Lowland Amazon Forest

Amazonia has the world’s most extensive forests, with the largest reservoir of above-ground organic carbon - around 90 Pg C in live trees alone - and the most species. They are under strong human pressure through logging, conversion and exploitation of resources. They face a warming climate and a changing atmosphere. Because of the vast scale of Amazonia, these factors have the potential to significantly modify the global atmospheric greenhouse gas burden (CO2, CH4), the earth’s climate, and the overall biodiversity of the planet. Some scenarios suggest catastrophic release of carbon from Amazon soil and vegetation this century, accelerating climate change globally even before accounting for the impacts of deforestation.

While the role of Amazonia in the carbon cycle is clearly of global importance, its behavior is contentious, even for that portion not undergoing rapid land use change. Understanding the current carbon balance of the whole system is critical to determine its role in either slowing or accelerating climate change through the 21st century.

In lowland Amazonia our work is embedded within the RAINFOR long-term inventory network. Within this network, we have 13 plots across 5 sites across Amazonia (in Bolivia, Peru and Brazil). in which we:
- intensively quantify and understand the dominant fluxes into and out of main carbon pools above and below ground,
- establish the infrastructure - plots, methods, expertise - to allow long-term monitoring across the vast region, and
- make these data freely available through the GEM website after sufficient quality control.

Where are we working?

Bullet_red - Site Bullet_blue - Plot Bullet_yellow - Field station

Photos and images

Uploaded 26 Mar 2014 by Jhon del Aguila Pasquel. Copyright © 2023.


Some pictures of Carla Staver's fieldwork at Allpahuayo plots. She is studying tree functional traits as predictors of fire reaction in Amazonian forests. She is using Allpahuayo forest data (as a control for Eastern Amazonian forests (Manaus, Acre, Mato Grosso, Santarem y Roraima).

Pictures show the procedure for extracting and measuring a sample of bark.


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