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Title: Does the disturbance hypothesis explain the biomass increase in basin-wide Amazon forest plot data?
Authors: Gloor, Manuel E.
Phillips, Oliver L.
Lloyd, Jon
Lewis, Simon L.
Malhi, Yadvinder Singh
Baker, Timothy R.
Lopez-Gonzalez, Gabriela
Peacock, Julie
Almeida, Samuel Miranda
Oliveira, Átila Cristina Alves de
Alvarez, Esteban
Amaral, Iêda Leão do
Arroyo, Luzmila P.
Aymard, Gerardo Antonio C.
Bánki, Olaf S.
Blanc, Lilian
Bonal, Damien
Brando, Paulo Monteiro
Chao, Kuo Jung
Chave, Jérôme
Dávila, Nállarett
Erwin, Terry L.
Silva, Jose Natalino Macedo
Di Fiore, Anthony
Feldpausch, Ted R.
Freitas, A.
Herrera, Rafael A.
Higuchi, Niro
Honorio Coronado, Euridice N.
Jiménez, E. M.
Killeen, Timothy J.
Laurance, William F.
Mendoza, Casimiro
Monteagudo, Abel Lorenzo
Andrade, Ana C.S.
Neill, David A.
Nepstad, Daniel Curtis
Vargas, Percy Núñez
Peñuela, María Cristina
Cruz, Antonio Peña
Prieto, Adriana
Pitman, Nigel C.A.
Quesada, Carlos Alberto
Salomão, Rafael Paiva
Silveira, Marcos
Schwarz, Michael
Stropp, Juliana
Ramirez Arevalo, Fredy Francisco
Ramírez, Hirma
Rudas, Agustín
ter Steege, H.
Silva, Natalino
Torres, A.
Terborgh, John W.
Vásquez, Rodolfo V.
Van Der Heijden, Geertje M.F.
Keywords: Biomass
Carbon Sink
Climate Change
Amazon Basin
South America
Issue Date: 2009
metadata.dc.publisher.journal: Global Change Biology
metadata.dc.relation.ispartof: Volume 15, Número 10, Pags. 2418-2430
Abstract: Positive aboveground biomass trends have been reported from old-growth forests across the Amazon basin and hypothesized to reflect a large-scale response to exterior forcing. The result could, however, be an artefact due to a sampling bias induced by the nature of forest growth dynamics. Here, we characterize statistically the disturbance process in Amazon old-growth forests as recorded in 135 forest plots of the RAINFOR network up to 2006, and other independent research programmes, and explore the consequences of sampling artefacts using a data-based stochastic simulator. Over the observed range of annual aboveground biomass losses, standard statistical tests show that the distribution of biomass losses through mortality follow an exponential or near-identical Weibull probability distribution and not a power law as assumed by others. The simulator was parameterized using both an exponential disturbance probability distribution as well as a mixed exponential-power law distribution to account for potential large-scale blowdown events. In both cases, sampling biases turn out to be too small to explain the gains detected by the extended RAINFOR plot network. This result lends further support to the notion that currently observed biomass gains for intact forests across the Amazon are actually occurring over large scales at the current time, presumably as a response to climate change. © 2009 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.
metadata.dc.identifier.doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2486.2009.01891.x
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