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Biodiversity and geodiversity in the tropics

Tropical ecosystems are globally important because of their role in climate systems, the carbon cycle and in housing terrestrial biodiversity.

Tree plot data

We seek to place modern ecosystem function into a broad context by observing changes in tropical ecosystems through time and space, with a specific focus on the alteration of land cover, climate feedbacks, and the processes that generate and maintain biodiversity. The type of research questions people within ELD are addressing include:

  • How vulnerable are tropical landscapes to projected climate change?
  • What was the impact of Quaternary glacial-interglacial climate cycles on tropical vegetation?
  • How have human populations, past and present, shaped tropical biodiversity, carbon stocks, hydrology, and landscapes?
  • Why are the tropics so biodiverse?