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Long-term droughts may drive drier tropical forests towards increased functional, taxonomic and phylogenetic homogeneity
Univ Oxford, Environm Change Inst, Sch Geog & Environm, Oxford, England.;Naturalis Biodivers Ctr, Biodivers Dynam, Leiden, Netherlands..
Univ Oxford, Environm Change Inst, Sch Geog & Environm, Oxford, England..ORCID iD: 0000-0002-3503-4783
Univ Leeds, Sch Geog, Ecol & Global Change, Leeds, W Yorkshire, England.;UCL, Dept Geog, London, England..
Univ Plymouth, Sch Geog Earth & Environm Sci, Plymouth, Devon, England..
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2020 (English)In: Nature Communications, E-ISSN 2041-1723, Vol. 11, no 1Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Tropical ecosystems adapted to high water availability may be highly impacted by climatic changes that increase soil and atmospheric moisture deficits. Many tropical regions are experiencing significant changes in climatic conditions, which may induce strong shifts in taxonomic, functional and phylogenetic diversity of forest communities. However, it remains unclear if and to what extent tropical forests are shifting in these facets of diversity along climatic gradients in response to climate change. Here, we show that changes in climate affected all three facets of diversity in West Africa in recent decades. Taxonomic and functional diversity increased in wetter forests but tended to decrease in forests with drier climate. Phylogenetic diversity showed a large decrease along a wet-dry climatic gradient. Notably, we find that all three facets of diversity tended to be higher in wetter forests. Drier forests showed functional, taxonomic and phylogenetic homogenization. Understanding how different facets of diversity respond to a changing environment across climatic gradients is essential for effective long-term conservation of tropical forest ecosystems. Different aspects of biodiversity may not necessarily converge in their response to climate change. Here, the authors investigate 25-year shifts in taxonomic, functional and phylogenetic diversity of tropical forests along a spatial climate gradient in West Africa, showing that drier forests are less stable than wetter forests.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Springer Nature , 2020. Vol. 11, no 1
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Climate Research Ecology
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URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-419698DOI: 10.1038/s41467-020-16973-4ISI: 000546623500046PubMedID: 32620761OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-419698DiVA, id: diva2:1471322
Funder
EU, European Research Council, GEM-TRAIT: 321131EU, European Research Council, T-FORCES:291585EU, European Research Council, TFORCES: 291585Available from: 2020-09-28 Created: 2020-09-28 Last updated: 2023-03-28Bibliographically approved

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Zieminska, Kasia

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