By S. Robbert Gradstein, Jõrgen Homeier, Dirk Gansert, Jurgen Homeier

Tropical mountain forests are very wealthy in species and are in general regarded as hotspots of biodiversity. also they are of significant ecological significance as assets of water and different atmosphere providers for hundreds of thousands of individuals residing within the tropics. although, those beneficial woodland ecosystems are actually more and more being fragmented, decreased, and disturbed via human interventions. This e-book originated from a lecture sequence at the tropical mountain woodland prepared by means of the G?ttingen Centre of Biodiversity and Ecology and held on the college of G?ttingen, Germany, throughout the summer season time period of 2007. the amount offers a synthesis of present ecological examine in Germany at the tropical mountain wooded area, from an interdisciplinary viewpoint.

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The charcoal record shows that fires were rare during last glacial and early Holocene period, until 8000 yr BP. Later on, fires became common on the slopes of El Tiro. Three periods with increasing fire intensity have been identified: 8000–3000 yr BP, 2700–1800 yr BP and 1000–600 yr BP. Fire frequency decreased during the last ca. 600 years. The increased fire frequency during the wetter late Holocene suggests that fires were mostly of anthropogenic rather than of natural origin such as lightening.

Ecology 76: 2019-2027 Andersen M, Thornhill A, Koopowitz H (1997) Tropical forest disruption and stochastic biodiversity losses. In: Laurance WF, Bierregaard RO (eds) Tropical forest remnants: ecology, management, and conservation of fragmented communities. University of Chicago Press, Chicago, pp 281-292 Balmford A, Long A (1994) Avian endemism and forest loss. Nature 372: 623-624 Behrensmeyer AK, Damuth JD, DiMichele WA, Potts R (1992) Terrestrial ecosystems through time: evolutionary paleoecology of terrestrial plants and animals.

A short drier period lasts from December until March. Vegetation types in the study area include lower and upper mountain rainforest at 1800–2150 m and 2100–2650(–2750) m, respectively. Subpáramo is present at altitudes between 2800 and 3100 m and páramo from 2900 to 3400 m (Lozano et al. 2003). The timber line in the Loja region is at about 3200 m or about 800 m lower than in central or northern Ecuadorian Andes (Richter & Moreira-Muñoz 2005). Methods We studied the vegetation and fire history of the late Quaternary of southeastern Brazil and the southeastern Ecuadorian Andes using pollen and charcoal analysis.

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