How Past and Future Climate and Drought Drive Radial-Growth Variability of Three Tree Species in a Bolivian Tropical Dry Forest

  • J. Julio CamareroEmail author
  • Hooz A. Mendivelso
  • Raúl Sánchez-Salguero


Seasonally, dry tropical forests (SDTFs) are among the most diverse and threatened biomes in America. Several tree species coexist in these forests but their long-term growth responses to climate are unknown, and this is needed to make growth forecasts as a function of climate scenarios. We investigated the responses to climate, drought and ocean-atmosphere patterns of three tree species (Acosmium cardenasii H.S. Irwin & Arroyo, Centrolobium microchaete (Mart. ex Benth.) H.C. de Lima ex G.P. Lewis and Zeyheria tuberculosa (Vell.) Bureau coexisting in a Bolivian dry tropical forest. Species chronologies of ring-width indices were related to temperature, precipitation, drought indices and sea temperatures. A growth model was also used to forecast growth variability. C. microchaete and A. cardenasii presented similar year-to-year growth variability. Cool and wet conditions enhanced growth. Shorter droughts constrained more growth of C. microchaete and A. cardenasii, whilst longer droughts negatively impacted Z. tuberculosa. These different growth responses to climate and drought contribute to explain the coexistence of tree species in SDTFs. The growth patterns of the study species are valuable climate proxies for Bolivia. Forecasted warmer conditions after the 2050s will differently affect the growth variability of these species depending on their responses to climate and drought.


Acosmium cardenasii Centrolobium microchaete Chiquitano forest Climate change scenarios Drought Zeyheria tuberculosa 



We thank colleagues at the Instituto Boliviano de Investigación Forestal (IBIF) for their support, particularly V. Vroomans and M. Toledo (now director of the “Museo de Historia Natural Noel Kempff Mercado”), and INPA Co. staff (P. Roosenboom, G. Urbano) for allowing the field sampling. This research was funded by the project “Análisis retrospectivos mediante dendrocronología para profundizar en la ecología y mejorar la gestión de los bosques tropicales secos (Dentropicas)” financed by BBVA Foundation.


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Instituto Pirenaico de Ecología (IPE-CSIC)ZaragozaSpain
  2. 2.Grupo Ecología de Organismos (GEO-UPTC), Universidad Pedagógica y Tecnológica de Colombia, Sede TunjaTunjaColombia
  3. 3.Depto. Sistemas Físicos, Químicos y NaturalesUniversidad Pablo de OlavideSevillaSpain

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