What is it about?

Local soil hydrology, linked to water table depth, has been mostly neglected in studies of forest ecology, but we show here has a key role in determining forest traits, functioning, and responses to droughts. We advance a conceptual model integrating environment and trait distributions over hydrological gradients to predict climate change effects.

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Why is it important?

Shallow water table forests may function as "ecological refugia" (i.e. places that maintain favorable conditions) for biodiversity and ecosystem services, during climate change induced droughts. This study shows how this might happen and assembles the evidences in favor of this hypothesis.


This study is intended to foster the incorporation of still neglected components of the hydrological cycle (i.e. groundwater) in the full understanding of forest functioning.

Flávia Costa
Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas da Amazônia

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This page is a summary of: The other side of tropical forest drought: do shallow water table regions of Amazonia act as large‐scale hydrological refugia from drought?, New Phytologist, January 2022, Wiley, DOI: 10.1111/nph.17914.
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