Title

Fauna in an abandoned landscape: Animal responses to tropical forest regeneration at multiple scales

Date of Completion

January 2003

Keywords

Biology, Ecology|Agriculture, Forestry and Wildlife|Environmental Sciences

Degree

Ph.D.

Abstract

The tropical forest landscape is rapidly being converted into a landscape dominated by agricultural lands and abandoned agricultural lands. Species that survive into the next century are likely to be those able to persist in agricultural habitat and young forest recovering from use. I explore the dynamics of the relationship between forest disturbance, and regeneration and tropical faunal communities, particularly those of ants, butterflies, and birds. I examine trends in species abundance and distribution at both local scales (at field sites in Bolivia, Costa Rica and Peru) and at larger continental scales. Finally, I use information gathered about the geographic ranges of species to construct null models for the richness patterns of New World tropical faunal species, and how such knowledge might be used predict both regional and global diversity and future transitions in species composition and distribution. ^