211 research outputs found

    Soil pyrogenic carbon in southern Amazonia: Interaction between soil, climate, and above-ground biomass

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    The Amazon forest represents one of the world‚Äôs largest terrestrial carbon reservoirs. Here, we evaluated the role of soil texture, climate, vegetation, and distance to savanna on the distribution and stocks of soil pyrogenic carbon (PyC) in intact forests with no history of recent fire spanning the southern Amazonia forest-Cerrado Zone of Transition (ZOT). In 19 one hectare forest plots, including three Amazonian Dark Earth (ADE, terra preta) sites with high soil PyC, we measured all trees and lianas with diameter ‚Č• 10 cm and analyzed soil physicochemical properties, including texture and PyC stocks. We quantified PyC stocks as a proportion of total organic carbon using hydrogen pyrolysis. We used multiple linear regression and variance partitioning to determine which variables best explain soil PyC variation. For all forests combined, soil PyC stocks ranged between 0.9 and 6.8 Mg/ha to 30 cm depth (mean 2.3 ¬Ī 1.5 Mg/ha) and PyC, on average, represented 4.3% of the total soil organic carbon (SOC). The most parsimonious model (based on AICc) included soil clay content and above-ground biomass (AGB) as the main predictors, explaining 71% of soil PyC variation. After removal of the ADE plots, PyC stocks ranged between 0.9 and 3.8 Mg/ha (mean 1.9 ¬Ī 0.8 Mg/ha‚Äď1) and PyC continued to represent ‚ąľ4% of the total SOC. The most parsimonious models without ADE included AGB and sand as the best predictors, with sand and PyC having an inverse relationship, and sand explaining 65% of the soil PyC variation. Partial regression analysis did not identify any of the components (climatic, environmental, and edaphic), pure or shared, as important in explaining soil PyC variation with or without ADE plots. We observed a substantial amount of soil PyC, even excluding ADE forests; however, contrary to expectations, soil PyC stocks were not higher nearer to the fire-dependent Cerrado than more humid regions of Amazonia. Our findings that soil texture and AGB explain the distribution and amount of soil PyC in ZOT forests will help to improve model estimates of SOC change with further climatic warming

    Necromass in forests of Madre de Dios, Peru: a comparison between terra firme and lowland forests

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    La cantidad de madera muerta o necromasa representa una importante porci√≥n de la biomasa y de los nutrientes en los bosques tropicales. Los objetivos de este estudio son: 1) hacer una evaluaci√≥n y comparaci√≥n entre la necromasa de los bosques de altura o tierra firme y los bosques inundables o baj√≠os, (2) estudiar las relaciones entre la necromasa, la biomasa a√©rea y la densidad de madera del bosque, y (3) proporcionar una primera estimaci√≥n de la necromasa para todo el departamento de Madre de Dios. La necromasa gruesa y la masa a√©rea vegetativa fueron estudiados en tres diferentes lugares utilizando parcelas permanentes y l√≠neas de intersecci√≥n. El promedio del volumen de madera muerta gruesa fue de 72,9 m3 ha-1, con un peso entre 24,8 y 30,7 Mg ha-1 dependiendo de la densidad de madera muerta usada en los c√°lculos. Los bosques de tierra firme contienen significativamente m√°s madera muerta que los bosques inundables. La necromasa constituye 11% de la masa a√©rea vegetativa almacenada en los bosques de Madre de Dios. Finalmente, se estima que el departamento de Madre de Dios contiene alrededor de 100 mega toneladas de carbono en su madera muerta. Este valor es bastante alto, siendo diez veces m√°s que la emisi√≥n anual de combustibles f√≥siles de Per√ļ entre 2000 ‚Äď 2008. Esta substancial porci√≥n de la necromasa enfatiza la importancia de estos tipos de estudios de campo, considerando que este componente de carbono en el bosque tropical no se logra detectar con otros m√©todos como la detecci√≥n remota por sat√©lites.Stocks of dead wood or necromass represent an important portion of biomass and nutrients in tropical forests. The objectives of this study were: 1) to evaluate and compare the necromass of ‚Äúterra firme‚ÄĚ and lowlands forests, (2) to study the relationship between necromass, above-ground biomass and wood density, and (3) to estimate the necromass of the department of Madre de Dios, Peru. Stocks of necromass and above-ground biomass were estimated at three different locations using permanent plots and line intercept transects. The average volume of necromass for the three sites was 72.9 m3 ha-1 with an average weight varying between 24.8 and 30.7 Mg ha-1, depending on the estimations of dead wood density used for the calculations. Terra firme forests had significantly higher stocks of necromass than lowland forests. The amount of necromass was 11% of the total above-ground biomass in Madre de Dios forests. The total stock of carbon stored in dead wood for the entire department of Madre de Dios was estimated to be approximately 100 mega tonnes of carbon. This is ten times more than the annual fossil fuel emissions of Peru between 2000 and 2008. The substantial stocks of necromass emphasize the importance of these types of field studies, considering that this component of tropical forest carbon cannot be detected using other methods such as satellite remote sensing

