Increasing tree mortality in a warmer world

Last updated: 16 Mar, 2018

A mixture of factors is contributing to an increasing mortality rate of trees in the moist tropics. Trees in some areas are dying at about twice the rate that they were 35 years ago, according to a far-reaching study examining tree health in the tropical zone that spans South America to Africa to Southeast Asia.


Scientists believe the trend will continue.


Lead author of the Tansley review, Nate McDowell.


“No matter how you look at it, trees in the moist tropics will likely die at elevated rates through the end of this century relative to their mortality rates in the past,” said Nate McDowell of the US Department of Energy’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, who is lead author of the study published in New Phytologist.


Continue reading on the New Phyt blog.


Read the paper: McDowell, N., Allen, C. D., Anderson-Teixeira, K., et al. (2018) Drivers and mechanisms of tree mortality in moist tropical forestsNew Phytologist. doi: 10.1111/nph.15027