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Title: Shifting dynamics of climate-functional groups in old-growth Amazonian forests
Authors: Butt, Nathalie
Malhi, Yadvinder Singh
New, Mark G.
Macía, Manuel J.
Lewis, Simon L.
Lopez-Gonzalez, Gabriela
Laurance, William F.
Laurance, Susan G.W.
Luizâo, Regina Celi Costa
Andrade, Ana C.S.
Baker, Timothy R.
Almeida, Samuel Miranda
Phillips, Oliver L.
Issue Date: 2014
metadata.dc.publisher.journal: Plant Ecology and Diversity
metadata.dc.relation.ispartof: Volume 7, Número 1-2, Pags. 267-279
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 ≈ 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. © 2014 Copyright 2012 Botanical Society of Scotland and Taylor & Francis.
metadata.dc.identifier.doi: 10.1080/17550874.2012.715210
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