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Title: Tropical forest carbon balance: Effects of field- and satellite-based mortality regimes on the dynamics and the spatial structure of Central Amazon forest biomass
Authors: Di Vittorio, Alan V.
Negrón-Juárez, Robinson I.
Higuchi, Niro
Chambers, Jeffrey Quintin
Keywords: Biomass
Stochastic Models
Frequency Distributions
Power Law
Power Law Distribution
Spatial Clustering
Tree Growth Modeling
Canopy Architecture
Canopy Gap
Carbon Budget
Environmental Disturbance
Growth Modeling
Landscape Ecology
Power Law
Satellite Imagery
Size Distribution
Tropical Forest
Issue Date: 2014
metadata.dc.publisher.journal: Environmental Research Letters
metadata.dc.relation.ispartof: Volume 9, Número 3
Abstract: Debate continues over the adequacy of existing field plots to sufficiently capture Amazon forest dynamics to estimate regional forest carbon balance. Tree mortality dynamics are particularly uncertain due to the difficulty of observing large, infrequent disturbances. A recent paper (Chambers et al 2013 Proc. Natl Acad. Sci. 110 3949-54) reported that Central Amazon plots missed 9-17% of tree mortality, and here we address 'why' by elucidating two distinct mortality components: (1) variation in annual landscape-scale average mortality and (2) the frequency distribution of the size of clustered mortality events. Using a stochastic-empirical tree growth model we show that a power law distribution of event size (based on merged plot and satellite data) is required to generate spatial clustering of mortality that is consistent with forest gap observations. We conclude that existing plots do not sufficiently capture losses because their placement, size, and longevity assume spatially random mortality, while mortality is actually distributed among differently sized events (clusters of dead trees) that determine the spatial structure of forest canopies. © 2014 IOP Publishing Ltd.
metadata.dc.identifier.doi: 10.1088/1748-9326/9/3/034010
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