A 10-year decrease in plant species richness on a neotropical inselberg: detrimental effects of global warming?
Article first published online: 26 MAR 2009
© 2009 Blackwell Publishing Ltd
Global Change Biology
Volume 15, Issue 10, pages 2360–2374, October 2009
How to Cite
FONTY, E., SARTHOU, C., LARPIN, D. and PONGE, J.-F. (2009), A 10-year decrease in plant species richness on a neotropical inselberg: detrimental effects of global warming?. Global Change Biology, 15: 2360–2374. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2486.2009.01923.x
- Issue published online: 4 SEP 2009
- Article first published online: 26 MAR 2009
- Received 1 October 2008; revised version received 11 February 2009 and accepted 3 March 2009
- biodiversity loss;
- global warming;
- low forest;
- plant communities;
- tropical inselberg
The census of vascular plants across a 10-year interval (1995–2005) at the fringe of a neotropical rainforest (Nouragues inselberg, French Guiana, South America) revealed that species richness decreased, both at quadrat scale (2 m2) and at the scale of the inselberg (three transects, embracing the whole variation in community composition). Juvenile stages of all tree and shrub species were most severely affected, without any discrimination between life and growth forms, fruit and dispersion types, or seed sizes. Species turnover in time resulted in a net loss of biodiversity, which was inversely related to species occurrence. The most probable cause of the observed species disappearance is global warming, which severely affected northern South America during the last 50 years (+2 °C), with a concomitant increase in the occurrence of aridity.