Changing ecology of tropical forests: evidence and drivers

Lewis, Simon L., Lloyd, Jon, Sitch, Stephen, Mitchard, Edward T.A., and Laurance, William F. (2009) Changing ecology of tropical forests: evidence and drivers. Annual Review of Ecology, Evolution, and Systematics, 40. pp. 529-549.

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Global environmental changes may be altering the ecology of tropical forests. Long-term monitoring plots have provided much of the evidence for largescale, directional changes in tropical forests, but the results have been controversial. Here we review evidence from six complementary approaches to understanding possible changes: plant physiology experiments, long-term monitoring plots, ecosystem flux techniques, atmospheric measurements, Earth observations, and global-scale vegetation models. Evidence from four of these approaches suggests that large-scale, directional changes are occurring in the ecology of tropical forests, with the other two approaches providing inconclusive results. Collectively, the evidence indicates that both gross and net primary productivity has likely increased over recent decades, as have tree growth, recruitment, and mortality rates, and forest biomass. These results suggest a profound reorganization of tropical forest ecosystems. We evaluate the most likely drivers of the suite of changes, and suggest increasing resource availability, potentially from rising atmospheric CO2 concentrations, is the most likely cause.

Item ID: 5607
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1545-2069
Keywords: tropical biology, conservation, tropical forests, global warming, drivers, ecosystem processes, florstics, forest dynamics, carbon balance, carbon dioxide, climate change, dynamic global vegetation model, earth observation, ecosystem respiration, eddy-covariance, long-term monitoring plots, global change, tree growth, tree mortality, tree recruitment
Date Deposited: 02 Dec 2009 04:04
FoR Codes: 05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0501 Ecological Applications > 050104 Landscape Ecology @ 50%
05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050202 Conservation and Biodiversity @ 50%
SEO Codes: 89 INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION SERVICES > 8998 Environmentally Sustainable Information and Communication Services > 899899 Environmentally Sustainable Information and Communication Services not elsewhere classified @ 100%
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