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Appears in Collections:Biological and Environmental Sciences Journal Articles
Peer Review Status: Refereed
Title: Biodiversity recovery of Neotropical secondary forests
Author(s): Rozendaal, Danaë M A
Bongers, Frans
Aide, T Mitchell
Alvarez-Davila, Esteban
Ascarrunz, Nataly
Balvanera, Patricia
Becknell, Justin M
Bentos, Tony V
Brancalion, Pedro H S
Cabral, George A L
Calvo-Rodriguez, Sofia
Chave, Jerome
Cesar, Ricardo G
Chazdon, Robin L
Dent, Daisy H
Issue Date: 1-Mar-2019
Citation: Rozendaal DMA, Bongers F, Aide TM, Alvarez-Davila E, Ascarrunz N, Balvanera P, Becknell JM, Bentos TV, Brancalion PHS, Cabral GAL, Calvo-Rodriguez S, Chave J, Cesar RG, Chazdon RL & Dent DH (2019) Biodiversity recovery of Neotropical secondary forests. Science Advances, 5 (3), Art. No.: eaau3114.
Abstract: Old-growth tropical forests harbor an immense diversity of tree species but are rapidly being cleared, while secondary forests that regrow on abandoned agricultural lands increase in extent. We assess how tree species richness and composition recover during secondary succession across gradients in environmental conditions and anthropogenic disturbance in an unprecedented multisite analysis for the Neotropics. Secondary forests recover remarkably fast in species richness but slowly in species composition. Secondary forests take a median time of five decades to recover the species richness of old-growth forest (80% recovery after 20 years) based on rarefaction analysis. Full recovery of species composition takes centuries (only 34% recovery after 20 years). A dual strategy that maintains both old-growth forests and species-rich secondary forests is therefore crucial for biodiversity conservation in human-modified tropical landscapes.
DOI Link: 10.1126/sciadv.aau3114
Rights: This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial license (, which permits use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, so long as the resultant use is not for commercial advantage and provided the original work is properly cited.
Notes: Additional co-authors: Richard Condit, Jorn S. Dallinga, Jarcilene S. de Almeida-Cortez, Ben de Jong, Alexandre de Oliveira, Julie S. Denslow, Saara J. DeWalt, Juan Manuel Dupuy, Sandra M. Durán, Loïc P. Dutrieux, Mario M. Espírito-Santo, María C. Fandino, G. Wilson Fernandes, Bryan Finegan, Hernando García, Noel Gonzalez, Vanessa Granda Moser, Jefferson S. Hall, José Luis Hernández-Stefanoni, Stephen Hubbell, Catarina C. Jakovac, Alma Johanna Hernández, André B. Junqueira, Deborah Kennard, Denis Larpin, Susan G. Letcher, Juan-Carlos Licona, Edwin Lebrija-Trejos, Erika Marín-Spiotta, Miguel Martínez-Ramos, Paulo E. S. Massoca, Jorge A. Meave, Rita C. G. Mesquita, Francisco Mora, Sandra C. Müller, Rodrigo Muñoz, Silvio Nolasco de Oliveira Neto, Natalia Norden, Yule R. F. Nunes, Susana Ochoa-Gaona, Edgar Ortiz-Malavassi, Rebecca Ostertag, Marielos Peña-Claros, Eduardo A. Pérez-García, Daniel Piotto, Jennifer S. Powers, José Aguilar-Cano, Susana Rodriguez-Buritica, Jorge Rodríguez-Velázquez, Marco Antonio Romero-Romero, Jorge Ruíz, Arturo Sanchez-Azofeifa, Arlete Silva de Almeida, Whendee L. Silver, Naomi B. Schwartz, William Wayt Thomas, Marisol Toledo, Maria Uriarte, Everardo Valadares de Sá Sampaio, Michiel van Breugel, Hans van der Wal, Sebastião Venâncio Martins, Maria D. M. Veloso, Hans F. M. Vester, Alberto Vicentini, Ima C. G. Vieira, Pedro Villa, G. Bruce Williamson, Kátia J. Zanini, Jess Zimmerman and Lourens Poorter

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