    An assessment of soil phytolith analysis as a palaeoecological tool for identifying pre-Columbian land use in Amazonian rainforests

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    Phytolith analysis is a well-established archaeobotanical tool, having provided important insights into pre-Columbian crop cultivation and domestication across Amazonia through the Holocene. Yet, its use as a palaeoecological tool is in its infancy in Amazonia and its effectiveness for reconstructing pre-Columbian land-use beyond archaeological sites (i.e., ‚Äėoff-site‚Äô) has so far received little critical attention. This paper examines both new and previously published soil phytolith data from SW Amazonia to assess the robustness of this proxy for reconstructing pre-Columbian land-use. We conducted the study via off-site soil pits radiating 7.5 km beyond a geoglyph in Acre state, Brazil, and 50 km beyond a ring-ditch in northern Bolivia, spanning the expected gradients in historical land-use intensity. We found that the spatio-temporal patterns in palm phytolith data across our soil-pit transects support the hypothesis that pre-Columbian peoples enriched their forests with palms over several millennia, although phytoliths are limited in their ability to capture small-scale crop cultivation and deforestation. Despite these drawbacks, we conclude that off-site soil phytolith analysis can provide novel insights into pre-Columbian land use, provided it is effectively integrated with other land-use (e.g., charcoal) and archaeological data

    Fine root dynamics across pantropical rainforest ecosystems

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    Fine roots constitute a significant component of the net primary productivity (NPP) of forest ecosystems but are much less studied than aboveground NPP. Comparisons across sites and regions are also hampered by inconsistent methodologies, especially in tropical areas. Here, we present a novel dataset of fine root biomass, productivity, residence time, and allocation in tropical old-growth rainforest sites worldwide, measured using consistent methods, and examine how these variables are related to consistently determined soil and climatic characteristics. Our pantropical dataset spans intensive monitoring plots in lowland (wet, semi-deciduous, and deciduous) and montane tropical forests in South America, Africa, and Southeast Asia (n = 47). Large spatial variation in fine root dynamics was observed across montane and lowland forest types. In lowland forests, we found a strong positive linear relationship between fine root productivity and sand content, this relationship was even stronger when we considered the fractional allocation of total NPP to fine roots, demonstrating that understanding allocation adds explanatory power to understanding fine root productivity and total NPP. Fine root residence time was a function of multiple factors: soil sand content, soil pH, and maximum water deficit, with longest residence times in acidic, sandy, and water-stressed soils. In tropical montane forests, on the other hand, a different set of relationships prevailed, highlighting the very different nature of montane and lowland forest biomes. Root productivity was a strong positive linear function of mean annual temperature, root residence time was a strong positive function of soil nitrogen content in montane forests, and lastly decreasing soil P content increased allocation of productivity to fine roots. In contrast to the lowlands, environmental conditions were a better predictor for fine root productivity than for fractional allocation of total NPP to fine roots, suggesting that root productivity is a particularly strong driver of NPP allocation in tropical mountain regions.WHH was funded by Peruvian FONDECYT/CONCYTEC (grant contract number 213-2015-FONDECYT). The GEM network was supported by a European Research Council Advanced Investigator Grant to YM (GEM-TRAITS: 321131) under the European Union's Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007-2013). The field data collection was funded NERC Grants NE/D014174/1 and NE/J022616/1 for in Peru, BALI (NE/K016369/1) for work in Malaysia, the Royal Society-Leverhulme Africa Capacity Building Programme for work in Ghana and Gabon and ESPA-ECOLIMITS (NE/1014705/1) in Ghana and Ethiopia. Plot inventories in South America were supported by funding from the US National Science Foundation Long-Term Research in Environmental Biology program (LTREB; DEB 1754647) and the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation Andes-Amazon Program. GEM data in Gabon were collected under authorization to YM and supported by the Gabon National Parks Agency. Y.M. is supported by the Jackson Foundation. We would like to acknowledge the GEM team across the tropical regions and countries of Bolivia, Brazil, Ghana, Gabon, Ethiopia, Malaysia, and Peru

