BDFFP Scientists' Research on Palm Trees Holds Key to Assessing Climate Change in Tropical Forests

Researchers at our Biological Dynamics of Forest Fragments Project (BDFFP) recently published their findings about palm trees, which has implications for calculating carbon and biomass in tropical rainforests, and therefore also for assessing and addressing climate change. Palm trees differ in key ways from other types of trees, and their distribution in tropical forests can vary greatly. Until now, no one had studied the variation in numbers of palm trees in tropical regions.


Two scientists from the forest fragments project – Bob Muscarella and Thaise Emilio – led over 200 co-authors from 48 countries to create the first global assessment to quantify palm tree populations in tropical forests, recently published in Global Ecology and Biogeography.

The study results show that in the Neotropical rainforests (such as Amazonia), palms are more than five times more numerous than in comparable Asian and African forests. The new study confirmed what scientists have suspected, that palm trees are more plentiful in wetter areas with less fertile soils and shallow groundwater.


You can read more about the research here: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/geb.13123


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