Mon 25 Aug 2014: 9.00am @ DBS Conf Rm 1: Lucas Garrett Gibson on “The fate of biodiversity in modified tropical forests”

PhD Defense Seminar cum Oral Examination

“The fate of biodiversity in modified tropical forests

Lucas Garrett Gibson
Graduate Student,
Dept. of Biological Sciences, NUS
Supervisor: Asst Prof Bickford, David Patrick

Mon 25 Aug 2014: 9.00m
DBS Conference Room (S3 Level 5)

All are welcome

Abstract – 

“Tropical forests hold half of all species on the planet, but are being rapidly lost or disrupted by agricultural expansion, logging, and other human enterprises. In my thesis, I examined the fate of biodiversity in modified tropical forests in three original ways. First, I compiled data from published studies around the global tropics and used a meta-analysis to assess the relative biodiversity value of regenerating, logged, and other disturbed forests. Second, I surveyed small mammal communities in forest fragments over multiple time periods to measure the rate of species loss – and thereby gauge the time available to avert extinctions in fragmented forest landscapes by implementing conservation actions. Third, I modeled projected biodiversity impacts of various scenarios combining different levels of deforestation and forest restoration to assess the potential of regenerating forests to offset biodiversity loss due to deforestation. My results highlight the vulnerability of tropical forests to substantial and rapid biodiversity loss and also identify the best strategies to stem this loss – by preserving remaining expanses of undisturbed forest, protecting modified forests with highest biodiversity value (e.g., logged forests), and rapidly restoring forest connectivity in fragmented landscapes.”

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