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Temperature increases causing tropical forests to blossom, according to study
Date:7/8/2013

The seasonally dry site, according to Pau, has been producing more flowers at an average rate of 3 percent each year over the last several decades, an increase that appears to be tied to warming temperatures.

"We studied flowers because their growth is a measure of the reproductive health and overall growth of the forests, and because there is long-term data on flower production available," Pau said.

The amount of sunlight reaching tropical forests due to varying amounts of cloud cover is an important factor, just not the most important when it comes to flower production.

"Clouds are a huge uncertainty in understanding the impacts of climate change on tropical forests," Pau said. "Both sites still appear to respond positively to increases in light availability. Yet temperature was the most consistent factor across multiple time-scales.

"With most projections of future climate change, people have emphasized the impact on high-latitude ecosystems because that is where temperatures will increase the most," Pau said. "The tropics, which are already warm, probably won't experience as much of a temperature increase as high-latitude regions. Even so, we're showing that these tropical forests are still really sensitive to small degrees of change."


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Contact: Stephanie Pau
spau@fsu.edu
850-644-8377
Florida State University
Source:Eurekalert

Page: 1 2

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