Blog
About

65
views
0
recommends
+1 Recommend
0 collections
    0
    shares
      • Record: found
      • Abstract: not found
      • Article: not found

      Averting biodiversity collapse in tropical forest protected areas

      , , , , ,   , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,   , , , , ,   , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,   , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

      Nature

      Springer Science and Business Media LLC

      Read this article at

      ScienceOpenPublisherPubMed
      Bookmark
          There is no author summary for this article yet. Authors can add summaries to their articles on ScienceOpen to make them more accessible to a non-specialist audience.

          Abstract

          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.

          Related collections

          Most cited references 22

          • Record: found
          • Abstract: found
          • Article: not found

          Primary forests are irreplaceable for sustaining tropical biodiversity.

          Human-driven land-use changes increasingly threaten biodiversity, particularly in tropical forests where both species diversity and human pressures on natural environments are high. The rapid conversion of tropical forests for agriculture, timber production and other uses has generated vast, human-dominated landscapes with potentially dire consequences for tropical biodiversity. Today, few truly undisturbed tropical forests exist, whereas those degraded by repeated logging and fires, as well as secondary and plantation forests, are rapidly expanding. Here we provide a global assessment of the impact of disturbance and land conversion on biodiversity in tropical forests using a meta-analysis of 138 studies. We analysed 2,220 pairwise comparisons of biodiversity values in primary forests (with little or no human disturbance) and disturbed forests. We found that biodiversity values were substantially lower in degraded forests, but that this varied considerably by geographic region, taxonomic group, ecological metric and disturbance type. Even after partly accounting for confounding colonization and succession effects due to the composition of surrounding habitats, isolation and time since disturbance, we find that most forms of forest degradation have an overwhelmingly detrimental effect on tropical biodiversity. Our results clearly indicate that when it comes to maintaining tropical biodiversity, there is no substitute for primary forests.
            Bookmark
            • Record: found
            • Abstract: found
            • Article: not found

            Effectiveness of parks in protecting tropical biodiversity.

            We assessed the impacts of anthropogenic threats on 93 protected areas in 22 tropical countries to test the hypothesis that parks are an effective means to protect tropical biodiversity. We found that the majority of parks are successful at stopping land clearing, and to a lesser degree effective at mitigating logging, hunting, fire, and grazing. Park effectiveness correlates with basic management activities such as enforcement, boundary demarcation, and direct compensation to local communities, suggesting that even modest increases in funding would directly increase the ability of parks to protect tropical biodiversity.
              Bookmark
              • Record: found
              • Abstract: found
              • Article: not found

              Selective logging in the Brazilian Amazon.

              Amazon deforestation has been measured by remote sensing for three decades. In comparison, selective logging has been mostly invisible to satellites. We developed a large-scale, high-resolution, automated remote-sensing analysis of selective logging in the top five timber-producing states of the Brazilian Amazon. Logged areas ranged from 12,075 to 19,823 square kilometers per year (+/-14%) between 1999 and 2002, equivalent to 60 to 123% of previously reported deforestation area. Up to 1200 square kilometers per year of logging were observed on conservation lands. Each year, 27 million to 50 million cubic meters of wood were extracted, and a gross flux of approximately 0.1 billion metric tons of carbon was destined for release to the atmosphere by logging.
                Bookmark

                Author and article information

                Journal
                Nature
                Nature
                Springer Science and Business Media LLC
                0028-0836
                1476-4687
                September 2012
                July 25 2012
                September 2012
                : 489
                : 7415
                : 290-294
                Article
                10.1038/nature11318
                22832582
                © 2012

                Comments

                Comment on this article