    The Linkages Between Photosynthesis, Productivity, Growth and Biomass in Lowland Amazonian Forests

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    Understanding the relationship between photosynthesis, net primary productivity and growth in forest ecosystems is key to understanding how these ecosystems will respond to global anthropogenic change, yet the linkages among these components are rarely explored in detail. We provide the first comprehensive description of the productivity, respiration and carbon allocation of contrasting lowland Amazonian forests spanning gradients in seasonal water deficit and soil fertility. Using the largest data set assembled to date, ten sites in three countries all studied with a standardized methodology, we find that (i) gross primary productivity (GPP) has a simple relationship with seasonal water deficit, but that (ii) site-to-site variations in GPP have little power in explaining site-to-site spatial variations in net primary productivity (NPP) or growth because of concomitant changes in carbon use efficiency (CUE), and conversely, the woody growth rate of a tropical forest is a very poor proxy for its productivity. Moreover, (iii) spatial patterns of biomass are much more driven by patterns of residence times (i.e. tree mortality rates) than by spatial variation in productivity or tree growth. Current theory and models of tropical forest carbon cycling under projected scenarios of global atmospheric change can benefit from advancing beyond a focus on GPP. By improving our understanding of poorly understood processes such as CUE, NPP allocation and biomass turnover times, we can provide more complete and mechanistic approaches to linking climate and tropical forest carbon cycling

    A Regional Red List of Montane Tree Species of the Tropical Andes: Trees at the top of the world

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    Andean montane forests are a major global conservation priority owing to their biological richness and high level of species endemism. Botanically the Andes are very rich in species but they remain relatively unstudied. In common with montane forests elsewhere in the world, Andean forests are of great value for the provision of ecosystem services relating to water supply, regulation of regional climate and the capture and storage of carbon. The forests and their component species are however under threat. This report summarises information drawn from a wide variety of sources to provide a regional Red List of trees of Andean tropical montane forests. The species evaluation process has drawn on published national red lists of threatened species, botanical literature, specimen databases, forestry information and expert knowledge. The IUCN Red List Categories and Criteria have been used for the evaluation and a component of Natalia?s PhD study has been to evaluate their use for species with limited and dispersed data. Understanding the geographical distribution of the species is very important in conservation assessment. The maps produced for this study are a valuable starting point for the Red Listing and a baseline for monitoring impacts of climate change. In this assessment 70 species are recorded as globally threatened based on the IUCN Red List of Categories and Criteria out of 127 tree species evaluated. In addition 165 national endemic trees of the region have previously been evaluated as globally threatened based on the same IUCN process. In total therefore 235 tree species are currently considered to be threatened with extinction within the Andean montane forests.Fil: Tejedor Garavito , Natalia. Bournemouth University; Reino UnidoFil: √Ālvarez D√°vila, Esteban. Jard√≠n Bot√°nico de Medell√≠n; ColombiaFil: Caro, Sandra Arango. Missouri Botanical Garden; Estados UnidosFil: Murakami, Alejandro Araujo. Museo de Historia Natural Noel Kempff Mercado; BoliviaFil: Balde√≥n, Severo. Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos; Per√ļFil: Beltr√°n, Hamilton. Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos; Per√ļFil: Blundo, Cecilia Mabel. Universidad Nacional de Tucum√°n. Facultad de Ciencias Naturales e Instituto Miguel Lillo; Argentina. Universidad Nacional de Tucum√°n. Facultad de Ciencias Naturales e Instituto Miguel Lillo. Laboratorio de Investigaciones Ecol√≥gicas de las Yungas; Argentina. Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Cient√≠ficas y T√©cnicas. Centro Cient√≠fico Tecnol√≥gico Conicet - Tucum√°n; ArgentinaFil: Boza Espinoza, Tatiana Erika. Missouri Botanical Garden; Estados UnidosFil: Fuentes Claros, Alfredo. Herbario Nacional de Bolivia; BoliviaFil: Gaviria, Juan. Universidad de Los Andes; VenezuelaFil: Guti√©rrez, N√©stor. Universidad de Los Andes; VenezuelaFil: Khela, Sonia. Botanic Gardens Conservation International; Reino UnidoFil: Le√≥n, Blanca. University of Texas at Austin; Estados UnidosFil: la Torre Cuadros, Maria De Los Angeles. Universidad Nacional Agraria; Per√ļFil: L√≥pez Camacho, Ren√©. Universidad Distrital; ColombiaFil: Malizia, Lucio Ricardo. Universidad Nacional de Jujuy. Facultad de Ciencias Agrarias. Centro de Estudios Ambientales Territoriales y Sociales; ArgentinaFil: Mill√°n, Betty. Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos; Per√ļFil: Moraes R., M√≥nica. Herbario Nacional de Bolivia; BoliviaFil: Newton, Adrian C.. Bournemouth University; Reino UnidoFil: Pacheco, Silvia. Fundaci√≥n Proyungas; ArgentinaFil: Reynel, Carlos. Universidad Nacional Agraria; Per√ļFil: Ulloa Ulloa, Carmen. Missouri Botanical Garden; Estados UnidosFil: Vacas Cruz,Omar. Pontificia Universidad Cat√≥lica del Ecuador; Ecuado

