RIVERSIDE, Calif. (http://www.ucr.edu) — A University of California, Riverside associate professor has co-edited a just-published book on how tropical forests are responding to climate change.
The book, "Tropical Tree Physiology: Adaptations and Responses in a Changing Environment," was published by Springer. Louis Santiago, an associate professor of physiological ecology at UC Riverside, co-edited the book with Guillermo Goldstein, a professor emeritus at the University of Miami.
The book includes chapters co-authored by Santiago; Mark E. De Guzman, one of Santiago's graduate students; Exequiel Ezcurra, a professor of ecology at UC Riverside; and Eleinis Avila-Lovera, a graduate student working with Ezcurra.
Santiago has studied tropical forests for more than 20 years and regularly travels to the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama to conduct research.
He said the book, which was first discussed in 2007 and written during the past three years, provides a refreshed view on tropical ecology. (The last book written in the field, "Tropical Forest Plant Ecophysiology," was published in 1996.)
The book provides information on tropical tree physiology to help address important questions surrounding issues such as deforestation and global climate change.
The scarcity of information on the physiological responses of trees is the greatest source of uncertainly in predicting how the tropical rain forests, which process one-third of the carbon processed on Earth, will respond to increasing greenhouse gases, in particular atmospheric carbon dioxide, Santiago said.
The physiology of tropical trees has not been as well studied as the physiology of trees from temperate regions, leading to major gaps in the understanding of how tropical trees interact with the Earth system over a range of scales, he said.