Long-term thermal sensitivity of Earth's tropical forests.

Published

Journal Article

The sensitivity of tropical forest carbon to climate is a key uncertainty in predicting global climate change. Although short-term drying and warming are known to affect forests, it is unknown if such effects translate into long-term responses. Here, we analyze 590 permanent plots measured across the tropics to derive the equilibrium climate controls on forest carbon. Maximum temperature is the most important predictor of aboveground biomass (-9.1 megagrams of carbon per hectare per degree Celsius), primarily by reducing woody productivity, and has a greater impact per °C in the hottest forests (>32.2°C). Our results nevertheless reveal greater thermal resilience than observations of short-term variation imply. To realize the long-term climate adaptation potential of tropical forests requires both protecting them and stabilizing Earth's climate.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Sullivan, MJP; Lewis, SL; Affum-Baffoe, K; Castilho, C; Costa, F; Sanchez, AC; Ewango, CEN; Hubau, W; Marimon, B; Monteagudo-Mendoza, A; Qie, L; Sonké, B; Martinez, RV; Baker, TR; Brienen, RJW; Feldpausch, TR; Galbraith, D; Gloor, M; Malhi, Y; Aiba, S-I; Alexiades, MN; Almeida, EC; de Oliveira, EA; Dávila, EÁ; Loayza, PA; Andrade, A; Vieira, SA; Aragão, LEOC; Araujo-Murakami, A; Arets, EJMM; Arroyo, L; Ashton, P; Aymard C, G; Baccaro, FB; Banin, LF; Baraloto, C; Camargo, PB; Barlow, J; Barroso, J; Bastin, J-F; Batterman, SA; Beeckman, H; Begne, SK; Bennett, AC; Berenguer, E; Berry, N; Blanc, L; Boeckx, P; Bogaert, J; Bonal, D; Bongers, F; Bradford, M; Brearley, FQ; Brncic, T; Brown, F; Burban, B; Camargo, JL; Castro, W; Céron, C; Ribeiro, SC; Moscoso, VC; Chave, J; Chezeaux, E; Clark, CJ; de Souza, FC; Collins, M; Comiskey, JA; Valverde, FC; Medina, MC; da Costa, L; DanĨák, M; Dargie, GC; Davies, S; Cardozo, ND; de Haulleville, T; de Medeiros, MB; Del Aguila Pasquel, J; Derroire, G; Di Fiore, A; Doucet, J-L; Dourdain, A; Droissart, V; Duque, LF; Ekoungoulou, R; Elias, F; Erwin, T; Esquivel-Muelbert, A; Fauset, S; Ferreira, J; Llampazo, GF; Foli, E; Ford, A; Gilpin, M; Hall, JS; Hamer, KC; Hamilton, AC; Harris, DJ; Hart, TB; Hédl, R; Herault, B; Herrera, R; Higuchi, N; Hladik, A; Coronado, EH; Huamantupa-Chuquimaco, I; Huasco, WH; Jeffery, KJ; Jimenez-Rojas, E; Kalamandeen, M; Djuikouo, MNK; Kearsley, E; Umetsu, RK; Kho, LK; Killeen, T; Kitayama, K; Klitgaard, B; Koch, A; Labrière, N; Laurance, W; Laurance, S; Leal, ME; Levesley, A; Lima, AJN; Lisingo, J; Lopes, AP; Lopez-Gonzalez, G; Lovejoy, T; Lovett, JC; Lowe, R; Magnusson, WE; Malumbres-Olarte, J; Manzatto, ÂG; Marimon, BH; Marshall, AR; Marthews, T; de Almeida Reis, SM; Maycock, C; Melgaço, K; Mendoza, C; Metali, F; Mihindou, V; Milliken, W; Mitchard, ETA; Morandi, PS; Mossman, HL; Nagy, L; Nascimento, H; Neill, D; Nilus, R; Vargas, PN; Palacios, W; Camacho, NP; Peacock, J; Pendry, C; Peñuela Mora, MC; Pickavance, GC; Pipoly, J; Pitman, N; Playfair, M; Poorter, L; Poulsen, JR; Poulsen, AD; Preziosi, R; Prieto, A; Primack, RB; Ramírez-Angulo, H; Reitsma, J; Réjou-Méchain, M; Correa, ZR; de Sousa, TR; Bayona, LR; Roopsind, A; Rudas, A; Rutishauser, E; Abu Salim, K; Salomão, RP; Schietti, J; Sheil, D; Silva, RC; Espejo, JS; Valeria, CS; Silveira, M; Simo-Droissart, M; Simon, MF; Singh, J; Soto Shareva, YC; Stahl, C; Stropp, J; Sukri, R; Sunderland, T; Svátek, M; Swaine, MD; Swamy, V; Taedoumg, H; Talbot, J; Taplin, J; Taylor, D; Ter Steege, H; Terborgh, J; Thomas, R; Thomas, SC; Torres-Lezama, A; Umunay, P; Gamarra, LV; van der Heijden, G; van der Hout, P; van der Meer, P; van Nieuwstadt, M; Verbeeck, H; Vernimmen, R; Vicentini, A; Vieira, ICG; Torre, EV; Vleminckx, J; Vos, V; Wang, O; White, LJT; Willcock, S; Woods, JT; Wortel, V; Young, K; Zagt, R; Zemagho, L; Zuidema, PA; Zwerts, JA; Phillips, OL

Published Date

  • May 21, 2020

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 368 / 6493

Start / End Page

  • 869 - 874

PubMed ID

  • 32439789

Pubmed Central ID

  • 32439789

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1095-9203

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0036-8075

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1126/science.aaw7578

Language

  • eng