News Round-Up

Hidden losses deep in the Amazon rainforest


Few places on Earth are as rich in biodiversity and removed from human influence as the world’s largest rainforest — the Amazon. Scientists at LSU have been conducting research within the pristine rainforest for decades. However, they began to notice that some of the animals, specifically birds that forage on and near the forest floor, had become very difficult to find.

“What we think is happening is an erosion of biodiversity, a loss of some of the richness in a place where we would hope biodiversity can be maintained,” said LSU School of Renewable Natural Resources Professor Philip Stouffer, who is the lead author of a new study published today in Ecology Letters.

Stouffer began leading field research deep within the Amazon rainforest, north of Manaus, Brazil, when he was a post-doctoral researcher with the Smithsonian in 1991. With support from the National Science Foundation, he continued to oversee bird monitoring at the Biological Dynamics of Forest Fragments Project until 2016. However, around 2008, he and his graduate students noticed that they could seldom find some bird species that they had observed in previous years. MORE

Header image: Vitek Jirinec, LSU.