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Title: Will seasonally dry tropical forests be sensitive or resistant to future changes in rainfall regimes?

Abstract

Seasonally dry tropical forests (SDTF) are located in regions with alternating wet and dry seasons, with dry seasons that last several months or more. By the end of the 21st century, climate models predict substantial changes in rainfall regimes across these regions, but little is known about how individuals, species, and communities in SDTF will cope with the hotter, drier conditions predicted by climate models. In this review, we explore different rainfall scenarios that may result in ecological drought in SDTF through the lens of two alternative hypotheses: 1) these forests will be sensitive to drought because they are already limited by water and close to climatic thresholds, or 2) they will be resistant/resilient to intra- and inter-annual changes in rainfall because they are adapted to predictable, seasonal drought. In our review of literature that spans microbial to ecosystem processes, a majority of the available studies suggests that increasing frequency and intensity of droughts in SDTF will likely alter species distributions and ecosystem processes. Though we conclude that SDTF will be sensitive to altered rainfall regimes, many gaps in the literature remain. Future research should focus on geographically comparative studies and well-replicated drought experiments that can provide empirical evidence tomore » improve simulation models used to forecast SDTF responses to future climate change at coarser spatial and temporal scales.« less

Authors:
 [1];  [2];  [1];  [3];  [4];  [5];  [6];  [1];  [7];  [8];  [1];  [7];  [1]
  1. Univ. of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN (United States)
  2. Unidad de Recursos Naturales, Yucatan (Mexico)
  3. Univ. of Puerto Rico, Mayaguez (Puerto Rico)
  4. Princeton Univ., NJ (United States); Univ. of Notre Dame, IN (United States)
  5. Univ. ICESI, Cali (Columbia)
  6. Alexander von Humboldt Inst., Bagota (Colombia)
  7. Princeton Univ., NJ (United States)
  8. Clemson Univ., SC (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Univ. of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Biological and Environmental Research (BER) (SC-23)
OSTI Identifier:
1342434
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1425773
Grant/Contract Number:
SC0014363
Resource Type:
Journal Article: Published Article
Journal Name:
Environmental Research Letters
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 12; Journal Issue: 2; Journal ID: ISSN 1748-9326
Publisher:
IOP Publishing
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES; climate change; precipitation variability; functional traits; drought; tree phenology; belowground processes

Citation Formats

Allen, Kara, Dupuy, Juan Manuel, Gei, Maria G., Hulshof, Catherine, Medvigy, David, Pizano, Camila, Salgado-Negret, Beatriz, Smith, Christina M., Trierweiler, Annette, Van Bloem, Skip J., Waring, Bonnie G., Xu, Xiangtao, and Powers, Jennifer S. Will seasonally dry tropical forests be sensitive or resistant to future changes in rainfall regimes?. United States: N. p., 2017. Web. doi:10.1088/1748-9326/aa5968.
Allen, Kara, Dupuy, Juan Manuel, Gei, Maria G., Hulshof, Catherine, Medvigy, David, Pizano, Camila, Salgado-Negret, Beatriz, Smith, Christina M., Trierweiler, Annette, Van Bloem, Skip J., Waring, Bonnie G., Xu, Xiangtao, & Powers, Jennifer S. Will seasonally dry tropical forests be sensitive or resistant to future changes in rainfall regimes?. United States. doi:10.1088/1748-9326/aa5968.
Allen, Kara, Dupuy, Juan Manuel, Gei, Maria G., Hulshof, Catherine, Medvigy, David, Pizano, Camila, Salgado-Negret, Beatriz, Smith, Christina M., Trierweiler, Annette, Van Bloem, Skip J., Waring, Bonnie G., Xu, Xiangtao, and Powers, Jennifer S. Fri . "Will seasonally dry tropical forests be sensitive or resistant to future changes in rainfall regimes?". United States. doi:10.1088/1748-9326/aa5968.
@article{osti_1342434,
title = {Will seasonally dry tropical forests be sensitive or resistant to future changes in rainfall regimes?},
author = {Allen, Kara and Dupuy, Juan Manuel and Gei, Maria G. and Hulshof, Catherine and Medvigy, David and Pizano, Camila and Salgado-Negret, Beatriz and Smith, Christina M. and Trierweiler, Annette and Van Bloem, Skip J. and Waring, Bonnie G. and Xu, Xiangtao and Powers, Jennifer S.},
abstractNote = {Seasonally dry tropical forests (SDTF) are located in regions with alternating wet and dry seasons, with dry seasons that last several months or more. By the end of the 21st century, climate models predict substantial changes in rainfall regimes across these regions, but little is known about how individuals, species, and communities in SDTF will cope with the hotter, drier conditions predicted by climate models. In this review, we explore different rainfall scenarios that may result in ecological drought in SDTF through the lens of two alternative hypotheses: 1) these forests will be sensitive to drought because they are already limited by water and close to climatic thresholds, or 2) they will be resistant/resilient to intra- and inter-annual changes in rainfall because they are adapted to predictable, seasonal drought. In our review of literature that spans microbial to ecosystem processes, a majority of the available studies suggests that increasing frequency and intensity of droughts in SDTF will likely alter species distributions and ecosystem processes. Though we conclude that SDTF will be sensitive to altered rainfall regimes, many gaps in the literature remain. Future research should focus on geographically comparative studies and well-replicated drought experiments that can provide empirical evidence to improve simulation models used to forecast SDTF responses to future climate change at coarser spatial and temporal scales.},
doi = {10.1088/1748-9326/aa5968},
journal = {Environmental Research Letters},
number = 2,
volume = 12,
place = {United States},
year = {Fri Feb 03 00:00:00 EST 2017},
month = {Fri Feb 03 00:00:00 EST 2017}
}

