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Abstract Detail

Greater Caribbean Biodiversity and its Eco-physiology: Sustainability or degradation in next 50 years?

Thorhaug, Anitra [1], Stevenson, Dennis [2].

The Caribbean Basin's Biodiversity and Eco-physiology: Is the Regions' Future Sustainability or Degradation?

Does the Caribbean Basin's future include sustaining biodiversity of its botanical resources while the rapidly expanding population of northern Central America doubles during 2015--2055? While the expanding resource exploitation now ongoing in the Caribbean Basin, endowed with fossil energy, a wide variety of minerals, and large sets of agricultural soils (etched from natural forests) accelerates, does the low level of government services (health or education) and government methods of carrying out regulations centering on biodiversity , forest, and coastal stewardship preclude sustainable environmental management? The sustainability of the Caribbean Basin's remarkable flora is uncertain. FAO has found it the most rapidly degrading forest area in the world loosing near 50% of its forests within the 1990-2005 period. What is the present pattern of floral biodiversity in the Greater Caribbean Basin and its functioning? How does this differ in various regions: the Caribbean Island archipelagos, Caribbean Mexico, Central America, and South America? Is that based on its differing geological history? What is the future of its reforestation and restoration of coastal areas? Is the degradation being abated? Are government environmental regulations creating sustainability of plant biodiversity and resources? Population estimates (Thorhaug et al.2009) for Central America show the largest increases of any portion of the Western Hemisphere. How will the need of a doubled population impact forests being turned into farmland? These are the central questions we address.

Broader Impacts:

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Related Links:
New York Botanical Garden site on Caribbean Flora

1 - Yale University, School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, 370 Prospect St. , New Haven , Ct., 06511, USA
2 - THE NY BOTANICAL GARDEN, 2900 SOUTHERN BLVD, BRONX, NY, 10458-5126, USA, 718/817-8632

paleobotanical history
endemic flora
regional floral differences
Plant Sustainability
coastal degradation

Presentation Type: Symposium or Colloquium Presentation
Session: SY11
Location: Rosedown/Riverside Hilton
Date: Wednesday, July 31st, 2013
Time: 1:30 PM
Number: SY11SUM
Abstract ID:219
Candidate for Awards:None

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