, Volume 18, Issue 4, pp 501-514

The community ecology of Asian rain forests, in relation to catastrophic events

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Although natural catastrophic disturbance of tropical forests in Asia can be caused by volcanism and earthquakes climate-induced catastrophes are most widespread. These are prevalent and most diverse at high tropical latitudes because of the single annual dry and wet monsoon. Comparative studies indicate that periodicity of catastrophes may influence forest physiognomy, structure and species richness but long-term research in sample plots suggests that a variety of other factors are locally influential. The importance of accounting for natural catastrophes in silvicultural protocols is stressed, and research priorities identified.