wildlife research &
Peruvian lowland Amazon rainforest and Andean cloud forest and lakes are megadiverse ecosystems. They are very productive and generate a plethora of benefits for millions of people, including forest products like Brazil nuts, medicinal plants, and bushmeat; as well as clean air and water; carbon storage and climate stability; and unique high-value nature-based ecotourism opportunities.
The challenge of today is managing and conserving these ecosystems in such a way that we maximise the private and social benefits that accrue to people, bringing locals out of poverty in the process, while maintaining balanced, healthy, and well-functioning ecosystems.
This is best achieved with evidence-based decision-making systems that feed on an understanding of the changing state of nature and the benefits and impacts of human activities in ecosystems such as the Amazon rainforest. This requires quality longitudinal and cross-sectional data of multiple species and socio-economic indicators and abiotic environmental variables over large geographical areas and long periods of time.
The nuts-and-bolts of ecosystems are the species, community assemblages, and ultimately the food webs that they contain. Themes and terms such as species diversity, population density and abundance, trophic levels, age structures of populations, and impact assessment are commonly the subject of intense research in an effort to understand how ecosystems work. How these respond to natural and human-mediated changes in the environment is also key for modelling the future states of wild nature and whether these states are desirable or not.