Tuesday, November 27, 2018 - 4:00pm
Tropical forests have fascinated ecologists and the public for centuries because of their extraordinary diversity at both local and regional scales. Recent attention has also recognized the critical role that tropical forests play in mitigating global carbon cycling and has underlined the threats they face from contemporary global changes. Yet predictions of the consequences of global change on biodiversity and ecosystem services have been hampered by uncertainties both in forest composition across geographic and environmental gradients and in the key functional components associated with species turnover.
In this presentation, Dr. Baraloto will share his perspectives on the current state of knowledge and key challenges to unravelling the functional aspects of Amazonian forest biodiversity. In particular, he will address three interdigitated questions (i) what processes shape Amazonian forest tree composition? (ii) what is forest functional diversity and how is it related to taxonomic diversity? and (iii) what are the consequences of anthropogenic impacts on forest functional diversity and the potential cascades for ecosystem services?