientists discover the cellular roots of graying hair
10. Scientists rid stem cell culture of key animal cells
11. Scientists develop new color-coded test for protein folding
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:12/6/2016)... DALLAS , Dec. 6, 2016 ... criminal justice technology solutions for public safety, investigation, ... (PEP) jointly announced today a five (5) year ... exclusive agreement to expand the rehabilitation and reentry ... PEP History Established in 2004, the Prison ...
(Date:11/30/2016)... , Nov. 30, 2016 Not many of us realize that we ... of recovery so we need to do it well. Inadequate sleep levels have been ... blood pressure, stroke, diabetes, and even cancer. Maybe now is the best ... that could help them to manage their sleep quality? ... ...
(Date:11/29/2016)... Nearly one billion matches per second with DERMALOG,s high-speed AFIS    ... ... DERMALOG is Germany's largest Multi-Biometric supplier: The ... Identification Systems) ... Germany's largest Multi-Biometric supplier: The company's Fingerprint Identification System is part of ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:12/9/2016)... ... December 09, 2016 , ... DuPont Industrial Biosciences ... the Breakthrough Solution of the Year Award from Platts Global Energy for ... The award was announced at the 18th Platts Global Energy Awards, held in ...
(Date:12/9/2016)... ALBANY, New York , December 9, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... Research states that the top five players in the  ... of 62.7% in the overall market in 2015. Players ... and Perkin Elmer have remained dominant in the global ... persistent efforts to ensure product innovation. Product upgrades and ...
(Date:12/9/2016)... Dec. 9, 2016 China Cord Blood Corporation (NYSE: ... China,s leading provider of cord blood collection, laboratory ... today announced the results of its 2016 Annual General Meeting, ... S.A.R., China . At ... the re-appointment of KPMG Huazhen LLP as the independent auditors ...
(Date:12/9/2016)... India , December 9, 2016 According ... & Services (Primer, Probe, Custom, Predesigned, Reagent Equipment), Application (Research, PCR, ... Forecasts to 2021" published by MarketsandMarkets, the global market is expected ... in 2016, at a CAGR of 10.6% during the forecast period. ... ...
Breaking Biology Technology: