Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

Biodiversity and ecosystem processes in tropical forests.

Abstract

This book contains 8 papers commissioned prior to a workshop held at Oaxtepec, Morelos, Mexico, 4-7 December 1993, on the role of biodiversity in maintaining ecosystem processes in tropical forests. The workshop, which discussed review papers submitted in advance, was one of a series held under the aegis of the Scientific Committee on Problems of the Environment (SCOPE), a programme set up to explore relations between species diversity and ecosystem function, which was launched by a symposium held in Bayreuth, Germany, 1-4 October 1991, and followed by 15 workshops focusing on major ecosystems, habitat types or geographical regions. The workshop in Mexico focused on tropical forest ecosystems. There are ten chapters: (1) Introduction (Orians, G. H.; Dirzo, R.; Cushman, J. H.; 1-9; 36 ref.), giving the background to the workshop; (2) Plant species diversity and ecosystem functioning in tropical forests (Wright, S. J.; 11-31; 101 ref.) - looks at species diversity and primary productivity; (3) Consumer diversity and secondary production (Huston, M.; Gilbert, L. E.; 33-47; 25 ref.); (4) Biodiversity and biogeochemical cycles (Silver, W. L.; Brown, S.; Lugo, A.; 49-67; 74 ref.) - includes air/terrestrial, biotic, and plant/soil interfaces, and discusses field studies of cycling in plantations (Pinus caribaea and Swietenia macrophylla) versus natural deciduous forests in Puerto Rico; (5) Microbial diversity and tropical forest functioning (Lodge, D. J.; Hawksworth, D.; Ritchie, B. J.; 69-100; 8 pp. of ref.) - which identifies the functional attributes of microorganisms, and identifies those processes most likely to be sensitive to loss of biodiversity; (6) Plant life-forms and tropical ecosystem functioning (Ewel, J. J.; Bigelow, S. W.; 101-126; 95 ref.); (7) Functional group diversity and responses to disturbance (Denslow, J. S.; 127-151; 5 pp. of ref.); (8) Species richness and resistance to invasions (Rejm√°nek, M.; 153-172; 6 pp. of ref.) - which questions whether tropical areas (particularly forests) accumulate smaller numbers (or %) of non-native species relative to non-tropical ecosystems, and whether this is an expression of greater resistance to invasion, and the part played in this by the greater species richness of native tropical biota; (9) The role of biodiversity in tropical managed ecosystems (Power, A. G.; Flecker, A. S.; 173-194; 77 ref.) - the role of biodiversity in swidden agriculture (shifting cultivation), home gardens, managed forests, traditional rice cultivation systems and intensive annual and perennial crops (either monocultures or polycultures) is reviewed, and (10) Synthesis (Orians, G. H.; Dirzo, R.; Cushman, J. H.; 195-220; 7 pp. of ref.) - in which short summaries of the workshop conclusions are presented under subject headings (fertility, altitude, carbon allocation, plant/soil interface, etc.), and a research agenda suggested, particularly in the area of rates at which tropical forest ecosystems respond to disturbance regimes. Species and subject indexes are included.