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Title page for ETD etd-11112019-114849


Type of Document Dissertation
Author Bradham, Jennifer Leigh
Author's Email Address bradhamjl@wofford.edu
URN etd-11112019-114849
Title Tropical Ecosystem Sustainability: A large mammal approach
Degree PhD
Department Earth and Environmental Sciences
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Dr. Maria Luisa S.P. Jorge Committee Chair
Dr. James Clarke Committee Member
Dr. Jessica Oster Committee Member
Dr. Jonathan Gilligan Committee Member
Dr. Mauro Galetti Committee Member
Dr. Milton Ribeiro Committee Member
Keywords
  • tropical forest
  • Brazil
  • sustainability
  • movement ecology
Date of Defense 2019-04-23
Availability unrestricted
Abstract
Tropical ecosystems regulate global climate, act as carbon sinks, and contain some of the highest levels of biodiversity in the world. Yet, increased human population growth and associated land use needs have made tropical ecosystems among the most threatened on the planet. This research is devoted to finding solutions for creating sustainable ecosystems that preserve native species while also balancing sustainable development decisions that support the livelihoods of those in rural and agricultural communities. Throughout this work, I use large mammals as proxies for defining wildlife land use needs to evaluate which aspects of an ecosystem are essential for conservation and which are better suited for human development. Within this context, I evaluate (i) the spatial conditions under which large mammals can persist in agricultural and cattle ranching landscapes and (ii) the degree to which large mammals can adapt to climate and land use change. I explore these topics in the Cerrado, Atlantic Forest, and Pantanal biomes of Brazil, where native ecosystems are often nestled within agricultural and cattle ranching landscapes and pressure for increased human development is high.
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