Neotropical Seasonally Dry Forests

Julio Calvo-Alvarado, Arturo Sánchez-Azofeifa, Carlos Portillo-Quintero

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Neotropical seasonally dry forests (NSDFs) extend for approximately 520,000 sq. km. across 18 countries in the Neotropics. Its high degree of floristic and animal endemism and its high diversity of life forms makes it an important asset of the world's biodiversity. However, because of its biophysical, edaphic, and climatic characteristics, NSDF also represents the first frontier of economic development in tropical America. At least 66% has disappeared from its potential extent. NSDF are not only threatened by socioeconomic pressures but also may be experiencing a combined and still poorly documented pressure from climate variability and change. In this article the authors provide a context to the definition of NSDF by analyzing the existing descriptions available today. In addition, they describe the general physical and biotic characteristics of NSDF and its successional stages. The authors explore patterns and processes of land-use/cover change such as extent, fragmentation patterns, and degree of protection, plus deforestation and drivers of change. Finally, issues associated to NSDF silvicultural management have been explored.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEncyclopedia of Biodiversity
Subtitle of host publicationSecond Edition
PublisherElsevier Inc.
Number of pages13
ISBN (Electronic)9780123847195
ISBN (Print)9780123847201
StatePublished - Jan 1 2013


  • Biodiversity
  • Caribbean islands
  • Climate change
  • Conservation
  • Deforestation
  • Dry forest
  • Forest fires
  • Land-use change
  • Latin America
  • Neotropics
  • Remote sensing
  • Restoration
  • Seasonal rainfall
  • Successional stages


Dive into the research topics of 'Neotropical Seasonally Dry Forests'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this