The extent of eastern Andean tree line (EATL) over the last 30 years – a global analysis in the context of Amazonia’s climate adaptation

Project Leader: Przemysław Żelazowski Project period: 2015 - 2019
Project funding: NCN
Project description:

The project financed in 2015 by the National Science Centre (competition Sonata; 650 000 PLN). Since the mid-1970s, tropical equatorial forests have been under the influence of strong warming, averaging 0.26 degrees Celsius per decade. The expected result is a change in species distribution. This hypothesis is supported by studies showing both paleoecological and modern changes in ranges. Similarly, the range of the eastern Andean forest (ZLWA), the western boundary of the Amazon forest, can be expected to move upwards together with ‘migrating’ trees according to their climatic niche. However, despite the fact that recent studies from inside the Andean forests indeed show migration, the overall scientific evidence for the whole border (about 3,000 km) is ambiguous. This project’s main goals are: (i) create a set of spatially-continuous representations of EATL over ~30 years, (ii) test whether EATL location has changed in that period, and (iii) examine mechanisms responsible for EATL dynamism. The initial results were presented at the European Conference of Tropical Ecology in Paris (26-29 March 2018).

Laboratory of Remote Sensing and Environmental Modelling