Tropical Dry Deciduous Forest: Research Trends and Emerging Features

; R.K Chaturvedi

Tropical dry deciduous forests (TDFs) can be found in severe and extremely variable climates characterized by low annual rainfall, 5-6 dry months within the annual cycle, and nutrient-poor soil. Several terms have been used for this vegetation type such as seasonally dry tropical forest (SDTF), tropical dry deciduous forest, monsoon forest, caatinga, cuabal, etc. Les mer
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Om boka

Tropical dry deciduous forests (TDFs) can be found in severe and extremely variable climates characterized by low annual rainfall, 5-6 dry months within the annual cycle, and nutrient-poor soil. Several terms have been used for this vegetation type such as seasonally dry tropical forest (SDTF), tropical dry deciduous forest, monsoon forest, caatinga, cuabal, etc.

More than any other factor, the lack of precipitation during a prolonged portion of the year is what produces true dry forest, an ecosystem type characterized by plants and animals with specific adaptations to survive the long dry season. Deciduousness is the single most important adaptation among plants to the extended droughts. Most of the trees drop their leaves after the rains end, and essentially halt photosynthesis, as they would otherwise be unable to survive the water loss during the dry season.

TDFs are subject to intensive anthropogenic disturbances and are among the most at-risk ecosystems in the world. In order to assess the conservation status of this forest type, information is required on its distribution pattern, climate, the structure and functional traits of its vegetation, phenology, strategies for coping with drought and nutrient poverty, and disturbances and their effects. In this book, we review important studies on TDFs around the globe, particularly those in the northern dry deciduous forests of India. We put forward the claim that those TDFs that experience drought and arise on nutrient-poor sites feature adaptations such as deciduousness, as well as a variety of nutrient conservation strategies. They also experience biotic disturbances, which can result in fragmentation and ecosystem conversion, and therefore exhibit changes in biomass, productivity, and soil microbial biomass, etc.

Fakta

Innholdsfortegnelse

Introduction.- Global coverage, climate and soil.- Vegetation attributes.- Plant traits and regeneration.- Productivity and nutrient cycling.- Influence of biotic pressure and land-use changes.- Research perspectives.

Om forfatteren

Dr. J. S. Singh is an Indian ecologist, academic and a former Professor of Botany at Banaras Hindu University.

The Council of Scientific and Industrial Research awarded Singh the Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Prize, one of India's most prestigious science awards, in 1980. He was selected for the Pitamber Pant National Environment Fellowship by the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change in 1984, and for the Pranavanand Saraswati Award by the University Grants Commission of India in 1985. The Indian Botanical Society awarded him the Birbal Sahni Gold Medal in 1999 and he received the Prof. S. B. Saksena Memorial Medal of the Indian National Science Academy the same year. He has won the Honor of Distinction of the Society for Protection of Environment and Sustainable Development (2003) and the Lifetime Achievement Award of the AWA (2005).



Dr. Ravi Kant Chaturvedi is a Postdoctoral Fellow at Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Yunnan, China. He has received a National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC) Research Fund for International Young Scientists.