Deforestation is occurring at an alarming rate in many parts of the world, causing destruction of natural habitat and fragmentation of what remains. Nowhere is this problem more pressing than in the Amazon rainforest, which is rapidly vanishing in the face of enormous pressure from humans to exploit it. This book presents the results of the longest-running and most comprehensive study of forest fragmentation ever undertaken, the Biological Dynamics of Forest Fragments Project (BDFFP) in central Amazonia, the only experimental study of tropical forest fragmentation in which baseline data are available before isolation from continuous forest took place. A joint project of Brazil's National Institute for Research in Amazonia and the U.S. Smithsonian Institution, the BDFFP has investigated the many effects that habitat fragmentation has on plants, invertebrates, and vertebrates. The book provides an overview of the BDFFP, reports on its case studies, looks at forest ecology and tree genetics, and considers what issues are involved in establishing conservation and management guidelines.
Richard O. Bierregaard, Jr., is assistant professor (adjunct) in biology at University of North Carolina, Charlotte. Claude Gascon is vice president for field support at Conservation International, Washington. D.C. Thomas E. Lovejoy is chief biodiversity adviser and lead specialist for Latin America and the Caribbean, the World Bank. Rita Mesquita is in the ecology department at the Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas da Amazonia, Brazil.
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