Management Implications and Applications of Long-Term Ecological Research

TitleManagement Implications and Applications of Long-Term Ecological Research
Publication TypeBook Chapter
Year of Publication2012
AuthorsLugo, AE, Scantena, FN, Waide, RB, Greathouse, E, Pringle, CM, Willig, MR, Vogt, D, Walker, LA, González, G, McDowell, WH, Thompson, J
EditorN. V. L. Brokaw, Crowl, AT, Lugo, AE, McDowell, WH, Scantena, FN, Waide, RB, Willig, MR
Book TitleA Caribbean Forest Tapestry: The Multidimensional Nature of Disturbance and Response
PublisherUniversity Press
Accession NumberLUQ.1077
KeywordsTropical forest conservation

Key Points • Uses and conservation of tropical forests reflect the economic and social circumstances of their associated human populations. • Conservation efforts in the Luquillo Mountains have benefited from research activity since the 1920s. • Early research in Puerto Rico focused on descriptions of flora and fauna, tree nurseries and plantation establishment, tree growth, and forest products, whereas recent research focuses on ecosystem functioning and services, climate change, landscape scale patterns, disturbances, and land use legacies. • Ecological information from both aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems facili- tates the sustainable use of natural resources while informing methods for conserving ecosystems and their services. • Results from research also help in the interpretation of environmental change and in the design of resource conservation strategies in the face of uncertainty. • A new era of conservation based on ecological knowledge is emerging. Conservation is increasingly based on sustainable development goals and implemented in collaboration with citizens. Management in this era will be more flexible in outlook and adaptable to a continuously changing environment. • We give examples of surprise events for which we have no explanation, and which we did not have the means to anticipate. These examples collectively demonstrate that the management of complex ecosystems requires contin- uous long-term research.