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Tropical Forests and Global Atmospheric Change$
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Yadvinder Malhi and Oliver Phillips

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780198567066

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198567066.001.0001

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The prospects for tropical forests in the twenty-first-century atmosphere

The prospects for tropical forests in the twenty-first-century atmosphere

(p.215) CHAPTER 18 The prospects for tropical forests in the twenty-first-century atmosphere
Tropical Forests and Global Atmospheric Change

Oliver L. Phillips

Yadvinder Malhi

Oxford University Press

At the start of the 21st century the human race lives in a radically altered biosphere, and in an atmosphere that is shifting rapidly to conditions with no direct analogue in Earth's prehistory. These atmospheric changes are certain to have impacts on the Earth's ecosystems, but the complexity of these ecosystems and the multiplicity of processes and scales make the exact nature of these impacts difficult to tease out. This book has examined the potential impacts on the most complex of terrestrial ecosystems, the great tropical forests, and addresses the important question: what will (any remaining) mature old-growth tropical forests look like at the end of this century? Answering this question has implications for conservation, global biodiversity, and global biogeochemical cycling, as well as being a test for our understanding of natural- and human-impacted ecosystems.

Keywords:   tropical forests, atmospheric changes, biomass, forest dynamics, forest structure, carbon dioxide, species composition

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