Tropical Cyclone Ecology: A Scale-Link Perspective

Teng Chiu Lin*, J. Aaron Hogan, Chung Te Chang

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

85 Citations (Scopus)


Tropical cyclones are increasing in intensity and size and, thus, are poised to increase in importance as disturbance agents. Our understanding of cyclone ecology is biased towards the North Atlantic Basin, because cyclone effects do differ across oceanic basins. Cyclones have both short and long-term effects across the levels of biological organization, but we lack a scale‐perspective of cyclone ecology. Effects on individual trees, such as defoliation or branch stripping and uprooting, are mechanistically linked to effects at the community and ecosystem levels, including forest productivity and stand regeneration time. Forest dwarfing via the gradual removal of taller trees by cyclones over many generations illustrates that cyclones shape forest structure through the accumulation of short-term effects over longer timescales.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)594-604
Number of pages11
JournalTrends in Ecology and Evolution
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Jul


  • cyclone disturbance
  • defoliation
  • forest dwarfing
  • forest regeneration
  • scale-perspective

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics


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