Pantropical variation in soils of the tropical dry forest (TDF) biome is enormously high but has been poorly characterized. To quantify variation in the global distribution of TDF soil physical and chemical properties in relation to climate and geology, we produced a synthesis using 7500 points of data with gridded fields representing lithologic, edaphic, and climatic characteristics. Our analyses reveal that 75 TDF ecoregions across five biogeographic domains (Afrotropical, Australasian, Indo-Malayan, Neotropical, and Oceanian) varied strongly with respect to parent material: sediment (57%), metamorphic (22%), volcanic (13%), and plutonic (7%). TDF ecoregions support remarkably high variability in soil suborders (32), with the Neotropical and Oceanian realms being especially diverse. As a whole, TDF soils trend strongly toward low fertility with strong variation across biogeographic domains. Similarly, the exhibited soil properties marked heterogeneity across biogeographic domains, with soil depth varying by an order of magnitude and total organic C, N, and P pools varying threefold. Organic C and N pool sizes were negatively correlated with mean annual temperature (MAT) and positively correlated with mean annual precipitation (MAP). By contrast, the distribution of soil P pools was positively influenced by both MAT and MAP and likely by soil geochemistry, due to high variations in soil parent material across the biogeographic domains. The results summarized here raise important questions as to how climate and parent material control soil biogeochemical processes in TDFs.
soil climate relationships
Rivero-Villar, Anaitzi; de la Pe a-Domene, Marin s; Rodr guez-Tapia, Gerardo; Giardina, Christian P.; Campo, Julio. 2022. A pantropical overview of soils across tropical dry forest ecoregions. Sustainability. 14(11): 6803. https://doi.org/10.3390/su14116803.