This special edition entitled “Secondary Dry Tropical Forests: “the walk” of regeneration” focuses on the publication of works carried out in Dry Tropical Forests (DTFs) that have suffered from disturbances related to agricultural activities, livestock, grazing, extractivism or pressure caused by urban growth and has been regenerating after abandonment. These diverse uses fragment and disturb DTFs, making them anthropogenic forests.
The secondary DTFs are defined as the "forests of the future," although there is already evidence of the representativeness of these forests in more than 50% of the forested area around the world. When compared to native, mature and undisturbed forests, secondary DTFs present distinct ecological characteristics and experience their microclimatic conditions.
The fragmented and disturbed areas after abandonment can present high species richness, important functional traits and provide resources to maintain the new diversity established over time, besides being exceptional in carbon sequestration. These data contradict a primordial idea of a negative and unbalanced view of the anthropic forests that it indicated to be areas of low wealth, with scarce resources and inefficient ecological processes.
Due to the vast extension of the secondary DTFs areas and because they represent the new forest formation of today, assessing the resilience of secondary DTFs tied to global climate change is fundamental for the conservation of its biodiversity, since evidence of this recovery in the DTFs is still scarce, and that the limitation of existing data does not show consistent trends in the path of regeneration.
This special edition of the American Journal of Plant Biology will receive articles dealing with the richness, composition, and ecological processes involved in the regeneration of DTFs that have undergone anthropogenic actions and which strategies have been adopted at the population and plant community level to deal with this influence without neglecting the implications of global climate change.