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Surface wildfires in central Amazonia: short-term impact on forest structure and carbon loss.

Haugaasen, Torbjørn and Barlow, Jos and Peres, Carlos A. (2003) Surface wildfires in central Amazonia: short-term impact on forest structure and carbon loss. Forest Ecology and Management, 179 (1-3). pp. 321-331. ISSN 0378-1127

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Abstract

Changes in forest structure were examined 10–15 months after an unprecedented understorey wildfire burnt previously undisturbed primary forest in central Brazilian Amazonia, following the severe 1997–1998 El Niño dry season. On the basis of 20 0.25 ha plots (10 m×250 m) in both burnt and unburnt forest, we found marked differences in the overall live biomass, canopy openness and understorey vegetation. On average, 36% of all trees equal to or greater than 10 cm DBH were found to be dead in the burnt forest, and there was also a near-complete mortality in all pre-burn saplings. Using an allometric equation to predict biomass mortality we estimate that the tree mortality rates found would commit an additional 25.5 t C/ha to be released from these BFs. The dramatic increase of aboveground dead biomass in BF is of major global concern because of the increased flux of CO2 to the atmosphere, which has a role in enhancing the greenhouse effect and promoting climate change.

Item Type: Article
Journal or Publication Title: Forest Ecology and Management
Uncontrolled Keywords: Aboveground biomass ; Carbon emissions ; El Niño ; Fire disturbance ; Global warming ; Surface fires
Subjects: Q Science > QH Natural history > QH301 Biology
Departments: Faculty of Science and Technology > Lancaster Environment Centre
ID Code: 10385
Deposited By: Dr Jos Barlow
Deposited On: 11 Jul 2008 16:52
Refereed?: Yes
Published?: Published
Last Modified: 17 Sep 2013 10:50
Identification Number:
URI: http://eprints.lancs.ac.uk/id/eprint/10385

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