This project uses a network of long-term forest dynamics plots spread across the c. 80,000 km2 Madre de Dios river basin in the lowland Amazon forests of southeastern Peru as the basis for a long-term ontogenetically integrated study of forest regeneration dynamics, and the effects of anthropogenic disturbance and climate change.

Specific Aims

  • Document the short- and long-term effects of hunting-induced local extinctions of vertebrate frugivores on regeneration processes across ontogenetic stages.
  • Examine the interactive effects of key biotic and abiotic factors on regeneration patterns of individual species and community-level regeneration dynamics.
  • Explore the long-term effects of climate change on forest regeneration dynamics, phenology and carbon stocks across a western Amazonian river basin.

This project forms part of a larger Amazonian network of forest plots that perpetuates research efforts in the largest and most diverse forest ecosystem on the planet. Results from this long-term, basin wide study of forest regeneration processes will provide a more complete understanding of the mechanisms that allow for species co-existence and the stability of hyperdiverse tropical forests, as well as the consequences of human-induced perturbations on these ecosystems.