Long-term climate effects on interannual variation in tropical forest reproduction: a global perspective


Long-term climate effects on interannual variation in tropical forest reproduction: a global perspective

Wed, July 13,  10:30 - 12:30 hrs, Room: 303


Jess Zimmerman, S Joseph Wright, Margaret Metz

Climate drivers, natural disturbance, and anthropogenic influences on long-term (>20 year) patterns of plant reproduction in tropical forests have been studied using a common set of methodologies fostering important insights into our changing tropical forests.

Climate has a strong influence on seasonal and interannual patterns of flowering, fruiting, and seedling germination in the trees and lianas that dominate tropical forests. These responses to natural and anthropogenic climate drivers constitute important bottom-up controls on tropical forest food webs. Thus, plant reproduction provides an important nexus for understanding how future climate changes might affect the biodiversity of tropical forests. A number of forest dynamics plots (FDPs) in the Forest Global Earth Observatory (ForestGEO) Network employ weekly to bimonthly samples of seeds and flowers from passive collectors, spatially linked to annually-censused seedling plots to study temporal patterns of forest reproduction using a common methodology. Some of these records now exceed twenty years in length (up to 33 years), providing a critical opportunity to study the key long-term drivers of forest reproduction. A common methodology assures direct comparisons among the diverse tropical forests represented by the ForestGEO network and the ability to distinguish common climate drivers (e.g., the El Niño - Southern Oscillation) from anthropogenic influences (e.g., rising temperatures and atmospheric CO2 concentrations) as well as the influence of natural disturbances (e.g., frost, snow storms, cyclonic storms). At last record, 24 ForestGEO sites were utilizing this methodology to study forest reproduction, offering a global perspective on climate and forest reproduction. ATBC meeting attendees will find the symposium of interest because of the long-term perspective on forest dynamics and will be intrigued by the robust results provided by a common approach to an important problem addressing the future of tropical forest biodiversity.

Proximate cues of flowering in a subtropical rain forest
Chia-Hao Chang-Yang*, Po-Hui Chiang, Chang-Fu Hsieh and I-Fang Sun

The proximate cues for flowering in a tropical moist forest
S Joseph Wright*, Osvaldo Calderon and Helene Muller-Landau

Flowering phenology in a lowland mixed dipterocarp forest
Yu-Yun Chen*, I-Fang Sun, Matteo Detto, Stephen Hubbell, Tze Leong Yao and S Joseph Wright

Inter-annual changes in plant phenology in a tropical ever-wet forest community of Western Amazonia
Jason Vleminckx*, J. Aaron Hogan, Nancy Garwood, Margaret Metz, Renato Valencia, S Joseph Wright, Simon Queenborough and Liza Comita