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Tropical Forests

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43 connected topics.


News and Opinion

Coverage of tropical forests since April 15, 2021.

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New measure of tropical forest vulnerability to help avoid 'tipping point'

"..."Frequent droughts, higher temperature, and longer dry seasons, along with increasing pressures from deforestation and degradation in the last two decades, have pushed the tropical rainforests to the verge of a tipping point," said Sassan Saatchi of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory. "What we predicted using climate models a decade ago, we are observing on the ground. Now is the time to do something and not later..."

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Individual protected areas in Amazonia differ greatly in how effectively they help to fight deforestation and carbon emissions

"...Tropical forests are unique environments that have huge species diversity and also act as important reservoirs of organic carbon, thereby counteracting climate change. However, their area is diminishing due to deforestation, which gives reason to worry both about the survival of their biodiversity and about the increasing carbon emissions. To help to optimise conservation efforts, it is important to understand how well conservation areas succeed in safeguarding tropical forests..."

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How climate change affected the population of this Maya settlement

"...The findings, published in Quarternary Science Reviews in a study entitled “Molecular evidence for human population change associated with climate events in the Maya lowlands,” shows that both droughts and very wet periods led to impactful population declines, and suggests that the Maya settlement in Itzan started earlier and lasted longer than previously known..."

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Global network transforming tropical forest research

"...ForestPlots. net hosts data from many individual researchers and networks including AfriTRON, ECOFOR, PPBio, RAINFOR, TROBIT and T-FORCES. Working together equitably, the network has shown that long-term monitoring of forests on-the-ground is irreplaceable, making scientific discoveries across the globe..."

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First report of dorsal navigation in a flying insect

"...People--who get lost easily in the extraordinary darkness of a tropical forest--have much to learn from a bee that can find its way home in conditions 10 times dimmer than starlight. Researchers at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute's (STRI) research station on Barro Colorado Island in Panama and the University of Lund in Sweden reveal that sweat bees (Megalopta genalis), find their way home based on patterns in the canopy overhead using dorsal vision. This first report of dorsal navigation in a flying insect, published in Current Biology, may be of special interest to makers of drones and other night-flying vehicles..."

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Anthropogenic forcing increases drought risks in Southeast Asia

"...With the unprecedented urbanization and population growing rate, water scarcity issues have already posed a serious challenge for sustainable development in Southeast Asian monsoon region. However, the impact of anthropogenic forcing, such as greenhouse gases and anthropogenic aerosols, on extreme drought events in the region is still unclear. Scientists from the Institute of Atmospheric Physics (IAP) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences investigated the observed drought changes over Southeast Asian monsoon region and impacts of anthropogenic forcing using the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project phase 6 (CMIP6) models..."

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Deforestation darkening the seas above world's second biggest reef

"...Stacey Felgate, a PhD Student at the University of Southampton and the National Oceanography Centre, led the study working with partners in Belize. Stacey said, "Like many countries in the region, Belize is experiencing a rapid rate of deforestation due to increasing need for agricultural and urban land, whilst the economy also relies on the fishing and tourism industries on the coastline. Despite this, there has been very little research into the impact that changing land-use at such a fast pace is having on the region's coastal ecosystems..."

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Letters to the Editor - Questions over the environmental impacts of wind power

"...Of course other means of electricity generation have negative environmental and social impacts. The production of solar panels requires large amounts of materials and energy as does the required battery storage, not to mention enormous wastage of water in lithium production, with the country producing most of the panels burning enormous amounts of coal for industry. Nuclear generation depends on mining for uranium, but at least that resource is an indigenous Canadian resource, and production monitored and regulated, whereas almost all the costs and environmental and social damages of the others are outsourced to other countries; and a plant’s physical footprint is minor compared to other systems and neither birds nor other wildlife are threatened..."

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African rainforests still slowed climate change despite record heat and drought

"...Professor Lewis said: "These findings show the value of careful long-term monitoring of tropical forests. The baseline data running back to the 1980s allowed us to evaluate how well these rainforests coped with record heat and drought. " Past evidence from similar inventory networks in Amazonia studying major droughts in 2005 and 2010, and in Asia studying the large 1997-1998 El Niño event, show either substantially slower tree growth or much greater tree mortality in response to extreme drought and heat..."

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An OU-led study sheds new insight on forest loss and degradation in Brazilian Amazon

"...Tropical forests in the Amazon account, Qin notes, for approximately 50% of the rainforests in the world and are important for global biodiversity, hydrology, climate and the carbon cycle. Accurate and timely data on vegetation aboveground biomass and forest area in the region at various spatial and temporal scales are also essential for data-based policies and decision making. This international team harnessed diverse data for monitoring, reporting and verification of tropical forests..."

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Human land-use and climate change will have significant impact on animal genetic diversity

"...For example, Northern Scandinavia will be heavily impacted by climate change and not so much from land use change, whereas the tropical areas of the world will suffer from both climate change and land-use change. However, David Nogues Bravo underlines that it is difficult to compare areas..."

