Publication Details

Title: Not the same old(‐growth) forests

Author(s): Marcos Longo; Michael Keller[External Site: Opens in New Window]

Year: 2019

Source: New Phytologist

Abstract: How will biodiverse tropical forest ecosystems respond to ongoing and future changes in climate and land use? While tropical forests play essential roles in the Earth’s carbon (C), energy and water cycles, our understanding of how these cycles operate in tropical forests is limited. Tropical forest structure and function depend on the distribution of organisms and their environment governed by multiple factors such as climate, edaphic characteristics, nutrient availability, and natural and anthropogenic disturbance histories (Baraloto et al., 2012; Quesada et al., 2012; Longo et al., 2016). Our understanding of the economic spectrum and the covariance of leaf and wood traits across tropical species and across environmental gradients is growing (Baraloto et al., 2010). However, trait studies in tropical forests are biased toward oldgrowth forests, and this limits our understanding of how plant communities respond to the increasing influence of humans on tropical ecosystems (Lewis et al., 2015). Seeking to represent tropical forests in a changing world, it is fundamental that we also understand and quantify the effects of anthropogenic disturbance on trait expression in all tropical forests. The comprehensive work and analysis by Both et al. published in this issue of New Phytologist (pp. 1853–1865) provides essential information on how soil characteristics and anthropogenic disturbance history modulate trait variability across selectively logged and intact forests in southeast Asia.

Citation: Longo, Marcos; Keller, Michael. 2019. Not the same old(‐growth) forests. New Phytologist. 221(4): 1672-1675.

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Page last modified: 06/28/2019