Impacts of warming on tropical lowland rainforests
Before the end of this century, tropical rainforests will be subject to climatic conditions that have not existed anywhere on Earth for millions of years. These forests are the most species-rich ecosystems in the world and play a crucial role in regulating carbon and water feedbacks in the global climate system; therefore, it is important that the porbable impacts of anthropogenic climate change are understood. However, the recent literature shows a striking range of views on the vulnerability of tropical rainforests, from least to most concern among major ecosystems. This review, which focuses on the impact of rising temperatures, examines the evidence for and against high vulnerability, identifies key research needs for resolving current differences and suggests ways of mitigating or adapting to potential impacts.