Thinner bark increases sensitivity of wetter Amazonian tropical forests to fire

Staver, A.C. and Brando, P.M. and Barlow, J. and Morton, D.C. and Paine, C.E.T. and Malhi, Y. and Araujo Murakami, A. and del Aguila Pasquel, J. (2020) Thinner bark increases sensitivity of wetter Amazonian tropical forests to fire. Ecology Letters, 23 (1). pp. 99-106. ISSN 1461-023X

[img]
Text (201905_Staver_PanAm R2 FINAL)
201905_Staver_PanAm_R2_FINAL.pdf - Accepted Version
Restricted to Repository staff only until 22 October 2020.
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial.

Download (2MB)

Abstract

Understory fires represent an accelerating threat to Amazonian tropical forests and can, during drought, affect larger areas than deforestation itself. These fires kill trees at rates varying from < 10 to c. 90% depending on fire intensity, forest disturbance history and tree functional traits. Here, we examine variation in bark thickness across the Amazon. Bark can protect trees from fires, but it is often assumed to be consistently thin across tropical forests. Here, we show that investment in bark varies, with thicker bark in dry forests and thinner in wetter forests. We also show that thinner bark translated into higher fire‐driven tree mortality in wetter forests, with between 0.67 and 5.86 gigatonnes CO2 lost in Amazon understory fires between 2001 and 2010. Trait‐enabled global vegetation models that explicitly include variation in bark thickness are likely to improve the predictions of fire effects on carbon cycling in tropical forests.

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
Ecology Letters
Additional Information:
This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Staver, A.C., Brando, P.M., Barlow, J., Morton, D.C., Paine, C.T., Malhi, Y., Araujo Murakami, A. and del Aguila, Pasquel, J. (2020), Thinner bark increases sensitivity of wetter Amazonian tropical forests to fire. Ecol Lett, 23: 99-106. doi:10.1111/ele.13409 which has been published in final form at https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/ele.13409 This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance With Wiley Terms and Conditions for self-archiving.
Uncontrolled Keywords:
/dk/atira/pure/subjectarea/asjc/1100/1105
Subjects:
ID Code:
139115
Deposited By:
Deposited On:
11 Dec 2019 09:05
Refereed?:
Yes
Published?:
Published
Last Modified:
12 Aug 2020 09:47