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Assessing the resilience of global seasonally dry tropical forests

Abstract : Seasonally dry tropical forests (SDTFs), a varied and extensive ecosystem type in the tropics, are characteristically adapted to seasonal water stress in zones of low rainfall. Land-use change, resource extraction, alien invasives, changes to the atmosphere, and changing fire and climatic regimes may have serious implications for the continued persistence of SDTFs. This paper assesses the extent to which SDTFs may be resilient in the face of these threats, considering their dynamics, community-level characteristics, and functional traits of constituent species. There is evidence that some SDTF biodiversity- and structure-related properties are resistant to low- to moderate-intensity disturbances and have the potential to recover after severe, even chronic, disturbances, at timescales in the order of decades. Although global SDTFs are, on average, not necessarily more resilient than moist tropical forests (MTFs), they may be more resilient to particular disturbances such as fires and drought. SDTFs are vulnerable to regime shifts and there is considerable uncertainty about their future under a changing climate and its interactions with other anthropogenic effects.
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Submitted on : Wednesday, August 12, 2020 - 1:46:26 PM
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S. Pulla, G. Ramaswami, N. Mondal, R. Chitra-Tarak, H.S. Suresh, et al.. Assessing the resilience of global seasonally dry tropical forests. International Forestry Review, Commonwealth Forestry Association, 2015, 17 (2), pp.91-113. ⟨10.1505/146554815815834796⟩. ⟨hal-02914726⟩



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