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Anderson-Teixeira K.J.,Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute | Anderson-Teixeira K.J.,Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute | Davies S.J.,Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute | Bennett A.C.,Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute | And 116 more authors.
Global Change Biology | Year: 2015

Global change is impacting forests worldwide, threatening biodiversity and ecosystem services including climate regulation. Understanding how forests respond is critical to forest conservation and climate protection. This review describes an international network of 59 long-term forest dynamics research sites (CTFS-ForestGEO) useful for characterizing forest responses to global change. Within very large plots (median size 25 ha), all stems ≥1 cm diameter are identified to species, mapped, and regularly recensused according to standardized protocols. CTFS-ForestGEO spans 25°S-61°N latitude, is generally representative of the range of bioclimatic, edaphic, and topographic conditions experienced by forests worldwide, and is the only forest monitoring network that applies a standardized protocol to each of the world's major forest biomes. Supplementary standardized measurements at subsets of the sites provide additional information on plants, animals, and ecosystem and environmental variables. CTFS-ForestGEO sites are experiencing multifaceted anthropogenic global change pressures including warming (average 0.61 °C), changes in precipitation (up to ±30% change), atmospheric deposition of nitrogen and sulfur compounds (up to 3.8 g N m-2 yr-1 and 3.1 g S m-2 yr-1), and forest fragmentation in the surrounding landscape (up to 88% reduced tree cover within 5 km). The broad suite of measurements made at CTFS-ForestGEO sites makes it possible to investigate the complex ways in which global change is impacting forest dynamics. Ongoing research across the CTFS-ForestGEO network is yielding insights into how and why the forests are changing, and continued monitoring will provide vital contributions to understanding worldwide forest diversity and dynamics in an era of global change. © 2014 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

Beenken L.,ETH Zurich | Beenken L.,Swiss Federal Institute of forest | Sainge M.N.,Tropical Plant Exploration Group TroPEG | Sainge M.N.,Cape Peninsula University of Technology | Kocyan A.,University of Potsdam
Mycological Progress | Year: 2016

A new sequestrate Lactarius species was found in a humid evergreen tropical rainforest dominated by Fabaceae of the subfamily Caesalpinioideae in Cameroon, Central Africa. It is described here as new to science and is named Lactarius megalopterus, referring to its spore ornamentation of extraordinarily high wings. Anatomical characters and molecular systematic analyses confirm its relationship to Lactarius subgenus Plinthogali. Phylogenetic analyses based on two nuclear DNA regions revealed its close relationship to Lactarius angiocarpus, which is also an angiocarpous species from Zambia in Africa. Molecular studies have shown that tuber-like, sequestrate sporocarps evolved independently in several lineages of Basidiomycota. The findings of sequestrate fungi in tropical rainforests raise questions regarding the evolutionary benefit of enclosing the spore-producing hymenium. The enclosure of spore-producing tissue has often been associated with the protection of the delicate hymenium against desiccation in arid habitats or against frost in cold habitats. However, these cannot be the selective factors in warm and humid areas like the tropics. This controversy is exemplarily studied and discussed in the family of Russulaceae, especially in the genus Lactarius. Characters shown by the angiocarpous sporocarp of the new Lactarius, such as thick-walled statismospores, an aromatic smell and mild taste, can be interpreted as adaptations to endozoochorous spore dispersal by mammals. Therefore, here we prefer the alternative hypothesis that sequestrate sporocarps are the result of adaptation to endozoochorous spore dispersal. © 2016, German Mycological Society and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.

Kenfack D.,Smithsonian Institution | Gereau R.E.,Missouri Botanical Garden | Thomas D.W.,Washington State University | Sainge M.N.,Tropical Plant Exploration Group TroPEG
Novon | Year: 2015

The African genus Crotonogynopsis Pax (Euphorbiaceae) is revised to include four species, including two novelties, C. korupensis Kenfack & D. W. Thomas from the Korup National Park, Cameroon, and the Reserva Natural de Río Campo in Equatorial Guinea; and C. australis Kenfack & Gereau from the southern part of the Eastern Arc Mountains of Tanzania, with a distant outlier in Mozambique. Three of the four species are assigned the IUCN Red List category of Least Concern (LC) on the basis of their occurrence in protected areas with no known threats.

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