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Scientists call for climate projections as part of more robust biodiversity conservation

"...Scientists have called for the use of climate projections in conservation planning, to ensure that areas most at risk from biodiversity loss and climate impacts are protected. Protected areas are often created in areas of low population density and remote locations, rather than because of their biodiversity conservation potential. Conservation planning in tropical forests especially tends to be less rigorous and climate rarely taken into account, they said..."

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Recommended Reading

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Podcasts

Recent episodes that mention tropical forests.

062 | At What Temperature Do Forests Stop Absorbing Carbon?

Duration: 38:25

"...Today I speak with environmental scientist Jason Funk, who runs the Land Use and Climate Knowledge Initiative (LUCKI) about the important findings of a paper called "Long-term thermal sensitivity of earth's tropical forests," which looks at whether forests can continue to pull carbon from the atmosphere as temperatures rise..."

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Informative Video

Discussions, Documentaries, and Investigative Reports about tropical forests.

Earth was once a planet of the apes—and they set the stage for human evolution

"...This is inaccurate—surviving lineages of apes likely specialized to live in the remaining tropical forests, not in open environments..."

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This New AI Forensic Tool is Fighting Illegal Logging

"...At about $150 billion per year, the illegal logging trade is the most profitable environmental crime in the world..."

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Why Do Trees Lose their Leaves?

"...In tropical forests, trees lose their leaves when the dry season begins..."

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Academic Research

Recent peer-reviewed papers about tropical forests relevant to the latest news.

Outcomes of a native bamboo on biomass and carbon stocks of a neotropical biodiversity hotspot

"...To evaluate the impact of a native bamboo on biomass and carbon stocks of an Atlantic Forest Protected Area, we first developed an allometric equation to estimate its live aboveground biomass (AGB) based on the destructive sampling method..."

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Effect of land use and seasonality on nematode faunal structure and ecosystem functions in the Caatinga dry forest

"...Seasonally dry tropical forests are strongly affected by anthropogenic disturbance and climate changes, which represent the main threats to soil biodiversity, affecting the activity and functional composition of soil communities that provide crucial ecosystem functions and services..."

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Effect of land cover change on total SOC and soil PhytOC accumulation in the karst subtropical forest ecosystem, SW China

"...Conclusions The results of the present study provided scientific bases for further evaluating the carbon sink capacity of soil PhytOC in the karst ecosystem, in SW China, and have important values in the reduction of carbon emission and increase of carbon sink to combat the global warming..."

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Forest cover and social relations are more important than economic factors in driving hunting and bushmeat consumption in post-f

"...Identifying the economic drivers of hunting and bushmeat consumption is crucial for understanding whether economic growth in tropical forest regions can foster poverty alleviation and biodiversity conservation..."

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Tree diversity promotes predatory wasps and parasitoids but not pollinator bees in a subtropical experimental forest

"...From regional to global scales, anthropogenic environmental change is causing biodiversity loss and reducing ecosystem functionality..."

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Changes in soil bacterial communities, and carbon and nitrogen metrics as potential indicators of land use effects in a humid tr

"...In this project, we demonstrated that critical differences in soil C and N metrics, organic C use efficiency, and DNA-identified bacterial community structures occurred along a land use disturbance gradient in a humid tropical primary forest (PF) Costa Rica following deforestation and conversion of the forest into logging roads (LR), grasslands that were grazed and then abandoned (GR), and regenerating secondary forests (SF)..."

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Tropical Wetland Persistence through the Anthropocene: Multiproxy reconstruction of environmental change in a Maya agroecosystem

"...We demonstrate the complexity and scale of human engineering and modification of soil and water resources, provide a new chronology for ancient wetland use, and present new evidence for the farming of economic plants as well as the succession of tropical wetlands after intensive anthropogenic manipulation ceased..."

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Deforestation and forest fragmentation in the highlands of Eastern Ghats, India

"...Tropical forest cover change along with increasing fragmentation has detrimental effects on the global biodiversity..."

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The impacts of agricultural and urban land-use changes on plant and bird biodiversity in Costa Rica (1986?2014)

"...Our results confirm that deforestation has been reversed and most of the biodiversity considered is housed in forestland, but also that the expansion of export monocultures and urban sprawl have fragmented and isolated these tropical forests..."

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The impact of tropical land-use change on downstream riverine and estuarine water properties and biogeochemical cycles: a revie

"...Overall, the impact of land-use change on aquatic processes may be more serious in tropical regions than in temperate or cold climate regions because of (1) a higher biomass and nutrient stock in original tropical forests; (2) higher precipitation, more frequent episodic flooding, and warmer temperatures in tropical regions; and (3) certain practices that are rapidly expanding in tropical regions such as land-based aquaculture..."

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