March 1 2012

10:00 LSB 2320

Christopher Dick
Dept of EE Bio, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor

Resilience of Tropical Forests to Global Warming: Insights from Phylogeography


Rain forest has been a persistent feature in South America for ≥55 million years. However, climate-envelope models predict that future air temperature increases will cause pervasive tree species extinction in tropical lowlands, and some biosphere models predict widespread Amazon forest die-off. I present a phylogeographic analysis in which the ages of widespread Amazon tree species were estimated to determine if they have persisted though times when air temperatures were similar to IPCC predictions for 2100. Nine of the 12 study species originated and had broad geographic distributions prior to the Pleistocene when air temperatures were warmer than today, and similar to 2100 projections under mid-range anthropogenic emissions scenarios. These results suggest that, all else being equal, near-term high temperature induced Amazon tree species extinction is less likely than expectations based on niche modeling.











































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































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