Publication
Title
Patterns of tropical forest understory temperatures
Author
Abstract
Temperature is a fundamental driver of species distribution and ecosystem functioning. Yet, our knowledge of the microclimatic conditions experienced by organisms inside tropical forests remains limited. This is because ecological studies often rely on coarse-gridded temperature estimates representing the conditions at 2 m height in an open-air environment (i.e., macroclimate). In this study, we present a high-resolution pantropical estimate of near-ground (15 cm above the surface) temperatures inside forests. We quantify diurnal and seasonal variability, thus revealing both spatial and temporal microclimate patterns. We find that on average, understory near-ground temperatures are 1.6 degrees C cooler than the open-air temperatures. The diurnal temperature range is on average 1.7 degrees C lower inside the forests, in comparison to open-air conditions. More importantly, we demonstrate a substantial spatial variability in the microclimate characteristics of tropical forests. This variability is regulated by a combination of large-scale climate conditions, vegetation structure and topography, and hence could not be captured by existing macroclimate grids. Our results thus contribute to quantifying the actual thermal ranges experienced by organisms inside tropical forests and provide new insights into how these limits may be affected by climate change and ecosystem disturbances. This study reveals the spatial and temporal patterns of temperature buffer inside the tropical forests. It provides insights into the forests' microclimate that controls the functioning of living organisms residing under the forest canopy.
Language
English
Source (journal)
Nature communications
Publication
2024
ISSN
2041-1723
DOI
10.1038/S41467-024-44734-0
Volume/pages
15 :1 (2024) , p. 1-10
Article Reference
549
ISI
001148344300002
Pubmed ID
38263406
Full text (Publisher's DOI)
Full text (open access)
UAntwerpen
Faculty/Department
Research group
Project info
ASsessing and mitigating the effects of climate change and biological Invasions on the spatial redistribution of biodiversity in Cold environmentS (ASICS)
Publication type
Subject
Affiliation
Publications with a UAntwerp address
External links
Web of Science
Record
Identifier
Creation 04.03.2024
Last edited 08.03.2024
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