About this Research Topic
On the other hand, tropical regions are highly vulnerable. With one of the highest population growth, resource needs are increasing, leading to its overexploitation and environmental degradation. Deforestation, agricultural intensification, and habitat loss and fragmentation are some of the main factors. Invasion by exotic plants is also increasing, threatening native flora and disrupting the structure and function of ecosystems. In addition to increasing anthropogenic pressures, climate change is triggering alarming physical, economic, and social impacts. In this scenario, ensuring the compatibility of nature conservation and development is a huge but inevitable challenge.
Despite their relevance, the tropical regions have been the least studied, both in terms of diversity, with an enormous deficit in taxonomic knowledge, and in terms of the structure and functioning of ecosystems and landscapes, whether natural or human-dominated. It is therefore urgent to increase this knowledge, not only by collecting basic information, but also by developing studies that can inform conservation actions, assess and quantify the ecosystem services provided, and recognize plant resources (food, timber, medicines, etc.) relevant to local populations, among others. It is also necessary to assess environmental degradation and to identify and understand the underlying causes.
This knowledge is crucial if two components that are difficult to combine - nature conservation and development - are to be reconciled. The adoption of sustainable development management systems, which ensure effective conservation while meeting the growing needs of populations, must be based on strong scientific evidence. And, ultimately, the involvement and support of local populations, managers, governments, and scientists in the integration of environmental objectives into development goals is essential.
This research topic welcomes manuscripts that can contribute to the following aspects:
• Assessing and valuating tropical ecosystems and their ecosystem services. All types of ecosystems can be considered (e.g., forests, woodlands, savannahs, grasslands, deserts, freshwater ecosystems, and coastal ecosystems such as mangroves, and seagrass meadows).
• Understanding the vulnerability of tropical ecosystems and assessing the role of anthropogenic stressors (such as deforestation, agricultural intensification, land-use change, and overexploitation).
• Assess existing protection measures, both at the level of threatened plant species (IUCN red list assessments) and ecosystems (network of protected areas), identify gaps, and provide new protection measures in order to contribute to better nature conservation in the tropics.
• Understanding human-environment interactions in natural and human-dominated landscapes with the aim of developing local community-based conservation approaches.
• Development and implementation of management tools and plans for tropical terrestrial habitats, and wetlands including coastal habitats. Stakeholders’ participation is relevant for such management plans.
In general, studies that contribute to enhance nature conservation in the tropics, while taking into account sustainable development, are welcome.
Keywords: Invasive Species, Management, Ecosystem Services, Restoration, Biodiversity
Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.