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Emerging Threats to Tropical Forests

Emerging Threats to Tropical Forests reveals the remarkably diverse panoply of perils to tropical forests and their biota, with particular emphasis on recent dangers. William F. Laurance and Carlos A. Peres identify four categories of emerging threats: those that have only recently appeared, such as the virulent chytrid fungus that is decimating rainforest amphibians throughout the tropical world; those that are growing rapidly in importance, like destructive surface fires; those that are poorly understood, namely global warming and other climatic and atmospheric changes; and environmental synergisms, whereby two or more simultaneous threats—such as habitat fragmentation and wildfires, or logging and hunting—can dramatically increase local extinction of tropical species. In addition to documenting the vulnerability of tropical rainforests, the volume focuses on strategies for mitigating and combating emerging threats. A timely and compelling book intended for researchers, students, and conservation practitioners, Emerging Threats to Tropical Forests will interest anyone concerned about the fate of the world’s most threatened tropical ecosystems.

520 pages | 44 halftones, 63 line drawings, 27 tables | 6 x 9 | © 2006

Biological Sciences: Biology--Systematics, Botany, Conservation, Ecology, Evolutionary Biology, Natural History, Tropical Biology and Conservation


"The book deals with a topic of major conservation importance, is wide-ranging in scope, and includes many genuinely insightful chapters written by leading researchers."

John Kanowski | Austral Ecology

"A thought provoking and current overview of the sources of risk to the biodiversity of tropical forests. It would make for a useful volume for a graduate or advanced undergraduate seminar class. Its summaries of emerging threats constitute a report card on how well scentists and consertvationists are doing in grasping the magnitude and complexity of human-caused changes in the tropics."

Kenneth R. Young | Plant Science Bulletin

"In his foreword, Thomas E. Lovejoy writes that ’this book is unquestionably the best and most up-to-date effort to document the chilling panoply of threats to tropical forests.’--I do agree!"

Francois M. Catzeflis | ScienceDirect

"With 23 essays by 49 contributors, Emerging Threats to Tropical Forests offers a pan-tropical overview of the formidable challenges we continue to face in the field of tropical forest conservation....An excellent book. . . . All of the contributing authors bring original insights and critical information to our ongoing consideration of the problem of tropical forest conservation. This book is especially recommended for tropical ecologists, resource managers, and conservation educators, but it is relevant for all readers interested in the future of this fundamentally important global resource."

Karin Rita Gastreich | Ecology

Table of Contents

by Thomas E. Lovejoy
Introduction: What Are Emerging Threats?
by William F. Laurance
I. Emerging Threats from Climatic and Atmospheric Change
Introductory comments by William F. Laurance
1. Impacts of Global Change on the Structure, Dynamics, and Functioning of South American Tropical Forests
Simon L. Lewis, Oliver L. Phillips, Timothy R. Baker, et al.
2. Climate Change as a Threat to the Biodiversity of Tropical Rainforests in Australia
Stephen E. Williams and David W. Hilbert
3. Dynamic Climate and Land-Use Change in the Woodland and Savanna Ecosystems of Subtropical Africa
H. H. Shugart, K. K. Caylor, C. Hély, R. J. Swap, and P. R. Dowty
4. Impacts of Tropical Deforestation on Regional and Global Hydroclimatology
Roni Avissar, Renato Ramos da Silva, and David Werth
II. Synergistic Effects of Simultaneous Environmental Changes
Introductory comments by Carlos A. Peres and William F. Laurance
5. Fragments and Fire: Alarming Synergisms among Forest Disturbance, Local Climate Change, and Burning in the Amazon
William F. Laurance
6. Synergistic Effects of Habitat Disturbance and Hunting in Amazonian Forest Fragments
Carlos A. Peres and Fernanda Michalski
7. Human Encroachment and Vegetation Change in Isolated Forest Reserves: The Case of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, Uganda
William Olupot and Colin A. Chapman
III. Emerging Pathogens and Invaders
Introductory comments by William F. Laurance
8. Emerging Infectious-Disease Threats to Tropical Forest Ecosystems
Andrew A. Cunningham, Peter Daszak, and Nikkita G. Patel
9. Habitat Disturbance and the Proliferation of Plant Diseases
Julieta Benítez-Malvido and Aurora Lemus-Albor
10. Ebola and Commercial Hunting: Dim Prospects for African Apes
Peter D. Walsh
11. Current Decline of the "Dodo Tree": A Case of Broken-Down Interactions with Extinct Species or the Result of New Interactions with Alien Invaders?
Cláudia Baider and F. B. Vincent Florens
IV. Insidious and Poorly Understood Threats
Introductory comments by Carlos A. Peres and William F. Laurance
12. Consequences of Cryptic and Recurring Fire Disturbances for Ecosystem Structure and Biodiversity in Amazonian Forests
Jos Barlow and Carlos A. Peres
13. Disperser-Free Tropical Forests Await an Unhappy Fate
John Terborgh and Gabriela Nunez-Iturri
14. Rainforest Roads and the Future of Forest-Dependent Wildlife: A Case Study of Understory Birds
Susan G. W. Laurance
15. Emerging Threats to Birds in Brazilian Atlantic Forests: The Roles of Forest Loss and Configuration in a Severely Fragmented Ecosystem
Pedro Ferreira Develey and Jean Paul Metzger
16. Megadiversity in Crisis: Politics, Policies, and Governance in Indonesia’s Forests
Kathy MacKinnon
V. Solving and Mitigating Emerging Threats

Introductory comments by William F. Laurance
17. Who Should Pay for Tropical Forest Conservation, and How Could the Costs Be Met?
Tony Whitten and Andrew Balmford
18. Conservation Incentive Agreements as an Alternative to Tropical Forest Exploitation
Eduard T. Niesten and Richard E. Rice
19. Mitigation of Climatic Change in the Amazon
Philip M. Fearnside
20. Tourism and Tropical Rainforests: Opportunity or Threat?
Stephen M. Turton and Nigel E. Stork
21. Managing Threats from Bushmeat Hunting in a Timber Concession in the Republic of CongoPaul W. Elkan, Sarah W. Elkan, Antoine Moukassa, Richard Malonga, Marcel Ngangoue, and James L. D. Smith
22. Tropical Forests: A Protected-Area Strategy for the Twenty-first Century
Chris Fagan, Carlos A. Peres, and John Terborgh
VI. Summary and Implications
23. Emerging Threats to Tropical Forests: What We Know and What We Don’t Know
William F. Laurance, Carlos A. Peres, Patrick A. Jansen, and Luis D’Croz
Literature Cited

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