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Intraspecific variation in drought responses of tropical trees - consequences for species distributions under climate change. A collaborative research effort in progress

Bettina Engelbrecht1, Liza Comita2, Andy Jones2, Eric Manzane2, Ivania Ceron Souza3
1 BayCEER, University of Bayreuth, Germany
2 Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, Panama
3 Department of Botany and Plant Pathology, Oregon State University, USA

P 2.8 in …We collaborate with other disciplines and learn from each other.

Tropical forests harbor the majority of the Earth’s terrestrial diversity and play a critical role in regional and global carbon and water cycles. Shifts of precipitation patterns are one of the main consequences of global climate change projected for the tropics, with potentially large consequences for tropical forests.

Here we present a collaborative research effort aiming to assess intraspecific variation in tropical tree species’ drought responses and determine the relative contributions of phenotypic plasticity and adaptive genetic variation, as well as the underlying traits driving observed intraspecific variation. The knowledge generated will be useful for predicting shifts in the distribution of tree species (including commercially valuable ones) with global climate change, and for designing management, restoration and conservation strategies to preserve tropical forest diversity and function under present and future conditions.

last modified 2014-09-30