Long-term thermal sensitivity of Earth's tropical forests

Sullivan, M.J.P. and Lewis, S.L. and Affum-Baffoe, K. and Castilho, C. and Costa, F. and Sanchez, A.C. and Ewango, C.E.N. and Hubau, W. and Marimon, B. and Monteagudo-Mendoza, A. and Qie, L. and Sonké, B. and Martinez, R.V. and Baker, T.R. and Brienen, R.J.W. and Feldpausch, T.R. and Galbraith, D. and Gloor, M. and Malhi, Y. and Aiba, S.-I. and Alexiades, M.N. and Almeida, E.C. and de Oliveira, E.A. and Dávila, E.Á. and Loayza, P.A. and Andrade, A. and Vieira, S.A. and Aragão, L.E.O.C. and Araujo-Murakami, A. and Arets, E.J.M.M. and Arroyo, L. and Ashton, P. and Aymard C, G. and Baccaro, F.B. and Banin, L.F. and Baraloto, C. and Camargo, P.B. and Barlow, J. and Barroso, J. and Bastin, J.-F. and Batterman, S.A. and Beeckman, H. and Begne, S.K. and Bennett, A.C. and Berenguer, E. and Berry, N. and Blanc, L. and Boeckx, P. and Bogaert, J. and Bonal, D. and Bongers, F. and Bradford, M. and Brearley, F.Q. and Brncic, T. and Brown, F. and Burban, B. and Camargo, J.L. and Castro, W. and Céron, C. and Ribeiro, S.C. and Moscoso, V.C. and Chave, J. and Chezeaux, E. and Clark, C.J. and de Souza, F.C. and Collins, M. and Comiskey, J.A. and Valverde, F.C. and Medina, M.C. and da Costa, L. and Dančák, M. and Dargie, G.C. and Davies, S. and Cardozo, N.D. and de Haulleville, T. and de Medeiros, M.B. and Del Aguila Pasquel, J. and Derroire, G. and Di Fiore, A. and Doucet, J.-L. and Dourdain, A. and Droissant, V. and Duque, L.F. and Ekoungoulou, R. and Elias, F. and Erwin, T. and Esquivel-Muelbert, A. and Fauset, S. and Ferreira, J. and Llampazo, G.F. and Foli, E. and Ford, A. and Gilpin, M. and Hall, J.S. and Hamer, K.C. and Hamilton, A.C. and Harris, D.J. and Hart, T.B. and Hédl, R. and Herault, B. and Herrera, R. and Higuchi, N. and Hladik, A. and Coronado, E.H. and Huamantupa-Chuquimaco, I. and Huasco, W.H. and Jeffery, K.J. and Jimenez-Rojas, E. and Kalamandeen, M. and Djuikouo, M.N.K. and Kearsley, E. and Umetsu, R.K. and Kho, L.K. and Killeen, T. and Kitayama, K. and Klitgaard, B. and Koch, A. and Labrière, N. and Laurance, W. and Laurance, S. and Leal, M.E. and Levesley, A. and Lima, A.J.N. and Lisingo, J. and Lopes, A.P. and Lopez-Gonzalez, G. and Lovejoy, T. and Lovett, J.C. and Lowe, R. and Magnusson, W.E. and Malumbres-Olarte, J. and Manzatto, ÂG. and Marimon B.H., Jr and Marshall, A.R. and Marthews, T. and de Almeida Reis, S.M. and Maycock, C. and Melgaço, K. and Mendoza, C. and Metali, F. and Mihindou, V. and Milliken, W. and Mitchard, E.T.A. and Morandi, P.S. and Mossman, H.L. and Nagy, L. and Nascimento, H. and Neill, D. and Nilus, R. and Vargas, P.N. and Palacios, W. and Camacho, N.P. and Peacock, J. and Pendry, C. and Peñuela Mora, M.C. and Pickavance, G.C. and Pipoly, J. and Pitman, N. and Playfair, M. and Poorter, L. and Poulsen, J.R. and Poulsen, A.D. and Preziosi, R. and Prieto, A. and Primack, R.B. and Ramírez-Angulo, H. and Reitsma, J. and Réjou-Méchain, M. and Correa, Z.R. and de Sousa, T.R. and Bayona, L.R. and Roopsind, A. and Rudas, A. and Rutishauser, E. and Abu Salim, K. and Salomão, R.P. and Schietti, J. and Sheil, D. and Silva, R.C. and Espejo, J.S. and Valeria, C.S. and Silveira, M. and Simo-Droissart, M. and Simon, M.F. and Singh, J. and Soto Shareva, Y.C. and Stahl, C. and Stropp, J. and Sukri, R. and Sunderland, T. and Svátek, M. and Swaine, M.D. and Swamy, V. and Taedoumg, H. and Talbot, J. and Taplin, J. and Taylor, D. and Ter Steege, H. and Terborgh, J. and Thomas, R. and Thomas, S.C. and Torres-Lezama, A. and Umunay, P. and Gamarra, L.V. and van der Heijden, G. and van der Hout, P. and van der Meer, P. and van Nieuwstadt, M. and Verbeeck, H. and Vernimmen, R. and Vicentini, A. and Vieira, I.C.G. and Torre, E.V. and Vleminckx, J. and Vos, V. and Wang, O. and White, L.J.T. and Willcock, S. and Woods, J.T. and Wortel, V. and Young, K. and Zagt, R. and Zemagho, L. and Zuidema, P.A. and Zwerts, J.A. and Phillips, O.L. (2020) Long-term thermal sensitivity of Earth's tropical forests. Science, 368 (6493). pp. 869-874. ISSN 1095-9203

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The sensitivity of tropical forest carbon to climate is a key uncertainty in predicting global climate change. Although short-term drying and warming are known to affect forests, it is unknown if such effects translate into long-term responses. Here, we analyze 590 permanent plots measured across the tropics to derive the equilibrium climate controls on forest carbon. Maximum temperature is the most important predictor of aboveground biomass (-9.1 megagrams of carbon per hectare per degree Celsius), primarily by reducing woody productivity, and has a greater impact per °C in the hottest forests (>32.2°C). Our results nevertheless reveal greater thermal resilience than observations of short-term variation imply. To realize the long-term climate adaptation potential of tropical forests requires both protecting them and stabilizing Earth's climate.

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05 Jun 2020 09:05
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23 Sep 2020 06:09