Associate Professor Jeremy Lichstein coauthored two recent papers on forest dynamics in the journal Science. The first paper, titled “Demographic trade-offs predict tropical forest dynamics,” used data from a tropical forest in Panama and a computer simulation model to show that two ecological tradeoffs – one between growth and survivorship, and another between early reproduction and adult stature – are critical to understanding tropical forest diversity and how these forests regrow after disturbances. The paper was featured in articles by the UF CLAS media office and The Guardian. The second paper, titled “Pervasive shifts in forest dynamics in a changing world,” reviewed data and model projections for forests all over the world to demonstrate that climate change, drought, land-use change, and other disturbances are causing shifts towards shorter, lower-biomass forests, and that these trends are expected to continue over coming decades. These trends indicate the precariousness of ecosystem services provided by forests to people. These ecosystem services include the global forest carbon sink, which sequesters CO2 from the atmosphere and currently offsets about 25% of human CO2 emissions each year.
Link to first paper: https://science.sciencemag.org/content/368/6487/165
UF CLAS article: https://news.clas.ufl.edu/protecting-tropical-forests-by-predicting-their-growth/
The Guardian article: https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2020/apr/09/tolkein-was-right-giant-trees-have-towering-role-in-protecting-forests#maincontent
Link to second paper: https://science.sciencemag.org/content/368/6494/eaaz9463