Climate models predict a range of changes in tropical forest regions, including increased average temperatures, decreased total precipitation, reduced soil moisture and alterations in seasonal climate variations. These changes are directly related to the increase in anthropogenic greenhouse gas concentrations, primarily CO2. Assessing seasonal forest growth responses to climate is of utmost importance because woody tissues, produced by photosynthesis from atmospheric CO2, water and light, constitute the main component of carbon sequestration in the forest ecosystem.

Climate models for the coming century predict rainfall reduction in the Amazonian region, including change in water availability for tropical rainforests. Here, we test the extent to which climate variables related to water regime, temperature and irradiance shape the growth trajectories of neotropical trees. We developed a diameter growth model explicitly designed to work with asynchronous climate and growth data.