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Though seasonally dry tropical forests are equally as important to global biodiversity as tropical rainforests, and are one of the most representative and highly endangered ecosystems in Latin America, knowledge about them remains limited because of the relative paucity of attention paid to them by scientists and researchers and a lack of published information on the subject. Seasonally Dry Tropical Forests seeks to address this shortcoming by bringing together a range of experts in diverse fields including biology, ecology, biogeography, and biogeochemistry, to review, synthesize, and explain the current state of our collective knowledge on the ecology and conservation of seasonally dry tropical forests. The book offers a synthetic and cross-disciplinary review of recent work with an expansive scope, including sections on distribution, diversity, ecosystem function, and human impacts. Throughout, contributors emphasize conservation issues, particularly emerging threats and promising solutions, with key chapters on climate change, fragmentation, restoration, ecosystem services, and sustainable use. Seasonally dry tropical forests are extremely rich in biodiversity, and are seriously threatened. They represent scientific terrain that is poorly explored, and there is an urgent need for increased understanding of the system's basic ecology. Seasonally Dry Tropical Forests represents an important step in bringing together the most current scientific information about this vital ecosystem and disseminating it to the scientific and conservation communities.
Seasonally Dry Tropical Forests brings together a range of experts in diverse fields including biology, ecology, biogeography, and biogeochemistry, to review, synthesize, and explain the current state of our collective knowledge on the ecology and conservation of this endangered ecosystem. The book offers a synthetic and cross-disciplinary review of recent work with an expansive scope, including sections on distribution, diversity, ecosystem function, and human impacts. Throughout, contributors emphasize conservation issues, particularly emerging threats and promising solutions, with key chapters on climate change, fragmentation, restoration, ecosystem services, and sustainable use. Seasonally dry tropical forests represent scientific terrain that is poorly explored, and there is an urgent need for increased understanding. This book represents an important step in bringing together the most current scientific information about this vital ecosystem.
Though seasonally dry tropical forests are equally as important to global biodiversity as tropical rainforests, and are one of the most representative and highly endangered ecosystems in Latin America, knowledge about them remains limited because of the relative paucity of attention paid to them by scientists and researchers and a lack of published information on the subject. Seasonally Dry Tropical Forests seeks to address this shortcoming by bringing together a range of experts in diverse fields including biology, ecology, biogeography, and biogeochemistry, to review, synthesize, and explain the current state of our collective knowledge on the ecology and conservation of seasonally dry tropical forests. The book offers a synthetic and cross-disciplinary review of recent work with an expansive scope, including sections on distribution, diversity, ecosystem function, and human impacts. Throughout, contributors emphasize conservation issues, particularly emerging threats and promising solutions, with key chapters on climate change, fragmentation, restoration, ecosystem services, and sustainable use. Seasonally dry tropical forests are extremely rich in biodiversity, and are seriously threatened. They represent scientific terrain that is poorly explored, and there is an urgent need for increased understanding of the system's basic ecology. Seasonally Dry Tropical Forests represents an important step in bringing together the most current scientific information about this vital ecosystem and disseminating it to the scientific and conservation communities.
Review of tropical dry forest biogeography, palaeontology, ecology and ecosystem functions.
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.
More often than not, when people think of a neotropical forest, what comes to mind is a rain forest, rather than a dry forest. Just as typically, when they imagine a savanna, they visualize the African plains, rather than those dry woodlands and grasslands found in the Neotropics. These same preconceptions can be found among scientists, as these neotropical biomes receive nowhere near the attention they should - in terms of both research and conservation -considering the amount of land they encompass and the diversity of vegetation they contain. Neotropical Savannas and Dry Forests: Plant Diversity, Biogeography, and Conservation provides an engaging synthesis of information on the plant diversity and geography, as well as the conservation status, of these species-rich areas. This impressive compilation is the result of a plant diversity symposium that took place during an international conference on tropical savannas and seasonally dry forests held in 2003. Fifty leading scientists, representing a variety of disciplines have contributed to the chapters of this book in an effort to address three questions: What are the patterns of diversity, species-richness and endemism of the floras of neotropical seasonally dry forest and savannas? How and why did this endemism and diversity arise? Are these ecosystems adequately protected and, if not, which areas should be elevated into priorities for conservation, and how can this be best achieved? This work is the first extensive compilation of the patterns of plant biodiversity in these neotropical ecosystems. The overview also provides a summary of what is known of their evolutionary history, including an examination of the links to the development of analogous vegetation in Africa. In contrast to previously published titles that emphasize ecology and physiology, this work focuses on plant biodiversity and reviews molecular phylogenetic and molecular population genetic approaches to discovering biogeographic history.
Seasonally dry tropical forests are worldwide recognized as important ecosystems for biodiversity conservation. Increasing agricultural activities (e.g., slash-and-burn agriculture) leads to a heterogeneous landscape matrix; and as ecological succession takes over in abandoned fields, plant and animal communities endure shifts in species richness and composition. This book presents the analysis on plant and Lepidoptera (caterpillar) communities and their species turnover along forest succession and along a gradient from dry to humid seasonal forests in the Southern Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico. We discuss the contribution of climate zones, forest age and seasonality to the comunity structure of plant and Lepidoptera assemblages. The study of these environmental gradients may serve to understand and forecast future changes in species diversity in response to increasing human activities and climate change. This book aims to encourage comprehensive research in the field of community ecology of plants and insects, and will also be of interest to those working in conservation, land use management and climate change in seasonally dry tropical forests.

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