Rain forests represent the world's richest repository of terrestrial biodiversity, and play a major role in regulating the global climate. They support the livelihoods of a substantial proportion of the world's population and are the source of many internationally traded commodities. They remain (despite decades of conservation attention) increasingly vulnerable to degradation and clearance, with profound though often uncertain future costs to global society. Understanding the ecology of these diverse biomes, and peoples' dependencies on them, is fundamental to their future management and conservation. Tropical Rain Forest Ecology, Diversity, and Conservation introduces and explores what rain forests are, how they arose, what they contain, how they function, and how humans use and impact them. The book starts by introducing the variety of rain forest plants, fungi, microorganisms, and animals, emphasising the spectacular diversity that is the motivation for their conservation. The central chapters describe the origins of rain forest communities, the variety of rain forest formations, and their ecology and dynamics. The challenge of explaining the species richness of rain forest communities lies at the heart of ecological theory, and forms a common theme throughout. The book's final section considers historical and current interactions of humans and rain forests. It explores biodiversity conservation as well as livelihood security for the many communities that are dependent on rain forests - inextricable issues that represent urgent priorities for scientists, conservationists, and policy makers.
Since the dawn of human civilization, forests have provided us with food, resources, and energy. The history of human development is also one of forest loss and transformation, and yet even in our increasingly urbanized societies we remain surprisingly dependent on forests for a wide range of goods and services. Moreover, forests still retain a remarkable hold on our environmental values. In an era of continuing tropical deforestation and temperate forest resurgence, and in the midst of uncertainties of climate and land use changes, it is more important than ever to understand what forests are, how they contribute to our livelihoods, and how they underpin our cultural histories and futures. In this Very Short Introduction Jaboury Ghazoul explores our contrasting interactions with forests, as well as their origins, dynamics, and the range of goods and services they provide to human society. Ghazoul concludes with an examination of the recent history of deforestation, transitions to reforestation, and the future outlook for forests particularly in the context of expected climate change. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
Asian tropical forests are amongst the most diverse on the planet, a richness that belies the fact that they are dominated by a single family of trees, the Dipterocarpaceae. Many other families contribute to Asia's natural diversity, but few compare to the dipterocarps in terms of the number and variety of species that occupy the forest canopy. Understanding the ecology and dynamics of Asian forests is therefore, to a large extent, a study of the Dipterocarpaceae. This book synthesises our current knowledge concerning dipterocarps, exploring the family through taxonomic, evolutionary, and biogeographic perspectives. Dipterocarp Biology, Ecology, and Conservation describes the rich variety of dipterocarp forest formations in both the ever-wet and seasonal tropics, including the less well known African and South American species. Detailed coverage of dipterocarp reproductive ecology and population genetics reflects the considerable research devoted to this subject, and its particular importance in shaping the ecology of Asian lowland rain forests. Ecophysiological responses to light, water, and nutrients, which underlie mechanisms that maintain dipterocarp species richness, are also addressed. At broader scales, dipterocarp responses to variation in soil, topography, climate, and natural disturbance regimes are explored from both population and community perspectives. The book concludes with a consideration of the crucial economic values of dipterocarps, and their extensive exploitation, discussing future opportunities for conservation and restoration. This will be a useful resource for senior undergraduate and graduate courses in tropical forest ecology and management, as well as professional researchers in tropical plant ecology, forestry, geography, and conservation biology.
Importance pf tropical forests; characteristics of tropical forests; classification of tropical forests; deforestation in the tropics; management of tropical forests; plantatios and agroforestry systems; approaches for implementing sustainable management techniques.
Under threat from natural and human disturbance, tropical dry forests are the most endangered ecosystem in the tropics, yet they rarely receive the scientific or conservation attention they deserve. In a comprehensive overview, Tropical Dry Forests in the Americas: Ecology, Conservation, and Management examines new approaches for data sampling and analysis using remote sensing technology, discusses new ecological and econometric methods, and critically evaluates the socio-economic pressures that these forest are facing at the continental and national levels. The book includes studies from Mexico, Costa Rica, Colombia, Venezuela, and Brazil that provide in-depth knowledge about the function, status, and conservation efforts of these endangered forests. It presents key elements of synthesis from standardized work conducted across all sites. This unique contribution provides new light in terms of these forests compared to each other not only from an ecological perspective but also in terms of the pressures that they are facing, and their respective responses. Written by experts from a diversity of fields, this reference brings together the many facets of function, use, heritage, and future potential of these forests. It presents an important and exciting synthesis of many years of work across countries, disciplines, and cultures. By standardizing approaches for data sampling and analysis, the book gives readers comparison information that cannot be found anywhere else given the high level of disparity that exists in the current literature.
Timber production is often the most economic form of land use in areas of tropical forest; forest preservation is rarely so. This book attempts to bridge the current gap between conservation requirements and commercial interests, indicating the possibilities for integrated management of tropical forests. The aim is to create a practical approach for the management of production forest as a supplement to totally-protected forest in the conservation of tropical biodiversity.
Synthesizing theoretical and empirical analyses of the processes that help shape these unique ecosystems, Tropical Rainforests looks at the effects of evolutionary histories, past climate change, and ecological dynamics on the origin and maintenance of tropical rainforest communities. Featuring recent advances in paleoecology, climatology, geology, molecular systematics, biogeography, and community ecology, the volume also offers insights from those fields into how rainforests will endure the impact of anthropogenic change. With more than sixty contributors, Tropical Rainforests will be of great interest to students and professionals in tropical ecology and conservation.
Accessibly written by a team of international authors, the Encyclopedia of Environmental Change provides a gateway to the complex facts, concepts, techniques, methodology and philosophy of environmental change. This three-volume set illustrates and examines topics within this dynamic and rapidly changing interdisciplinary field. The encyclopedia includes all of the following aspects of environmental change: Diverse evidence of environmental change, including climate change and changes on land and in the oceans Underlying natural and anthropogenic causes and mechanisms Wide-ranging local, regional and global impacts from the polar regions to the tropics Responses of geo-ecosystems and human-environmental systems in the face of past, present and future environmental change Approaches, methodologies and techniques used for reconstructing, dating, monitoring, modelling, projecting and predicting change Social, economic and political dimensions of environmental issues, environmental conservation and management and environmental policy Over 4,000 entries explore the following key themes and more: Conservation Demographic change Environmental management Environmental policy Environmental security Food security Glaciation Green Revolution Human impact on environment Industrialization Landuse change Military impacts on environment Mining and mining impacts Nuclear energy Pollution Renewable resources Solar energy Sustainability Tourism Trade Water resources Water security Wildlife conservation The comprehensive coverage of terminology includes layers of entries ranging from one-line definitions to short essays, making this an invaluable companion for any student of physical geography, environmental geography or environmental sciences.
This new edition of Whitmore's classic introduction to tropical rain forests has been comprehensively revised and updated, reflecting the changes which have taken place since it was first published in 1990. The sections on human impact have been extended, including a new global assessment of deforestation, and details of new research on biodiversity and conservation. The book remains unique in linking rain forest biology and ecology with silviculture, and with concerns over sustainable resource utilization and the future of the tropical rain forests. Accessibly written and illustrated throughout, it is a must for biology and geography students, and anyone who seeks to know more about the nature and importance of the world's tropical rain forests.