Tropical forests throughout the world are rapidly being converted to agriculture. Remaining forests are often fragmented, threatening area-demanding species, such as apex predators and mega-herbivores e. The loss of predators can trigger trophic cascades, whereby prey species increase in abundance, altering food web dynamics. A pressing challenge in conservation biology is to understand where, why, and over what time scales these unintended secondary processes are degrading remaining forests. My dissertation seeks to address this challenge by exploring how forest loss, predator loss, hunting, and rapid oil palm agricultural expansion are affecting tropical forest floral and faunal communities in Southeast Asia. My first chapter, an introduction, discusses the process and theories on how land use change affects species and drives ecological cascades.
South East Asian Rainforest Food Web/Rainforest Water Cycle by Paul Branch
The tiger is a majestic creature, a huge apex predator with distinctive stripes and a solitary nature. Tigers today face incredible challenges as their numbers shrink in the wild due to poaching, encroaching human population, and loss of habitat and therefore traditional prey. Where tigers succeed, food webs remain intact and ecosystems remain stable. Tigers represent a keystone species necessary for their ecosystem to survive.