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Title: Soil carbon stock changes due to edge effects in central Amazon forest fragments
Authors: Barros, Henrique Seixas
Fearnside, Philip Martin
Keywords: Biomass
Global Warming
Greenhouse Gases
Amazon Forests
Edge Effect
Forest Fragmentations
GHG emission
Soil Carbon
Carbon Sequestration
Edge Effect
Forest Edge
Global Warming
Greenhouse Gas
Logging (timber)
Regression Analysis
Soil Carbon
Soil Organic Matter
Vegetation Dynamics
Issue Date: 2016
metadata.dc.publisher.journal: Forest Ecology and Management
metadata.dc.relation.ispartof: Volume 379, Pags. 30-36
Abstract: Amazon forest stocks large quantities of carbon both in plant biomass and in soil. Deforestation has accelerated the process of forest fragmentation in the Brazilian Amazon, resulting in changes in carbon stocks in both biomass and soil. Logging, including that under legal forest management, can create edge-like conditions inside the forest. We investigated the relationship between changes in carbon stocks in the soil and the distance to the nearest edge in forest remnants after about 30 years of isolation. We assessed the effect of edges using geographically weighted regression (GWR), which considers the non-stationary character of soil carbon stocks and assigns relative weights to the observations according to the distance between them. Data from 265 georeferenced plots distributed over 28 ha of forest fragments in the Manaus region were included in these analyses. Soil-carbon stocks were estimated for areas before (1984–1986) and after (2012–2013) isolation of the fragments. The GWR model indicated an apparent relationship between change in carbon stocks and distance from the edge (R2 = 0.79). The largest changes occurred in plots located closest to the edges. In 202 plots ⩽100 m from an edge, soil-carbon stock increased significantly (p = 0.01) by a mean of 1.34 Mg ha−1 over the ∼30-year period. Such changes in soil carbon stocks appear to be associated with higher rates of tree mortality caused by microclimatic changes in these areas. Increased necromass inputs combined with changes in composition and structure of vegetation may result in increased rates of decomposition of organic matter, transferring carbon to the soil compartment and increasing soil carbon stocks. Considering both “hard” edges adjacent to deforestation and “soft” edges in logging areas, the soil-carbon increase we measured implies an absorption of 6 × 106 MgC in Brazilian Amazonia. In hard edges maintained for ∼30 years, the soil-carbon increase offsets 8.3% of the carbon losses from “biomass collapse” in the first 100 m from a clearing. Soil carbon did not change significantly in 63 forest-interior plots, suggesting that global climate change has not yet had a detectible effect on this forest carbon compartment. © 2016
metadata.dc.identifier.doi: 10.1016/j.foreco.2016.08.002
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