Averting biodiversity collapse in tropical forest protected areas

Laurance, William F. and Useche, D. Carolina and Rendeiro, Julio and Kalka, Margareta and Bradshaw, Corey J. A. and Sloan, Sean P. and Laurance, Susan G. and Campbell, Mason and Abernethy, Kate and Alvarez, Patricia and Arroyo-Rodríguez, Víctor and Cannon, Charles H. and McNab, Roan and Montag, Luciano and Myers Thompson, Jo and Nabe-Nielsen, Jacob and Nakagawa, Michiko and Nepal, Sanjay and Norconk, Marilyn and Novotny, Vojtech and Stoner, Kathryn E. and Wright, S. Joseph and O'Donnell, Sean and Opiang, Muse and Cao, Min and Ouboter, Paul and Parker, Kenneth and Parthasarathy, N. and Pisciotta, Kátia and Prawiradilaga, Dewi and Pringle, Catherine and Rajathurai, Subaraj and Arias-G., Juan C. and Coates, Rosamond and Reichard, Ulrich and Reinartz, Gay and Renton, Katherine and Carroll, Richard and Reynolds, Glen and Reynolds, Vernon and Riley, Erin and Rödel, Mark-Oliver and Rothman, Jessica and Arroyo, Luzmila and Round, Philip and Ewango, Corneille and Sakai, Shoko and Sanaiotti, Tania and Savini, Tommaso and Schaab, Gertrud and Chapman, Colin and Seidensticker, John and Sukumar, Raman and Surbeck, Martin and Ashton, Mark and Tobler, Mathias and Tscharntke, Teja and Turkalo, Andrea and Umapathy, Govindaswamy and van Weerd, Merlijn and Vega Rivera, Jorge and Venkataraman, Meena and Venn, Linda and Fedigan, Linda and Cords, Marina and Auzel, Philippe and Verea, Carlos and Volkmer de Castilho, Carolina and Waltert, Matthias and Wang, Benjamin and Watts, David and Weber, William and West, Paige and Whitacre, David and Whitney, Ken and Feer, François and Babaasa, Dennis and Wilkie, David and Danielsen, Finn and Williams, Stephen and Wright, Debra D. and Wright, Patricia and Xiankai, Lu and Yonzon, Pralad and Zamzani, Franky and De Dijn, Bart and Dinerstein, Eric and Babweteera, Fred and Fruth, Barbara and Donnelly, Maureen A. and Edwards, David and Edwards, Felicity and Farwig, Nina and Fashing, Peter and Forget, Pierre-Michel and Foster, Mercedes and Gale, George and Harris, David and Baker, Patrick and Harrison, Rhett and Giacalone Willis, Jacalyn and Hart, John and Karpanty, Sarah and Kress, W. John and Krishnaswamy, Jagdish and Logsdon, Willis and Lovett, Jon and Magnusson, William and Maisels, Fiona and Banki, Olaf and Marshall, Andrew R. and McClearn, Deedra and Goodale, Uromi and Mudappa, Divya and Nielsen, Martin R. and Pearson, Richard and Pitman, Nigel and van der Ploeg, Jan and Plumptre, Andrew and Poulsen, John and Guthiga, Paul and Quesada, Mauricio and Rainey, Hugo and Robinson, Douglas and Goodman, Steven and Roetgers, Christiane and Rovero, Francesco and Scatena, Frederick and Schulze, Christian and Sheil, Douglas and Struhsaker, Thomas and Siaka, Alhaji and Terborgh, John and Thomas, Duncan and Timm, Robert and Urbina-Cardona, J. Nicolás and Guix, Juan C. and Vasudevan, Karthikeyan and Bass, Margot and Bila-Isia, Inogwabini and Blake, Stephen and Brockelman, Warren and Brokaw, Nicholas and Brühl, Carsten A. and Bunyavejchewin, Sarayudh and Chao, Jung-Tai and Chave, Jerome and Chellam, Ravi and Silman, Miles R. and Haber, William and Clark, Connie J. and Clavijo, José and Congdon, Robert and Corlett, Richard and Dattaraja, H. S. and Dave, Chittaranjan and Davies, Glyn and de Mello Beisiegel, Beatriz and de Nazaré Paes da Silva, Rosa and Smith, Thomas B. and Di Fiore, Anthony and Ashton, Peter and Diesmos, Arvin and Dirzo, Rodolfo and Doran-Sheehy, Diane and Eaton, Mitchell and Emmons, Louise and Estrada, Alejandro and Hamer, Keith and Herbinger, Ilka and de Almeida, Samuel S. and Hill, Jane and Huang, Zhongliang and Fang Sun, I. and Ickes, Kalan and Itoh, Akira and Ivanauskas, Natália and Jackes, Betsy and Janovec, John and Benítez-Malvido, Julieta and Janzen, Daniel and Sodhi, Navjot and Jiangming, Mo and Jin, Chen and Jones, Trevor and Justiniano, Hermes and Kalko, Elisabeth and Kasangaki, Aventino and Killeen, Timothy and King, Hen-biau and Klop, Erik and Blom, Allard and Stanford, Craig and Knott, Cheryl and Koné, Inza and Kudavidanage, Enoka and Lahoz da Silva Ribeiro, José and Lattke, John and Laval, Richard and Lawton, Robert and Leal, Miguel and Leighton, Mark and Lentino, Miguel and Stewart, Kristine and Bobo, Kadiri S. and Leonel, Cristiane and Lindsell, Jeremy and Ling-Ling, Lee and Linsenmair, K. Eduard and Losos, Elizabeth and Lugo, Ariel and Lwanga, Jeremiah and Mack, Andrew L. and Martins, Marlucia and Stokes, Emma and McGraw, W. Scott (2012) Averting biodiversity collapse in tropical forest protected areas. Nature, 489 (7415). pp. 290-294. ISSN 1476-4687

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1038/nature11318


The rapid disruption of tropical forests probably imperils global biodiversity more than any other contemporary phenomenon. With deforestation advancing quickly, protected areas are increasingly becoming final refuges for threatened species and natural ecosystem processes. However, many protected areas in the tropics are themselves vulnerable to human encroachment and other environmental stresses. As pressures mount, it is vital to know whether existing reserves can sustain their biodiversity. A critical constraint in addressing this question has been that data describing a broad array of biodiversity groups have been unavailable for a sufficiently large and representative sample of reserves. Here we present a uniquely comprehensive data set on changes over the past 20 to 30 years in 31 functional groups of species and 21 potential drivers of environmental change, for 60 protected areas stratified across the world’s major tropical regions. Our analysis reveals great variation in reserve ‘health’: about half of all reserves have been effective or performed passably, but the rest are experiencing an erosion of biodiversity that is often alarmingly widespread taxonomically and functionally. Habitat disruption, hunting and forest-product exploitation were the strongest predictors of declining reserve health. Crucially, environmental changes immediately outside reserves seemed nearly as important as those inside in determining their ecological fate, with changes inside reserves strongly mirroring those occurring around them. These findings suggest that tropical protected areas are often intimately linked ecologically to their surrounding habitats, and that a failure to stem broad-scale loss and degradation of such habitats could sharply increase the likelihood of serious biodiversity declines.

Item Type: Journal Article
Keywords: Biodiversity, Conservation biology, Forest ecology, Scientific community
Faculty: ARCHIVED Faculty of Science & Technology (until September 2018)
Depositing User: Repository Admin
Date Deposited: 17 Sep 2013 11:03
Last Modified: 09 Sep 2021 16:17
URI: https://arro.anglia.ac.uk/id/eprint/301726

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