Nitrous oxide flux following tropical land clearing


  • Flávio Luizão,

  • Pamela Matson,

  • Gerald Livingston,

  • Regina Luizão,

  • Peter Vitousek


The importance of seasonal cycles of N2O flux from tropical ecosystems and the possibility that tropical deforestation could contribute to the ongoing global increase in N2O concentrations were assessed by measuring N2O flux from forest, cleared land, and pasture over an annual cycle in the central Amazon. A pasture that had been converted from tropical forest had threefold greater annual N2O flux than a paired forest site; similar results were obtained in spot measurements in other pastures. If these results are general, such tropical pastures represent a globally significant source of increased N2O.