Predicting the future of tropical forests
Field research provides new data advancing our ability to project how tropical forests will respond to a changing climate.
Tropical forests store vast amounts of carbon and play a key role in regulating Earth’s climate. As climate changes, these ecosystems have the potential to become a net contributor to
While the 2017 hurricane season dramatically impacted the TRACE site, the project is continuing and will have a unique opportunity to explore how the ecosystem responds to a major natural disturbance. Over the next phase, researchers will measure temperature effects on a wide range of biological processes important to carbon cycling. Results will help reduce the uncertainties surrounding tropical forest responses to increasing temperatures, including whether these ecosystems will become net sources of carbon to the atmosphere rather than carbon sinks.
1 Wood, T.E., M.A. Cavaleri, and S.C. Reed. 2012. Tropical forest carbon balance in a warmer world: A critical review spanning microbial- to ecosystem-scale processes. Biological Reviews 87 (4), 912–927. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1469-185X.2012.00232.x