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The Ecology and Conservation of Seasonally Dry Forests in Asia

Overview

Seasonally dry forests are the most widespread forest type remaining in South and Southeast Asia. For many endangered species, such as tigers, elephants, deer and primates, this unique habitat is central to their survival. These forests are also intimately linked to humans in the region, who have lived in and relied on them for centuries. Despite the importance of seasonally dry forests, little is known of their ecology. The essays in this volume draw the connections between forest communities, endangered ...

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Overview

Seasonally dry forests are the most widespread forest type remaining in South and Southeast Asia. For many endangered species, such as tigers, elephants, deer and primates, this unique habitat is central to their survival. These forests are also intimately linked to humans in the region, who have lived in and relied on them for centuries. Despite the importance of seasonally dry forests, little is known of their ecology. The essays in this volume draw the connections between forest communities, endangered species, and agricultural communities in the region. The contributors, many of whom are in-country researchers and managers who have spent years studying this ecosystem, provide an overview of the ecology of seasonally dry forests in Asia, descriptions of forest and agricultural communities within seasonally dry forests, case studies for the species dependent on these ecosystems, such as tigers, elephants, deer, banteng, and gibbons and discuss effective management and conservation of seasonally dry forests.

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Editorial Reviews

Peter Ashton
The seasonal tropics of Asia have been the mainspring of some of the greatest agrarian civilizations; its dry forests the source of fuel and succor to cattle for millennia. Yet the conquest of malaria, especially, has resulted in human pressures never previously experienced. This timely book brings knowledge of forest ecology and sociology, heretofore fragmented by political borders, into an integrated and thoroughly modern scientific review supported by important new data, while focusing on the challenge of sustainable management.
Jeffrey A. McNeely
Tropical rain forests seem to get most of the attention, but this book puts the seasonally dry forests back on the agenda. An outstanding group of authors sheds new light on many of the keystone species involved, ranging from tigers to elephants and three species of bears. Even more helpful is the attention given to the role of people in both maintaining these habitats and benefitting from them. Climate change is likely to have significant impacts on these forests, so having a baseline of solid science will help give future studies a sound basis for comparison, and for conservation. This is a timely and welcome contribution to the understanding of Asia's great diversity of forest ecosystems.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781935623021
  • Publisher: Smithsonian Institution Scholarly Press
  • Publication date: 4/16/2011
  • Pages: 426
  • Product dimensions: 6.90 (w) x 10.10 (h) x 1.40 (d)

Meet the Author

William J. McShea is research ecologist at the Conservation Ecology Center in the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute, Smithsonian Institution. Stuart James Davies is director of Asia Programs at the Arnold Arboretum at Harvard University. Naris Bhumpakphan is associate professor in the Department of Forest Biology at Kasetsart University in Bangkok, Thailand.

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Table of Contents

Introduction. Seasonally Dry Forests of Tropical Asia: An Ecosystem Adapted to Seasonal Drought, Frequent Fire, and Human Activity William J. McShea Stuart J. Davies 1

Chapter 1 Seasonally Dry Tropical Forests in Continental Southeast Asia: Structure, Composition, and Dynamics Sarayudh Bunyavejchewin Patrick J. Baker Stuart J. Davies 9

Chapter 2 Seasonally Dry Tropical Forests in Southern India: An Analysis of Floristic Composition, Structure, and Dynamics in Mudumalai Wildlife Sanctuary Hebbalalu Satyanarayana Suresh Handanakere Shivaramaiah Dattaraja Nandita Mondal Raman Sukumar 37

Chapter 3 The Uncertainty in Mapping Seasonally Dry Tropical Forests in Asia Peter Leimgruber Melanie Delion Melissa Songer 59

Chapter 4 The Role of Disturbance in Seasonally Dry Tropical Forest Landscapes Virginia H. Dale 75

Chapter 5 Fire Management in South and Southeast Asia's Seasonally Dry Forests: Colonial Approaches, Current Problems, and Perspectives Kobsak Wanthongchai Johann Georg Goldammer 97

Chapter 6 The Evolution and Ecology of Dry Tropical Forest Gingers (Zingiberaceae) in Southeast Asia W. John Kress 115

Chapter 7 Seasonality in Avian Communities of a Dipterocarp Monsoon Forest and Related Habitats in Myanmar's Central Dry Zone John H. Rappole Nay Myo Shwe Myint Aung William J. McShea 131

Literary Sketch. A Trip along River Cauvery A. J. T. Johnsingh R. Raghunath 147

Chapter 8 Asian Elephants and Seasonally Dry Forests Prithiviraj Fernando Peter Leimgruber 151

Chapter 9 Tropical Deer in the Seasonally Dry Forests of Asia: Ecology, Concerns, and Potential for Conservation William J. McShea Megan C. Baker 165

Chapter 10 Ecology of Gaur and Banteng in the Seasonally Dry Forests of Thailand Naris Bhumpakphan William J. McShea 179

Chapter 11 Rainfall Patterns and Unpredictable Fruit Production in Seasonally Dry Evergreen Forest and Their Effects on Gibbons Warren Y. Brockelman 195

Chapter 12 Sloth Bears Living in Seasonally Dry Tropical and Moist Broadleaf Forests and Their Conservation John Seidensticker K. Yoganand A. J. T. Johnsingh 217

Chapter 13 Seasonally Dry Tropical Forest Is Essential Tiger Habitat James L. David Smith Saksit Simchareon Achara Simchareon Peter Cutter Bhim Gurung Raghunandan Chundawat Charles McDougal John Seidensticker 237

Chapter 14 Ecology and Distribution of Sympatric Asiatic Black Bears and Sun Bears in the Seasonally Dry Forests of Southeast Asia Robert Steinmetz 249

Chapter 15 Tropical Asian Dry Forest Amphibians and Reptiles: A Regional Comparison of Ecological Communities George R. Zug 275

Chapter 16 The Impact of Local Communities on a Dry Tropical Forest Sanctuary: A Case Study from Upper Myanmar (Burma) Melissa Songer Myint Aung Khaing Khaing Swe Thida Oo Chris Wemmer Ruth DeFries Peter Leimgruber 305

Literary Sketch. Subsistence Living in the Burmese Forest Chris Wemmer 321

Chapter 17 Governing the Flame: Bunong Management of Fire Regimes in Mondulkiri Province, Northeast Cambodia Megan MacInnes 329

Chapter 18 Local Residents' Attitudes toward Seasonally Dry Forests at Selected Sites in Nepal and Myanmar Teri D. Allendorf 347

Chapter 19 Conservation Planning and Management in Southeast Asia's Seasonally Dry Forest Landscapes: Experiences from Cambodia Andrew L. Maxwell Nicholas J. Cox 365

Index 399

List of Contributors 413

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