About this Research Topic
Environmental gradients – such as moisture, salinity, disturbance, latitude – are a fundamental tool used by ecologists to explore the relationships between organisms and their environment. Likewise, gradients can be used to better understand and predict the current and potential impacts of climate change on species, ecological communities, and ecosystems. Under climate change, species are expected to shift their distributions along environmental gradients, although to differing degrees, likely resulting in changes in species assemblages, niche use and resource availability. Neotropical forests – with their rich diversity of species assemblages and niches, as well as topographic and environmental variability – lend themselves well to applying gradient analysis to explore climate change-related processes and impacts.
To what extent are species and ecological communities expected to shift, recombine or retreat to refugia? What factors appear to be the most important for determining which species shift and by how much? We are looking for research that explores how species, trophic groups or ecological communities respond or are predicted to respond to environmental and anthropogenic gradients in tropical ecosystems. Creative applications of gradient analysis are especially encouraged. All manuscripts will be considered, though preference will be given to studies with broad applications, including those focusing on wide-ranging taxa, multiple taxonomic groups or habitat types, trophic interactions, and globally significant biogeographic regions or ecosystems.
Keywords: Biogeography, Climate Change, Climate Model, Environmental Gradient, Gradient Analysis, Species Distribution, Tropical Ecosystem, Tropical Forest
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