ForestPlots.net's partners are dedicated to understanding the lives of trees and ecosystems. Measurements of individual trees in hundreds of locations using standardised techniques allows the behaviour of tropical forests to be measured, monitored and understood.
Forests are the heart and lungs of our planet. They house species, regulate climate, and support humanity. These roles are critically concentrated in the tropics, where they store a quarter of Earth’s living carbon, generate one third its productivity, and provide a home to half its species. Understanding their fate has never been more important than now, with environmental changes affecting even the remotest tropical forests.
Tropical forests face uncertainty under climate change, but our new study suggests they can continue to store large amounts of carbon in a warmer world, but only if they are left intact and global warming is limited to 2oC above pre-industrial levels.
This study is published in Science. 'Long-term thermal sensitivity of Earth’s tropical forests'. M. Sullivan et al 2020. 10.1126/science.aaw7578
Amazon forest canopy at dawn, Brazil. Image courtesy of ©Peter van der Sleen 2009.
Lianas in Barro Colorado Island in Panama. Image courtesy of ©Yadvinder Malhi 2002