Fire, fragmentation, and windstorms: A recipe for tropical forest degradation

8 de February de 2019

Feb 8, 2019

Divino V. Silvério , Paulo M. Brando, Mercedes M. C. Bustamante, Francis E. Putz, Daniel Magnabosco Marra, Shaun R. Levick, Susan E. Trumbore

Widespread degradation of tropical forests is caused by a variety of disturbances that interact in ways that are not well understood. To explore potential synergies between edge effects, fire and windstorm damage as causes of Amazonian forest degradation, we quantified vegetation responses to a 30‐min, high‐intensity windstorm that in 2012, swept through a large‐scale fire experiment that borders an agricultural field. Our pre‐ and postwindstorm measurements include tree mortality rates and modes of death, above‐ground biomass, and airborne LiDAR‐based estimates of tree heights and canopy disturbance (i.e., number and size of gaps). The experimental area in the southeastern Amazonia includes three 50‐ha plots established in 2004 that were unburned (Control), burned annually (B1yr), or burned at 3‐year intervals (B3yr).

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