Savannas cover large areas of the Tropics and sub-Tropics and they contribute substantially to global biogeochemical cycles. In addition, savannas are livelihood for many people utilizing the natural resources in these areas. Understanding the current distribution of savannas as well as the potential impacts of climate change and land use is therefore crucial. Process-based dynamic vegetation models are powerful tools to investigate interactions between vegetation, environment and humans. In this talk, I will present dynamic vegetation models (aDGVM/aDGVM2) developed specifically for tropical ecosystems. Case studies will show how the model was used to investigate community composition, trait diversity and biome boundary shifts in response to climate change, as well as land use and management impacts in tropical regions around the world. aDGVM and aDGVM2 provide frameworks to integrate Earth system modeling, functional ecology and socio-ecology.
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