Chapter

Tropical Rainforest Responses to Climatic Change

Part of the series Springer Praxis Books pp 315-341

Date:

Biogeochemical cycling in tropical forests

  • M. E. McGroddyAffiliated withDepartment of Biology, West Virginia University Email author 
  • , W. L. SilverAffiliated withEcosystem Sciences Division, Department of Environmental Science, Policy, and Management, University of California

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Abstract

Increased inputs of greenhouse gases have altered the composition of the atmosphere over the past 150 years (IPCC, 2001, 2007), resulting in shifts in temperature and precipitation around the globe. The scientific community has put an enormous effort into understanding the causes of these changes, and predicting future climate and the interactions between climate and the biosphere that may moderate or accelerate current trends. Most of the research on climate change has focused on boreal and north temperate ecosystems where temperature shifts are predicted to be the largest (IPCC, 2001, 2007). These ecosystems are often characterized by deep organic soils that present the potential for a strong positive feedback to climate change (Oechel et al., 1998; Vourlitis and Oechel, 1997; Hobbie et al., 2002).