Shifting dynamics of climate-functional groups in old-growth Amazonian forests

Butt, Nathalie, Malhi, Yadvinder, New, Mark, Macia, Manuel J., Lewis, Simon L., Lopez-Gonzalez, Gabriela, Laurance, William F., Laurance, Susan, Luizao, Regina, Andrade, Ana, Baker, Timothy R., Almeida, Samuel and Phillips, Oliver L. (2014) Shifting dynamics of climate-functional groups in old-growth Amazonian forests. Plant Ecology & Diversity, 7 (1-2). pp. 267-279. ISSN 1755-0874

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Abstract

Background: Climate change is driving ecosystem shifts, which has implications for tropical forest system function and productivity. Aim: To investigate Amazon forest dynamics and test for compositional changes between 1985 and 2005 across different plant groups. Methods: Tree census data from 46 long-term RAINFOR forest plots in Amazonia for three climate-functional groups were used: dry-affiliate, climate-generalist and wet affiliate. Membership of each group was ascribed at genus level from the distribution of individuals across a wet-dry gradient in Amazonia, and then used to determine whether the proportions of these functional groups have changed over time, and the direction of any change. Results: In total, 91 genera, representing 59% of the stems and 18% of genera in the plots, were analysed. Wet-affiliates tended to move from a state of net basal area gain towards dynamic equilibrium, defined as where gain approximate to loss, governed by an increase in loss rather than a decrease in growth and mainly driven by plots in north-west Amazonia, the wettest part of the region. Dry-affiliates remained in a state of strong net basal area gain across western Amazonia and showed a strong increase in stem recruitment. Wet-affiliates and climate-generalists showed increases in stem mortality, and climate-generalists showed increased stem recruitment, resulting in overall equilibrium of stem numbers. Conclusions: While there were no significant shifts in most genera, the results suggest an overall shift in climate-functional forest composition in western Amazonia away from wet-affiliates, and potential for increased forest persistence under projected drier conditions in the future.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: climate trends,forest composition,moisture affiliation,moisture seasonality,tropical forest,long-term plots,tropical forests,carbon-dioxide,rain-forest,drought sensitivity,spatial-patterns,elevated co2,tree,impacts,biomass
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Social Sciences > School of International Development
Depositing User: Pure Connector
Date Deposited: 28 Apr 2015 14:22
Last Modified: 22 Apr 2020 00:07
URI: https://ueaeprints.uea.ac.uk/id/eprint/53271
DOI: 10.1080/17550874.2012.715210

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