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Climate change and forest dynamics: three decades of monitoring
  • +10
  • Gabriela de Paula,
  • Vinicius Maia,
  • Natalia Aguiar-Campos,
  • Cleber Souza,
  • Camila Farrapo,
  • Felipe Araujo,
  • Nathalle Fagundes,
  • Polyanne Coelho,
  • Jean Morel,
  • Alisson Santos,
  • Gisele Menino,
  • Marco Aurelio Fontes,
  • Rubens Santos
Gabriela de Paula
Universidade Federal de Lavras
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Vinicius Maia
Universidade Federal de Lavras
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Natalia Aguiar-Campos
Universidade Federal de Lavras
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Cleber Souza
Universidade Federal de Lavras
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Camila Farrapo
Universidade Federal de Lavras
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Felipe Araujo
Universidade Federal de Lavras
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Nathalle Fagundes
Universidade Federal de Lavras
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Polyanne Coelho
Universidade Federal de Lavras
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Jean Morel
Universidade Federal de Lavras
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Alisson Santos
Universidade Federal de Lavras
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Gisele Menino
Instituto Federal Goiano
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Marco Aurelio Fontes
Universidade Federal de Lavras
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Rubens Santos
Universidade Federal de Lavras
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Abstract

It is well appreciated that moist tropical forests from South America have been broadly affected by climate change. However, long-term trends of seasonal forests are still largely understudied. Here, we evaluate the long-term ecological trends of seasonal Brazilian forests. We used 33 years of locally collected soil and vegetation data (837 tree species) gathered from 34 hectares of evergreen, semideciduous and deciduous forests. We expected them to be more sensitive than resilient to climate change. Across the study region, more species were extinct (315) than locally recruited (238). Locally extinct species’ niches were characterized by lower temperatures and higher precipitation. Climatic variables were the main drivers of productivity decrease, especially for larger trees. Deciduous forests were the most vulnerable for being at their ecological threshold. For encompassing a broad temporal scale, our study provided a detailed view of species responses and ecosystem function in tropical forests.