Tropical grassy biomes are changing rapidly the world over through a coalescence of high rates of land use change, global change and altered disturbance regimes that maintain the ecosystem structure and function of these biomes. Our theme issue brings together the latest research examining the characterisation, complex ecology, drivers of change, and human use and ecosystem services of tropical grassy biomes. Recent advances in ecology and evolution have facilitated a new perspective on these biomes. However, there continue to be controversies over their classification and state dynamics that demonstrate critical data and knowledge gaps in our quantitative understanding of these geographically dispersed regions. We highlight an urgent need to improve ecological understanding in order to effectively predict the senstivity and resilience of tropical grassy biomes under future scenarios of global change. With human reliance on tropical grassy biomes increasing and their propensity for change, ecological and evolutionary understanding of these biomes is central to the dual goals of sustaining their ecological integrity and the diverse services these landscapes provide to millions of people.
|Journal||Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences|
|Early online date||8 Aug 2016|
|Publication status||Published - 19 Sep 2016|