Extent and ecological consequences of hunting in Central African rainforests in the twenty-first century

Abernethy K.A., Coad L., Taylor G., Lee M.E. and Maisels F. (2013) Extent and ecological consequences of hunting in Central African rainforests in the twenty-first century. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 368 1625: 1625.1-1625.13. doi:10.1098/rstb.2012.0303


Author Abernethy K.A.
Coad L.
Taylor G.
Lee M.E.
Maisels F.
Title Extent and ecological consequences of hunting in Central African rainforests in the twenty-first century
Journal name Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0962-8436
1471-2970
Publication date 2013-09-05
Year available 2013
Sub-type Critical review of research, literature review, critical commentary
DOI 10.1098/rstb.2012.0303
Open Access Status DOI
Volume 368
Issue 1625
Start page 1625.1
End page 1625.13
Total pages 12
Place of publication London, United Kingdom
Publisher The Royal Society Publishing
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Humans have hunted wildlife in Central Africa for millennia. Today, however, many species are being rapidly extirpated and sanctuaries for wildlife are dwindling. Almost all Central Africa's forests are now accessible to hunters. Drastic declines of large mammals have been caused in the past 20 years by the commercial trade formeat or ivory. We review a growing body of empirical data which shows that trophic webs are significantly disrupted in the region, with knock-on effects for other ecological functions, including seed dispersal and forest regeneration. Plausible scenarios for land-use change indicate that increasing extraction pressure on Central African forests is likely to usher in new worker populations and to intensify the hunting impacts and trophic cascade disruption already in progress, unless serious efforts aremade for hunting regulation. The profound ecological changes initiated by hunting will not mitigate and may even exacerbate the predicted effects of climate change for the region. We hypothesize that, in the near future, the trophic changes brought about by hunting will have a larger and more rapid impact on Central African rainforest structure and function than the direct impacts of climate change on the vegetation. Immediate hunting regulation is vital for the survival of the Central African rainforest ecosystem.
Keyword Central Africa
Ecological function
Future
Hunting
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Critical review of research, literature review, critical commentary
Collections: School of Geography, Planning and Environmental Management Publications
Official 2014 Collection
 
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