By Götz Schroth, Gustavo A. B. da Fonseca, Celia A. Harvey, Claude Gascon, Heraldo L. Vasconcelos, Anne-Marie N. Izac
Agroforestry should be the main biodiversity-friendly land use alternative. This quantity examines the potential for agroforestry in tropical areas for making land economically effective with out degrading the surroundings.
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Additional info for Agroforestry and Biodiversity Conservation in Tropical Landscapes
Therefore, exploitation of natural resources in the tropics results in the destruction of large genetic reservoirs. Incalculable benefits are gained from maintaining species numbers and the current diversity of organisms. Much of the research on ecological and evolutionary benefits is new, and more research must be conducted to determine broad patterns and processes. Research has shown that on local scales, the lower the species diversity within a system, the more vulnerable it is to species and population extinctions as a result of nonnative species invasions (Levine 2000).
Landscape-scale strategies must use research on a broad base of ecosystems, species, and populations. For example, Madagascar, which holds a high amount of unique biodiversity, has lost more than 90 percent of its primary forest. Threats on the island have not abated, and forest losses continue in the few remaining fragments. The medium-term existence of many tropical forest species is threatened by widespread forest loss and fragmentation. Introduced Species A biodiversity concern related to fragmentation is that of introduced species.
If a substantial portion of a tropical landscape undergoes deforestation, the ecological function of the fragmented landscape can be permanently altered from its natural state. These changes in the biodiversity and integrity of fragmented landscapes argue in favor of the construction of conservation corridors, where biodiversity-friendly land uses such as agroforestry can be integrated with fragments of natural habitat in interconnected networks that help restore functional aspects of the landscape.