Drier tropical forests are susceptible to functional changes in response to a long-term drought

Jesús Aguirre-Gutiérrez, Imma Oliveras, Sami Rifai, Sophie Fauset, Stephen Adu-Bredu, Kofi Affum-Baffoe, Timothy R. Baker, Ted R. Feldpausch, Agne Gvozdevaite, Wannes Hubau, Nathan J.B. Kraft, Simon L. Lewis, Sam Moore, Ülo Niinemets, Theresa Peprah, Oliver L. Phillips, Kasia Ziemińska, Brian Enquist, Yadvinder Malhi

Research output: Contribution to journalLetter

Abstract

Climatic changes have profound effects on the distribution of biodiversity, but untangling the links between climatic change and ecosystem functioning is challenging, particularly in high diversity systems such as tropical forests. Tropical forests may also show different responses to a changing climate, with baseline climatic conditions potentially inducing differences in the strength and timing of responses to droughts. Trait-based approaches provide an opportunity to link functional composition, ecosystem function and environmental changes. We demonstrate the power of such approaches by presenting a novel analysis of long-term responses of different tropical forest to climatic changes along a rainfall gradient. We explore how key ecosystem's biogeochemical properties have shifted over time as a consequence of multi-decadal drying. Notably, we find that drier tropical forests have increased their deciduous species abundance and generally changed more functionally than forests growing in wetter conditions, suggesting an enhanced ability to adapt ecologically to a drying environment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalEcology letters
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019

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functional change
dry forest
dry forests
tropical forests
tropical forest
drought
climate change
ecosystems
drying
wet environmental conditions
ecosystem
ecosystem function
environmental change
biodiversity
rain
rainfall
climate

Keywords

  • Drying climate
  • ecosystem functioning
  • plant traits
  • tropical forests
  • West Africa

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics

Cite this

Aguirre-Gutiérrez, J., Oliveras, I., Rifai, S., Fauset, S., Adu-Bredu, S., Affum-Baffoe, K., ... Malhi, Y. (2019). Drier tropical forests are susceptible to functional changes in response to a long-term drought. Ecology letters. https://doi.org/10.1111/ele.13243

Drier tropical forests are susceptible to functional changes in response to a long-term drought. / Aguirre-Gutiérrez, Jesús; Oliveras, Imma; Rifai, Sami; Fauset, Sophie; Adu-Bredu, Stephen; Affum-Baffoe, Kofi; Baker, Timothy R.; Feldpausch, Ted R.; Gvozdevaite, Agne; Hubau, Wannes; Kraft, Nathan J.B.; Lewis, Simon L.; Moore, Sam; Niinemets, Ülo; Peprah, Theresa; Phillips, Oliver L.; Ziemińska, Kasia; Enquist, Brian; Malhi, Yadvinder.

In: Ecology letters, 01.01.2019.

Research output: Contribution to journalLetter

Aguirre-Gutiérrez, J, Oliveras, I, Rifai, S, Fauset, S, Adu-Bredu, S, Affum-Baffoe, K, Baker, TR, Feldpausch, TR, Gvozdevaite, A, Hubau, W, Kraft, NJB, Lewis, SL, Moore, S, Niinemets, Ü, Peprah, T, Phillips, OL, Ziemińska, K, Enquist, B & Malhi, Y 2019, 'Drier tropical forests are susceptible to functional changes in response to a long-term drought', Ecology letters. https://doi.org/10.1111/ele.13243
Aguirre-Gutiérrez J, Oliveras I, Rifai S, Fauset S, Adu-Bredu S, Affum-Baffoe K et al. Drier tropical forests are susceptible to functional changes in response to a long-term drought. Ecology letters. 2019 Jan 1. https://doi.org/10.1111/ele.13243
Aguirre-Gutiérrez, Jesús ; Oliveras, Imma ; Rifai, Sami ; Fauset, Sophie ; Adu-Bredu, Stephen ; Affum-Baffoe, Kofi ; Baker, Timothy R. ; Feldpausch, Ted R. ; Gvozdevaite, Agne ; Hubau, Wannes ; Kraft, Nathan J.B. ; Lewis, Simon L. ; Moore, Sam ; Niinemets, Ülo ; Peprah, Theresa ; Phillips, Oliver L. ; Ziemińska, Kasia ; Enquist, Brian ; Malhi, Yadvinder. / Drier tropical forests are susceptible to functional changes in response to a long-term drought. In: Ecology letters. 2019.
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