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The world's greatest terrestrial stores of biodiversity and carbon are found in the forests of northern South America, where large-scale biogeographic patterns and processes have recently begun to be described. Seven of the nine countries with territory in the Amazon basin and the Guiana shield have carried out large-scale forest inventories, but such(More)
The "intermediate disturbance hypothesis," which postulates maximum diversity at intermediate regimes of disturbance, has never been clearly proved to apply to species-rich tropical forest tree communities and to local-scale canopy disturbances that modify light environments. This hypothesis was tested on a sample of 17,000 trees in a Guianan forest, 10(More)
The interspecific variability of sunlit leaf carbon isotope composition (δ13C), an indicator of leaf intrinsic water-use efficiency (WUE, CO2 assimilation rate/leaf conductance for water vapour), was investigated in canopy trees of three lowland rainforest stands in French Guiana, differing in floristic composition and in soil drainage characteristics, but(More)
Large-scale patterns of Amazonian biodiversity have until now been obscured by a sparse and scattered inventory record. Here we present the first comprehensive spatial model of tree α-diversity and tree density in Amazonian rainforests, based on the largest-yet compilation of forest inventories and bolstered by a spatial interpolation technique that allows(More)
The vast extent of the Amazon Basin has historically restricted the study of its tree communities to the local and regional scales. Here, we provide empirical data on the commonness, rarity, and richness of lowland tree species across the entire Amazon Basin and Guiana Shield (Amazonia), collected in 1170 tree plots in all major forest types. Extrapolations(More)
We report the feeding behavior and food preferences of a troop of red howler monkeys (Alouatta seniculus) over two annual cycles in primary tropical rain forest in French Guiana. The monkeys used 195 plant species from 47 families as food. Major food categories were young leaves (54%), mature fruits (21.5%), and flowers (12.6%). Other food categories(More)
Diversity of tree association and forest structure were analysed in relation to microtopography and flooding intensity in a tropical freshwater swamp forest in the Sinnamary river basin, French Guiana. A 530-m-long vegetation transect was established through a hummock-hollow terrain. Nine 10 m× 50 m sample plots, perpendicular to the main transect, were(More)
We studied food choices of black spider monkeys (Ateles paniscus) and red howlers (Alouatta seniculus) in an undisturbed tropical forest of French Guiana for 6 months in the rainy season. We made additional observations on tufted capuchins (Cebus apella) and examined the differences and similarities in feeding behavior with respect to the plant specific(More)
Estimates of extinction risk for Amazonian plant and animal species are rare and not often incorporated into land-use policy and conservation planning. We overlay spatial distribution models with historical and projected deforestation to show that at least 36% and up to 57% of all Amazonian tree species are likely to qualify as globally threatened under(More)
While studying ecological patterns at large scales, ecologists are often unable to identify all collections, forcing them to either omit these unidentified records entirely, without knowing the effect of this, or pursue very costly and time-consuming efforts for identifying them. These "indets" may be of critical importance, but as yet, their impact on the(More)