Staff Publications

Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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Assessment of browsed plants in a sub-tropical forest frontier by means of fuzzy inference
Dechnik-Vázquez, Yanus A. ; García-Barrios, Luis ; Ramírez-Marcial, Neptalí ; Noordwijk, Meine van; Alayón-Gamboa, Armando - \ 2019
Journal of Environmental Management 236 (2019). - ISSN 0301-4797 - p. 163 - 181.
Agroforestry - Browsing - Cattle - Fuzzy inference - Silvopastoral systems

Browsing of forest frontiers by cattle in sub-tropical landscapes is detrimental to ecosystem health, but essential to smallholder livelihoods. We described a silvopastoral landscape, searching for browsed plants to assess how much of the forest is actually used for this end, and also searching for potential new useful species for silvopastoral purposes. The first objective was accomplished through a floristic description, making observations of individuals with browsing marks. Information from interviews, bromatological analyses and vegetative propagation tests further complemented this information to achieve the second objective. We classified the results using Fuzzy Inference Systems (FISs). A great variety of nutritious browsed plants was found, distributed across various types of vegetation, growth habits and taxonomic groups: forest frontiers already are like silvopastoral systems. Various plants like Acalypha leptopoda, Montanoa tomentosa and Verbesina perymenioides are interesting prospects for further intensification of silvopastoral systems.

Can a fast­growing early­successional tree (Ochroma pyramidale, Malvaceae) accelerate forest succession?
Vleut, I. ; Levy-Tacher, S.I. ; Boer, W.F. de; Galindo-Gonzalez, J. ; Ramirez-Marcial, N. - \ 2013
Journal of Tropical Ecology 29 (2013)2. - ISSN 0266-4674 - p. 173 - 180.
tropical rain-forest - species richness - costa-rica - overstory composition - abandoned pastures - growth-responses - restoration - plantations - regeneration - litter
Species-specific traits of trees affect ecosystem dynamics, defining forest structure and understorey development. Ochroma pyramidale is a fast-growing tree species, with life-history traits that include low wood density, short-lived large leaves and a narrow open thin crown. We evaluated forest succession in O. pyramidale-dominated secondary forests, diverse secondary forests, both 10–15 y since abandonment, and rain forests by comparing height, density and basal area of all trees (> 5 cm dbh). Furthermore, we compared species richness of understorey trees and shrubs, and basal area and density of trees of early- and late-successional species (<5 cm dbh) between forest types. We found that tree basal area (mean ± SD: 32 ± 0.9 m2 ha-1) and height (12.4 ± 1.8 m) of canopy trees were higher, and density (1450 ± 339 ha-1) lower in O. pyramidale forests than in diverse forests, and more similar to rain forest. Understorey shrub diversity and tree seedling density and diversity were lower in O. pyramidale forests than in diverse forests, but these forest types had a similar density of early- and late-successional trees. Canopy openness (> 15%) and leaf litter (> 10 cm) were both highest in O. pyramidale forests, which positively affected density of understorey trees and shrubs and negatively affected density of late-successional trees. In conclusion, O. pyramidale forests presented structural features similar to those of rain forest, but this constrained the establishment of understorey tree species, especially late-successional species, decreasing successional development
Tropical rain-forest matrix quality affects bat assemblage structure in secondary forest patches
Vleut, I. ; Levy-Tacher, I. ; Galindo-Gonzalez, J. ; Boer, W.F. de; Ramirez-Marcial, N. - \ 2012
Journal of Mammalogy 93 (2012)6. - ISSN 0022-2372 - p. 1469 - 1479.
frugivorous bats - neotropical forest - atlantic forest - los-tuxtlas - community structure - species richness - isolated trees - body-size - diversity - habitat
We studied Phyllostomidae bat assemblage structure in patches of secondary forest dominated by the pioneer tree Ochroma pyramidale, largely (.85%) or partially (,35%) surrounded by a matrix of tropical rain forest, to test 3 hypotheses: the highest bat diversity and richness is observed in the matrix rain forest in comparison to secondary forest patches; the proportion of rain forest surrounding secondary forest positively affects bat diversity and richness; and canopy openness is an important structural variable negatively affecting bat abundance. Rain-forest control sites had the highest bat species diversity and richness, and contributed more to total diversity than did secondary forest. Bat diversity was similar between secondary forest patches largely enclosed by rain forest and their controls, but higher diversity, richness, and contribution to total diversity were recorded in largely enclosed patches compared to partially enclosed patches. Partially enclosed patches were dominated by 2 small, frugivorous understory bat species (Carollia sowelli and Carollia perspicillata), whereas largely enclosed patches were dominated by 2 large-bodied, canopy-dwelling, frugivorous bats (Artibeus lituratus and Artibeus jamaicensis), which primarily feed on figs, a tree species that is abundant in rain forest. Bat diversity, richness, and contribution to total diversity were positively correlated with the proportion of area with rain forest, and bat abundance was negatively correlated with canopy openness.
Applying Climatically Associated Species Pools to modelling compositional change in tropical montane forests
Golicher, J.D. ; Cayuela, L. ; Alkemade, J.R.M. ; González-Espinosa, M. ; Ramírez-Marcial, N. - \ 2008
Global Ecology and Biogeography 17 (2008)2. - ISSN 1466-822X - p. 262 - 273.
climate-change - tree diversity - global 200 - chiapas - mexico - highlands - fragmentation - distributions - ecoregions - vegetation
Aim Predictive species distribution modelling is a useful tool for extracting the maximum amount of information from biological collections and floristic inventories. However, in many tropical regions records are only available from a small number of sites. This can limit the application of predictive modelling, particularly in the case of rare and endangered species. We aim to address this problem by developing a methodology for defining and mapping species pools associated with climatic variables in order to investigate potential species turnover and regional species loss under climate change scenarios combined with anthropogenic disturbance. Location The study covered an area of 6800 km(2) in the highlands of Chiapas, southern Mexico. Methods We derived climatically associated species pools from floristic inventory data using multivariate analysis combined with spatially explicit discriminant analysis. We then produced predictive maps of the distribution of tree species pools using data derived from 451 inventory plots. After validating the predictive power of potential distributions against an independent historical data set consisting of 3105 botanical collections, we investigated potential changes in the distribution of tree species resulting from forest disturbance and climate change. Results Two species pools, associated with moist and cool climatic conditions, were identified as being particularly threatened by both climate change and ongoing anthropogenic disturbance. A change in climate consistent with low-emission scenarios of general circulation models was shown to be sufficient to cause major changes in equilibrium forest composition within 50 years. The same species pools were also found to be suffering the fastest current rates of deforestation and internal forest disturbance. Disturbance and deforestation, in combination with climate change, threaten the regional distributions of five tree species listed as endangered by the IUCN. These include the endemic species Magnolia sharpii Miranda and Wimmeria montana Lundell. Eleven vulnerable species and 34 species requiring late successional conditions for their regeneration could also be threatened. Main conclusions Climatically associated species pools can be derived from floristic inventory data available for tropical regions using methods based on multivariate analysis even when data limitations prevent effective application of individual species modelling. Potential consequences of climate change and anthropogenic disturbance on the species diversity of montane tropical forests in our study region are clearly demonstrated by the method.
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