TROPICAL AND SUBTROPICAL dry forests around the globe are experiencing rapid clearing and concomitant biodiversity loss (1). In their Research Article “Plant diversity patterns in neotropical dry forests and their conservation implications” (23 September 2016, p. 1383), DRYFLOR et al.highlight the often underappreciated, yet exceptional floristic richness and uniqueness of these forests, and they provide compelling arguments for ramping up efforts to protect them.
We applaud the DRYFLOR team for their seminal work, but we are also concerned about the exclusion of the Gran Chaco,
frequently considered the world’s largest continuous tropical dry forest region (2–4).
The Gran Chaco covers more than 1,100,000 km2 in Northern Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, and Paraguay. The DRYFLOR team used a restrictive definition of dry forest that excludes the Gran Chaco because of some temperate elements in the Chaco’s flora
and occasional freezing temperatures there.
However, that applies only to parts of the Gran Chaco, and other neotropical dry forests that were included in the analysis also experience such temperatures.
BIOME CLIMATE FLOODING FOREST LETTER NEOTROPICS PLANT PRIORITY JOURNAL QUANTITATIVE ANALYSIS RAIN FOREST SAVANNA SCIENTIST SUMMER TEMPERATURA ARGENTINA ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION CONSERVATION OF NATURAL RESOURCES