Synergies and trade-offs between restoring biodiversity and

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Symposium on the Human Dimension of Biodiversity Conservation and Management
Title:
“Synergies and trade-offs between restoring biodiversity and ecosystem services
in degraded African tropical rainforest”
Authors:
Aerin L. Jacob1,2, Martin J. Lechowicz1, Pete Parker2, and Colin A. Chapman1
1
McGill University, 2 Vancouver Island University
Abstract:
Logging, agriculture, and fire destroy or degrade extensive areas of tropical
rainforest, threatening biodiversity and ecosystem services. Managers can use
various methods to restore forest, but the consequences of land-use on complex
tropical ecosystems remain unclear. Moreover, finding a win-win strategy to
simultaneously conserve biodiversity and provide ecosystem services can be
difficult as well as labour-intensive, expensive, or slow. We worked in a range of
undisturbed and regenerating rainforest in Kibale National Park, Uganda, to
assess how land-use affected tree diversity, carbon sequestration and the provision
of primate and elephant foods and non-timber forest products. We identified,
counted, and measured trees in 12 sites representing eight types of anthropogenic
disturbance (i.e., logging, burning, farming, and planting native and non-native
trees) and calculated diversity indices and biomass of animal foods and ecosystem
services. Tree diversity was highest in lightly-logged and medium-aged unlogged
forest, lower in heavily-logged and older unlogged forest, and lowest in forest
recovering from farming, fire, and/or planting with native and non-native trees.
The primary foods for elephants, chimpanzees, and folivorous and frugivorous
monkeys, and most ecosystem services followed this general pattern. Taken
together, our results show that managing to maximize tree diversity at broad
scales can achieve a win-win situation for animal foods, carbon sequestration, and
non-timber forest products across the landscape. We conclude by evaluating the
financial costs, labour, and time of various restoration strategies to achieve these
goals. (232 words)
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