Effect of 7 yr of experimental drought on vegetation dynamics and biomass storage of an eastern Amazonian rainforest
Article first published online: 9 JUN 2010
© The Authors (2010). Journal compilation © New Phytologist Trust (2010)
Special Issue: Featured papers on ‘Amazonian rain forests and drought’
Volume 187, Issue 3, pages 579–591, August 2010
How to Cite
da Costa, A. C. L., Galbraith, D., Almeida, S., Portela, B. T. T., da Costa, M., de Athaydes Silva Junior, J., Braga, A. P., de Gonçalves, P. H. L., de Oliveira, A. A., Fisher, R., Phillips, O. L., Metcalfe, D. B., Levy, P. and Meir, P. (2010), Effect of 7 yr of experimental drought on vegetation dynamics and biomass storage of an eastern Amazonian rainforest. New Phytologist, 187: 579–591. doi: 10.1111/j.1469-8137.2010.03309.x
- Issue published online: 19 JUL 2010
- Article first published online: 9 JUN 2010
- Received: 27 December 2009, Accepted: 24 March 2010
- Amazon rainforest;
- tree mortality;
- wood production
- •At least one climate model predicts severe reductions of rainfall over Amazonia during this century. Long-term throughfall exclusion (TFE) experiments represent the best available means to investigate the resilience of the Amazon rainforest to such droughts.
- •Results are presented from a 7 yr TFE study at Caxiuanã National Forest, eastern Amazonia. We focus on the impacts of the drought on tree mortality, wood production and above-ground biomass.
- •Tree mortality in the TFE plot over the experimental period was 2.5% yr−1, compared with 1.25% yr−1 in a nearby control plot experiencing normal rainfall. Differences in stem mortality between plots were greatest in the largest (> 40 cm diameter at breast height (dbh)) size class (4.1% yr−1 in the TFE and 1.4% yr−1 in the control). Wood production in the TFE plot was c. 30% lower than in the control plot. Together, these changes resulted in a loss of 37.8 ± 2.0 Mg carbon (C) ha−1 in the TFE plot (2002–2008), compared with no change in the control.
- •These results are remarkably consistent with those from another TFE (at Tapajós National Forest), suggesting that eastern Amazonian forests may respond to prolonged drought in a predictable manner.