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Colleagues begin to assess conservation legacy of Thomas Lovejoy

“All of a sudden, in one little lump, this project leaked into my mind,” Thomas Lovejoy recalled to writer David Quammen for the book The Song of the Dodo, about a night in December 1976 when he suddenly conceived what would become one of world’s most important ecological research projects: the Biological Dynamics of Forest Fragments Project (BDFFP).

Jargony title notwithstanding, the project would produce reams of data and research over decades about how tropical rainforests, particularly the Amazon, are responding to ongoing deforestation and degradation. It would discover that fragments of forest—even ones as large as a hundred hectares (247 acres)—will hemorrhage species over time, resulting in biodiversity loss and ecological weakening.

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