Tropenbos International

Kumasi, Ghana

Tropenbos International

Kumasi, Ghana

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Putz F.E.,University of Florida | Putz F.E.,University Utrecht | Zuidema P.A.,University Utrecht | Zuidema P.A.,Wageningen University | And 11 more authors.
Conservation Letters | Year: 2012

Most tropical forests outside protected areas have been or will be selectively logged so it is essential to maximize the conservation values of partially harvested areas. Here we examine the extent to which these forests sustain timber production, retain species, and conserve carbon stocks. We then describe some improvements in tropical forestry and how their implementation can be promoted. A simple meta-analysis based on >100 publications revealed substantial variability but that: timber yields decline by about 46% after the first harvest but are subsequently sustained at that level; 76% of carbon is retained in once-logged forests; and, 85-100% of species of mammals, birds, invertebrates, and plants remain after logging. Timber stocks will not regain primary-forest levels within current harvest cycles, but yields increase if collateral damage is reduced and silvicultural treatments are applied. Given that selectively logged forests retain substantial biodiversity, carbon, and timber stocks, this "middle way" between deforestation and total protection deserves more attention from researchers, conservation organizations, and policy-makers. Improvements in forest management are now likely if synergies are enhanced among initiatives to retain forest carbon stocks (REDD+), assure the legality of forest products, certify responsible management, and devolve control over forests to empowered local communities. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

PubMed | University of Turku, Technical University of the North, Ibarra, James Cook University, University of Nottingham and 46 more.
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Proceedings. Biological sciences | Year: 2016

Lineages tend to retain ecological characteristics of their ancestors through time. However, for some traits, selection during evolutionary history may have also played a role in determining trait values. To address the relative importance of these processes requires large-scale quantification of traits and evolutionary relationships among species. The Amazonian tree flora comprises a high diversity of angiosperm lineages and species with widely differing life-history characteristics, providing an excellent system to investigate the combined influences of evolutionary heritage and selection in determining trait variation. We used trait data related to the major axes of life-history variation among tropical trees (e.g. growth and mortality rates) from 577 inventory plots in closed-canopy forest, mapped onto a phylogenetic hypothesis spanning more than 300 genera including all major angiosperm clades to test for evolutionary constraints on traits. We found significant phylogenetic signal (PS) for all traits, consistent with evolutionarily related genera having more similar characteristics than expected by chance. Although there is also evidence for repeated evolution of pioneer and shade tolerant life-history strategies within independent lineages, the existence of significant PS allows clearer predictions of the links between evolutionary diversity, ecosystem function and the response of tropical forests to global change.

Laurance W.F.,James Cook University | Koster H.,World Wide Fund for Nature WWF Netherlands | Grooten M.,World Wide Fund for Nature WWF Netherlands | Anderson A.B.,World Wide Fund for Nature WWF Brazil | And 7 more authors.
Biological Conservation | Year: 2012

Conservation scientists and practitioners share many of the same goals. Yet in a majority of cases, we argue, research conducted by academic conservation scientists actually makes surprisingly few direct contributions to environmental conservation. We illustrate how researchers can increase the utility and impact of their scientific findings for real-world conservation, using examples of pressing environmental challenges. These examples demonstrate some practices and principles that scientists can adopt to better assist conservation practitioners and advance specific conservation outcomes. These include (1) producing time-critical research rapidly enough to affect political outcomes; (2) attacking 'wicked' problems that transcend traditional scientific approaches; (3) using multidisciplinary approaches that link science with fields such as economics, sociology, and politics; and (4) communicating in a bolder, more direct manner in the public arena to advance environmental conservation. We conclude with a plea for more proactive dialogue between conservation scientists and practitioners when devising research priorities. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.

de Jong W.,Kyoto University | Cano W.,Tropenbos International | Cano W.,Center for International Forestry Research | Zenteno M.,Tropenbos International | Soriano M.,Instituto Boliviano Of Investigacion Forestal
Forest Policy and Economics | Year: 2014

We analyze legality in the forest sector in Bolivia, focusing particularly on the domestic timber value chain in the northern Bolivian Amazon. Bolivia adopted wide-reaching forest, land and democratic regulatory changes since the mid-1990s that were partly intended to reduce illegal logging and related practices. The new forest regulations, in turn, led to new illegal practices because implementation and sanctioning were poor, but also because new forest and land regulations were inadequate and often contradictory. In response, the government and various forest agencies adopted new measures to address the new illegal practices. These forest regulatory and forest policy renovations and modifications of the last two decades are, for instance, reflected in the domestic timber market of the northern Bolivian Amazon, a region that relies heavily on the forest sector. The paper analyzes Bolivia's regulatory changes that were relevant for legality in the forest sector and the multiple modifications that were made to address shortcomings of these reforms. It also analyses legality in the domestic timber value chain in northern Bolivia. The new actors involved in especially the domestic timber value chain have moved away from formal and legal mechanisms to benefit from timber that grows on their land and forests to practices that were not considered or actually shunned in the law and that appear difficult to regulate. Unless these new practices are recognized adequately in a new forestry law, some of the production and trade of the timber value chain will likely continue to operate at the margin of legality. © 2014 Elsevier B.V.

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