William Farfan-Rios, Washington University in Saint Louis
Belen o Fadrique, University of Miami
Tropical ecosystems are facing a rapidly changing world raising pressing questions about the effects of climate change in tropical forests. In this symposium, we will present different approaches to evidence the effects of climate change in the species composition and ecosystem function across the Andes-to-Amazon forests.
Tropical forests are facing a rapidly changing world. One of the central questions in current ecology is to understand how these tropical forests are responding to climate change. Climate change is hypothesized to cause shifts in species distributions and changes in community composition and tree performance across environmental gradients, potentially leading to novel species assemblages and shifts in ecosystem properties. However, the question of how tropical plant communities are responding to climate change across large-scale environmental gradients remains largely unexplored, in particular across the continuous Andean-Amazonian elevational gradient. The overarching goal of the proposed symposium is to congregate researchers from different parts of the world working in the Andes-Amazon regions to advance our mechanistic understanding of species- and community-level responses to environmental changes. Our focus is to integrate studies based on long-term inventory forest plots with multiple censuses overtime. In this symposium, we aim to share results from studies that scale from individual species- to community-level. Specifically, we will be discussing results on the effects of climate change in (1) species composition, (2) biotic attrition, (3) taxonomic homogenization, and (4) tree growth across Andean-Amazonian forests of Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, and Venezuela. We believe that the proposed topic will have broader interest for the ATBC community because it will be centered in one of the most diverse regions of the world where changes in land use and climate change are the main threats to biodiversity. In addition, we endeavor to identify studies connecting the Andes and Amazon regions that represent the current stage of knowledge of tropical forests' responses to environmental changes, which are important to land managers and conservation efforts.
Photo by Kristell Hergoualc'h/CIFOR