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Tropical ecosystems adapted to high water availability may be highly impacted by climatic changes that increase soil and atmospheric moisture deficits. Many tropical regions are experiencing significant changes in climatic conditions, which may induce strong shifts in taxonomic, functional and phylogenetic diversity of forest communities. However, it remains unclear if and to what extent tropical forests are shifting in these facets of diversity along climatic gradients in response to climate<span class="external-identifiers"> <a target="_blank" rel="external noopener noreferrer" href="https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-020-16973-4">doi:10.1038/s41467-020-16973-4</a> <a target="_blank" rel="external noopener" href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/32620761">pmid:32620761</a> <a target="_blank" rel="external noopener" href="https://fatcat.wiki/release/5ufy3i5v5fbbfctsnlviev7mci">fatcat:5ufy3i5v5fbbfctsnlviev7mci</a> </span>
more »... ange. Here, we show that changes in climate affected all three facets of diversity in West Africa in recent decades. Taxonomic and functional diversity increased in wetter forests but tended to decrease in forests with drier climate. Phylogenetic diversity showed a large decrease along a wet-dry climatic gradient. Notably, we find that all three facets of diversity tended to be higher in wetter forests. Drier forests showed functional, taxonomic and phylogenetic homogenization. Understanding how different facets of diversity respond to a changing environment across climatic gradients is essential for effective long-term conservation of tropical forest ecosystems.
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