    Seasonal trends of Amazonian rainforest phenology, net primary productivity, and carbon allocation.:Seasonal trends of Amazonian forests.

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    The seasonality of solar irradiance and precipitation may regulate seasonal variations in tropical forests carbon cycling. Controversy remains over their importance as drivers of seasonal dynamics of net primary productivity in tropical forests. We use ground data from nine lowland Amazonian forest plots collected over 3 years to quantify the monthly primary productivity (NPP) of leaves, reproductive material, woody material, and fine roots over an annual cycle. We distinguish between forests that do not experience substantial seasonal moisture stress (‚Äúhumid sites‚ÄĚ) and forests that experience a stronger dry season (‚Äúdry sites‚ÄĚ). We find that forests from both precipitation regimes maximize leaf NPP over the drier season, with a peak in production in August at both humid (mean 0.39 ¬Ī 0.03 Mg C ha‚ąí1 month‚ąí1 in July, n = 4) and dry sites (mean 0.49 ¬Ī 0.03 Mg C ha‚ąí1 month‚ąí1 in September, n = 8). We identify two distinct seasonal carbon allocation patterns (the allocation of NPP to a specific organ such as wood leaves or fine roots divided by total NPP). The forests monitored in the present study show evidence of either (i) constant allocation to roots and a seasonal trade-off between leaf and woody material or (ii) constant allocation to wood and a seasonal trade-off between roots and leaves. Finally, we find strong evidence of synchronized flowering at the end of the dry season in both precipitation regimes. Flower production reaches a maximum of 0.047 ¬Ī 0.013 and 0.031 ¬Ī 0.004 Mg C ha‚ąí1 month‚ąí1 in November, in humid and dry sites, respectively. Fruitfall production was staggered throughout the year, probably reflecting the high variation in varying times to development and loss of fruit among species

    Large trees drive forest aboveground biomass variation in moist lowland forests accross the tropics

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    peer reviewedaudience: researcher, professional, studentAim Large trees (d.b.h. 70 cm) store large amounts of biomass. Several studies suggest that large trees may be vulnerable to changing climate, potentially leading to declining forest biomass storage. Here we determine the importance of large trees for tropical forest biomass storage and explore which intrinsic (species trait) and extrinsic (environment) variables are associated with the density of large trees and forest biomass at continental and pan-tropical scales. Location Pan-tropical. Methods Aboveground biomass (AGB) was calculated for 120 intact lowland moist forest locations. Linear regression was used to calculate variation in AGB explained by the density of large trees. Akaike information criterion weights (AICcwi) were used to calculate averaged correlation coefficients for all possible multiple regression models between AGB/density of large trees and environmental and species trait variables correcting for spatial autocorrelation. Results Density of large trees explained c. 70% of the variation in pan-tropical AGB and was also responsible for significantly lower AGB in Neotropical [287.8 (mean) 105.0 (SD) Mg ha-1] versus Palaeotropical forests (Africa 418.3 91.8 Mg ha-1; Asia 393.3 109.3 Mg ha-1). Pan-tropical variation in density of large trees and AGB was associated with soil coarseness (negative), soil fertility (positive), community wood density (positive) and dominance of wind dispersed species (positive), temperature in the coldest month (negative), temperature in the warmest month (negative) and rainfall in the wettest month (positive), but results were not always consistent among continents. Main conclusions Density of large trees and AGB were significantly associated with climatic variables, indicating that climate change will affect tropical forest biomass storage. Species trait composition will interact with these future biomass changes as they are also affected by a warmer climate. Given the importance of large trees for variation in AGB across the tropics, and their sensitivity to climate change, we emphasize the need for in-depth analyses of the community dynamics of large trees
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