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Drought-mortality relationships for tropical forests

Drought-mortality relationships for tropical forests
Drought-mortality relationships for tropical forests
The rich ecology of tropical forests is intimately tied to their moisture status. Multi-site syntheses can provide a macro-scale view of these linkages and their susceptibility to changing climates. Here, we report pan-tropical and regional-scale analyses of tree vulnerability to drought.

We assembled available data on tropical forest tree stem mortality before, during, and after recent drought events, from 119 monitoring plots in 10 countries concentrated in Amazonia and Borneo.

In most sites, larger trees are disproportionately at risk. At least within Amazonia, low wood density trees are also at greater risk of drought-associated mortality, independent of size. For comparable drought intensities, trees in Borneo are more vulnerable than trees in the Amazon. There is some evidence for lagged impacts of drought, with mortality rates remaining elevated 2 yr after the meteorological event is over.

These findings indicate that repeated droughts would shift the functional composition of tropical forests toward smaller, denser-wooded trees. At very high drought intensities, the linear relationship between tree mortality and moisture stress apparently breaks down, suggesting the existence of moisture stress thresholds beyond which some tropical forests would suffer catastrophic tree mortality.
0028-646X
631-646
Phillips, O.L.
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van der Heijden, G.
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Malhi, Y.
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Monteagudo, A.
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Dávila, E.A.
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Aymard, G.
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de Oliveira, A.C.A.
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Higuchi, N.
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Sonké, B.
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Thomas, A.S.
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Stropp, J.
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Vásquez, R.
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Vilanova, E.
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Phillips, O.L., van der Heijden, G., Lewis, S.L., López-González, G., Aragão, L.E.O.C., Lloyd, J.J., Malhi, Y., Monteagudo, A., Almeida, S., Dávila, E.A., Andelman, S., Andrade, A., Arroyo, L., Aymard, G., Baker, T.R., Blanc, L., Bobal, D., de Oliveira, A.C.A., Chao, K.-J., Cardozo, N.D., da Costa, L., Feldpausch, T.R., Fisher, J.B., Fylla, N.M., Freitas, M.A., Galbraith, D., Gloor, E., Higuchi, N., Honorio, E., Jiménez, E., Keeling, H., Killeen, T.J., Lovett, J., Meir, P., Mendoza, C., Morel, A., Vargas, P.N., Patiño, S., Peh, Kelvin S.-H., Cruz, A.P., Prieto, A., Quesada, C.A., Ramírez, F., Ramírez, H., Rudas, A., Salamão, R., Schwarz, M., Silva, J., Silveira, M., Slik, J.W.F., Sonké, B., Thomas, A.S., Stropp, J., Taplin, J., Vásquez, R. and Vilanova, E. (2010) Drought-mortality relationships for tropical forests. New Phytologist, 187 (3), 631-646. (doi:10.1111/j.1469-8137.2010.03359.x).

Record type: Article

Abstract

The rich ecology of tropical forests is intimately tied to their moisture status. Multi-site syntheses can provide a macro-scale view of these linkages and their susceptibility to changing climates. Here, we report pan-tropical and regional-scale analyses of tree vulnerability to drought.

We assembled available data on tropical forest tree stem mortality before, during, and after recent drought events, from 119 monitoring plots in 10 countries concentrated in Amazonia and Borneo.

In most sites, larger trees are disproportionately at risk. At least within Amazonia, low wood density trees are also at greater risk of drought-associated mortality, independent of size. For comparable drought intensities, trees in Borneo are more vulnerable than trees in the Amazon. There is some evidence for lagged impacts of drought, with mortality rates remaining elevated 2 yr after the meteorological event is over.

These findings indicate that repeated droughts would shift the functional composition of tropical forests toward smaller, denser-wooded trees. At very high drought intensities, the linear relationship between tree mortality and moisture stress apparently breaks down, suggesting the existence of moisture stress thresholds beyond which some tropical forests would suffer catastrophic tree mortality.

Full text not available from this repository.

More information

Published date: August 2010
Organisations: Centre for Biological Sciences

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 353011
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/353011
ISSN: 0028-646X
PURE UUID: ae9e860d-2131-4dd0-b59c-a09b6b1ccc7c
ORCID for Kelvin S.-H. Peh: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-2921-1341

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 23 May 2013 12:02
Last modified: 17 Dec 2019 01:37

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Contributors

Author: O.L. Phillips
Author: G. van der Heijden
Author: S.L. Lewis
Author: G. López-González
Author: L.E.O.C. Aragão
Author: J.J. Lloyd
Author: Y. Malhi
Author: A. Monteagudo
Author: S. Almeida
Author: E.A. Dávila
Author: S. Andelman
Author: A. Andrade
Author: L. Arroyo
Author: G. Aymard
Author: T.R. Baker
Author: L. Blanc
Author: D. Bobal
Author: A.C.A. de Oliveira
Author: K.-J. Chao
Author: N.D. Cardozo
Author: L. da Costa
Author: T.R. Feldpausch
Author: J.B. Fisher
Author: N.M. Fylla
Author: M.A. Freitas
Author: D. Galbraith
Author: E. Gloor
Author: N. Higuchi
Author: E. Honorio
Author: E. Jiménez
Author: H. Keeling
Author: T.J. Killeen
Author: J. Lovett
Author: P. Meir
Author: C. Mendoza
Author: A. Morel
Author: P.N. Vargas
Author: S. Patiño
Author: A.P. Cruz
Author: A. Prieto
Author: C.A. Quesada
Author: F. Ramírez
Author: H. Ramírez
Author: A. Rudas
Author: R. Salamão
Author: M. Schwarz
Author: J. Silva
Author: M. Silveira
Author: J.W.F. Slik
Author: B. Sonké
Author: A.S. Thomas
Author: J. Stropp
Author: J. Taplin
Author: R. Vásquez
Author: E. Vilanova

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