Journal Article:
Free Publicly Available Full Text
Publisher's Version of Record at 10.1088/1748-9326/aa5968

Citation Metrics:
Cited by: 4works
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  • Seasonally dry tropical forests (SDTF) are located in regions with alternating wet and dry seasons, with dry seasons that last several months or more. By the end of the 21st century, climate models predict substantial changes in rainfall regimes across these regions, but little is known about how individuals, species, and communities in SDTF will cope with the hotter, drier conditions predicted by climate models. In this review, we explore different rainfall scenarios that may result in ecological drought in SDTF through the lens of two alternative hypotheses: 1) these forests will be sensitive to drought because they are alreadymore » limited by water and close to climatic thresholds, or 2) they will be resistant/resilient to intra- and inter-annual changes in rainfall because they are adapted to predictable, seasonal drought. In our review of literature that spans microbial to ecosystem processes, a majority of the available studies suggests that increasing frequency and intensity of droughts in SDTF will likely alter species distributions and ecosystem processes. Though we conclude that SDTF will be sensitive to altered rainfall regimes, many gaps in the literature remain. Future research should focus on geographically comparative studies and well-replicated drought experiments that can provide empirical evidence to improve simulation models used to forecast SDTF responses to future climate change at coarser spatial and temporal scales.« less
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  • Annual distribution and phase propagation of tropical convection are delineated using harmonic and amplitude-phase characteristics analysis of climatological pentad mean outgoing longwave radiation and monthly frequencies of highly reflective cloud. An annual eastward propagation of peak rainy season along the equator from the central Indian Ocean (60[degrees]E) to Arafura Sea (130[degrees]E) is revealed. This indicates a transition from the withdrawal of the Indian summer monsoon to the onset of the Australian summer monsoon. Significant bimodal variations are found around major summer monsoon regions. These variations originate from the interference of two adjacent regimes. The convergence zones over the eastern Northmore » Pacific, the South Pacific, and the southwest Indian Ocean are identified as a marine monsoon regime that is characterized by a unimodal variation with a concentrated summer rainfall associated with the development of surface westerlies equatorward of a monsoon trough. Conversely, the central North Pacific and North Atlantic convergence zones between persistent northeast and southeast trades are classified as trade-wind convergence zones; which differ from the marine monsoon regime by their persistent rainy season and characteristic bimodal variation with peak rainy seasons occurring in late spring and fall. The roles of the annual march of sea surface temperature in the phase propagation and formation of various climatic regimes of tropical convection are also discussed. 34 refs., 8 figs., 1 tab.« less