Research trends: Tropical dry forests: The neglected research agenda?
Tropical dry forests covers 0.5 to 1.1 billion hectares which is about half of the tropical moist forest area. The forests fulfil many important ecological and economic functions and deliver manifold commodities for subsistence as well as for international demands. Despite their importance tropical dry forests seem to attain by far lesser attention than humid forests by the international research community. In an „ISI web of knowledge“ and “google scholar”-based comparison of reviewed scientific articles on tropical dry versus tropical humid forests we found that the number of publications with focus on the dry biome is 3.6 times lower. The research topics differ partly. The topics “carbon” and “climate change” were for both biomes among the most prominent research subjects. “Disturbance” was a prioritized research topic for tropical dry forests, whereas “biodiversity” and “conservation” were highly relevant for tropical humid forests. This seems to be justified for several reasons. Nevertheless it appears to be urgent to call for a stronger international comprehensive strategic and applied research agenda for tropical dry forests to encounter the manifold forest-related problems in this disadvantaged environment.