This section welcomes high-quality and original contributions from the natural, social and policy sciences on the impacts of global change on tropical forests and on the mitigation, management and adaptation strategies.
Tropical forests are hotspots for global change, and play a major contribution to global biodiversity, human livelihoods and planetary functioning. As such they are a nexus for scientific and policy discussions about global change and its impacts, and how to mitigate, manage and adapt to these impacts. This Specialty Section is focused on these exciting and important questions and discussions. It has a multidisciplinary compass, and we encourage submissions from the natural, social and policy sciences, and from any combination of these. Global change in this context ranges from local disturbance factors such as deforestation, degradation, fire and defaunation that scale up to global consequences, through to global interactions between tropical forests and the Earth system, such and climate change, carbon and water cycle feedbacks and global economic and policy drivers of change in tropical forests. Tropical forests are defined in a broad sense, and here include tropical woodland and woody savanna systems, novel tropical forest ecosystems, montane forests and mangroves.
Some examples of themes that would be considered are listed below. This list is not intended to be exhaustive and we encourage any papers that fall within the broad remit of this Specialty Section.
- Field studies describing the impacts of anthropogenic change on tropical forest ecology, biodiversity and function, and the ability of tropical forests to recover from such change. Anthropogenic change includes both direct local drivers (e.g. logging, defaunation, fire) and indirect drivers (elevated carbon dioxide).
- Studies of the impact of climate change and climate extreme events (e.g. droughts, extreme storms) on tropical forests.
- Studies of the physiology, ecology, biogeography or functioning of tropical forest ecosystems that can give insight into how them may respond to global change.
- Remote sensing approaches to monitoring change in tropical forests.
- Modelling studies examining tropical forest future scenarios and tropical forest interactions with global atmospheric change.
- Paleoecological and historical studies of past tropical forest response to climatic or anthropogenic change, where these can give insights into contemporary or future change.
- Studies that describe and quantify the ecosystem services provided by tropical forests (e.g. carbon sinks and stores, hydrological and climate services, pollination, pest control) that may provide incentives for tropical forest conservation and restoration.
- Studies of tropical forests as socio-ecological systems, at scales ranging from local to global, with a focus on the factors that drive change or resilience in tropical forests.
- Examination of the potential and challenges of slowing down the loss of tropical forest or of enhancing tropical forest restoration, and the effectiveness of tropical forest conservation or sustainable development.
- Examination of national or international policy that influences drivers of change in tropical forests in negative or positive ways.
Papers from single site studies are only encouraged if they include insights that have the potential for scalability in the context of global change.
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Tropical Forests welcomes submissions of the following article types: Case Report, Correction, Data Report, Editorial, General Commentary, Hypothesis and Theory, Methods, Mini Review, Opinion, Original Research, Perspective, Policy and Practice Reviews, Policy Brief, Review, Specialty Grand Challenge, Systematic Review and Technology and Code.
All manuscripts must be submitted directly to the section Tropical Forests, where they are peer-reviewed by the Associate and Review Editors of the specialty section.
Articles published in the section Tropical Forests will benefit from the Frontiers impact and tiering system after online publication. Authors of published original research with the highest impact, as judged democratically by the readers, will be invited by the Chief Editor to write a Frontiers Focused Review - a tier-climbing article. This is referred to as "democratic tiering". The author selection is based on article impact analytics of original research published in all Frontiers specialty journals and sections. Focused Reviews are centered on the original discovery, place it into a broader context, and aim to address the wider community across all of Forests and Global Change.
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