Research Topic

Land-use Change Impacts on Tropical Ecosystems

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About this Research Topic

Tropical forests are experiencing unprecedented rates of disturbance and conversion throughout their range linked to human disturbance. This has led to significant changes in functional diversity and ecosystem processes, with knock-on effects for local, regional and global biogeochemical cycles. Land-use ...

Tropical forests are experiencing unprecedented rates of disturbance and conversion throughout their range linked to human disturbance. This has led to significant changes in functional diversity and ecosystem processes, with knock-on effects for local, regional and global biogeochemical cycles. Land-use change has triggered efforts to understand how biodiversity, ecosystem structure or biogeochemistry are impacted by anthropogenic intervention; however, only more recently have investigators begun to explore the additive or synergistic effects of land-use change and biodiversity loss on tropical ecosystem function. So far, this research has been conducted in multiple, disparate geographical locations through a combination of individual studies and large research programmes. It is now timely to bring together some highlights from this new work for publication in a single volume, in order to promote synthesis and cross-site perspectives, with a view towards developing a wider, generic understanding of land-use impacts on tropical biodiversity and ecosystem functioning.

This Research Topic will feature within Frontiers in Forests and Global Change, and aims to collect relevant scientific contributions on the combined impacts of land-use change and functional biodiversity loss on tropical ecosystem functioning. We seek to identify common trends and cross-cutting themes among different habitats and geographic locations, in order to progress our generic, theoretical understanding of how tropical land-use change and functional biodiversity loss influence ecological processes and biogeochemical cycling. This might include research based on data captured using remote sensing or ground-based measurements using experimental, observational or modelling approaches. We welcome studies that examine both the direct and indirect impacts of current or historic human disturbance on tropical ecosystems. This includes direct human interventions, such selective logging or land clearing for agriculture and forestry; or indirect interventions, such as climate change, changes in tropospheric chemistry (including atmospheric deposition), invasive species introductions, or alteration of disturbance regimes. We are especially interested in studies that go beyond the measurement and description of changes in biodiversity or ecosystem processes per se, but aim to link the two factors to capture how changes to biotic communities impact ecosystem function.


Keywords: Tropical Forests, Forest disturbance, Human disturbance, Land-use change, Biodiversity, Tropical biodiversity, Tropical ecosystems


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.

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