Deforestation, Water Availability, and Nutrient Cycling in Dry Forests

  • Larissa ReadEmail author
  • Christiane Runyan
  • Deborah Lawrence


Current scientific and public attention on various aspects of global change has highlighted the complex relationship between climatic events and ecological function in terrestrial ecosystems. In this chapter, we examine the complex relationships between hydrologic and nutrient cycling in dry forests, which are found in dry tropical, subtropical, and Mediterranean forests globally (Fig. 17.1). Dry tropical forests, which cover the most area within dryland forests and are more suitable for human habitation than wet tropical forests, provide an excellent example of this interaction because they display structure and function that are closely linked to sporadic rainfall. There are 25 biodiversity hotspots around the world that contain high degrees of endemism and are undergoing exceptional loss of habitat, with 11 of these hotspots containing tropical dry forests (Myers et al. 2000). Moreover, the area of dryland forest is similar in extent to the area of tropical moist forest (Bastin et al. 2017), yet these forests are more vulnerable to climate change and pressures from land use change and thus, our need to understand the complexity of dryland forest ecosystems has become increasingly important.


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Larissa Read
    • 1
    Email author
  • Christiane Runyan
    • 2
  • Deborah Lawrence
    • 3
  1. 1.Common Ground Environmental Consulting, LLCEdwardsUSA
  2. 2.Advanced Academic ProgramsJohns Hopkins UniversityWashingtonUSA
  3. 3.Department of Environmental SciencesUniversity of VirginiaCharlottesvilleUSA

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