The sensitivity of tropical forests to climate variability and change in Bolivia was studied by combining information from climate observations, climate projections, biomass measurements, satellite data, and a vegetation model.
Meteorological observations (1960 to 2009) revealed a warming trend, as well as a drying trend since 1985. Climate models project a warmer climate in the future, but disagree on whether rainfall will increase or decrease.
Decrease of rainfall
The decrease of rainfall projected by some models can potentially cause forests to die-back. Such a forest loss is primarily driven by a reduction in photosynthesis, and only secondarily by more fires and more respiration. Dry forests are shown to be at greater risk compared to wet forests in Bolivia.
Adaptation measures should prioritize actions related to deforestation, fire management, grazing, and water resource management.