Human disturbances outside rainforests can jeopardize tropical biodiversity, study confirms
11th April 2016 / Mike Gaworecki
A study started in the early 1970s to research population demography of tropical trees conﬁrms that even deforestation on the edges of a rainforest can have deleterious effects across the ecosystem.
- A long-term study has yielded four decades of data on palm trees (Astrocaryum mexicanum) and tropical evergreen forests, providing much more than just demographic information about the understory species.
- A variety of human activities on the edges of tropical forests can have severe, cascading consequences — one of the most important being the conversion of forests to cropland and grazing land, which reduces habitat and contributes to forest fragmentation.
- The researchers found that edge effects, primarily peripheral deforestation and hunting, are something of a one-two punch that caused 3.3 times as many Astrocaryum mexicanum palm trees to thrive in the forest reserve’s understory, which could jeopardize biodiversity.
A study started in the early 1970s to research population demography of tropical trees con rms that even deforestation on the edges of a rainforest can have deleterious effects across the ecosystem.