IGN 3-8
"Missing" forests: Including seasonally dry tropical forests in models

Tuesday, August 11, 2015
345, Baltimore Convention Center
David M. Medvigy, Department of Geosciences, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ
Xiangtao Xu, Department of Geosciences, Princeton University, NJ
Justin Becknell, Department of Biological Sciences, University of Alabama
Jennifer S. Powers, Ecology, Evolution and Behavior, University of Minnesota, St. Paul, MN
Despite stretching over 42% of potential tropical forest area, the tropical dry forest (TDF) biome has been largely overlooked by Earth System Models (ESMs). TDFs are distinguished from rainforests by their climate, vegetation, and disturbance regime. Models that do not account for these differences will poorly predict the effects of climate change on TDFs and their ecosystem services. We are using field observations to develop a viable, ESM-relevant framework for modeling TDFs based on above- and belowground functional traits. This presentation will highlight the model’s unique features, the constraints placed on the model by field observations, and critical data needs.