Identifying climatic drivers of tropical forest dynamics


In the context of climate change, identifying and then predicting the impacts of climatic drivers on tropical forest dynamics is becoming a matter of urgency. To look at these climate impacts, we used a coupled model of tropical tree growth and mortality, calibrated with forest dynamic data from the 20-year study site of Paracou, French Guiana, in order to introduce and test a set of climatic variables. Three major climatic drivers were identified through the variable selection procedure: drought, water saturation and temperature. Drought decreased annual growth and mortality rates, high precipitation increased mortality rates and high temperature decreased growth. Interactions between key functional traits, stature and climatic variables were investigated, showing best resistance to drought for trees with high wood density and for trees with small current diameters. Our results highlighted strong long-term impacts of climate variables on tropical forest dynamics, suggesting potential deep impacts of climate changes during the next century.

Auteurs, date et publication :

Auteurs M. Aubry-Kientz , V. Rossi , F. Wagner , B. Hérault

Publication : Biogeosciences

Date : 2015

Volume : 12

Issue : 19

Pages : 5583–5596


#FORET Paracou