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Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci. 2004 Mar 29;359(1443):345-52.

Forest-climate interactions in fragmented tropical landscapes.

Author information

1
Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, Apartado 2072, Balboa, Republic of Panamá. laurancew@tivoli.si.edu

Abstract

In the tropics, habitat fragmentation alters forest-climate interactions in diverse ways. On a local scale (less than 1 km), elevated desiccation and wind disturbance near fragment margins lead to sharply increased tree mortality, thus altering canopy-gap dynamics, plant community composition, biomass dynamics and carbon storage. Fragmented forests are also highly vulnerable to edge-related fires, especially in regions with periodic droughts or strong dry seasons. At landscape to regional scales (10-1000 km), habitat fragmentation may have complex effects on forest-climate interactions, with important consequences for atmospheric circulation, water cycling and precipitation. Positive feedbacks among deforestation, regional climate change and fire could pose a serious threat for some tropical forests, but the details of such interactions are poorly understood.

PMID:
15212089
PMCID:
PMC1693331
DOI:
10.1098/rstb.2003.1430
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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