trees growing slower

To study the impact of climate change on trees in tropical forests, a team from CIRAD developed a water balance model that estimates the water available in the soil for trees, based on microclimate data, and set up weather stations throughout northern French Guiana to gather the climate data required for the model.

The scientists then showed that of all the climate variables measured, the soil water reserve, as predicted by the model, was the one that best accounted for tree growth variations from one year to the next. And they also realized that the species that best resisted water stress, which were thus best able to cope with climate change, were slow-growing ones.

Fast-growing plants are much more sensitive to water stress: in the event of drought, they show their growth so much that they considerably increase their risk of dying.
CIRAD (French Agricultural Research Centre for International Development), June 2013