Intensive plots from Ducke

We are currently installing 2 plots in the Ducke Reserve in Brazil, one in a baixio (low point in topography and other in plateau forest). Both represent the beginning of 10 permanent sample plots which will be monitored for INPA researchers/students.
The study is conducted at Reserva Florestal Adolpho Ducke (RFAD) of the Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas da Amazônia (INPA), located near Manaus (02°55′S, 59°59′W).

The reserve covers 10 000 (10×10 km) hectares of terra-firme tropical rain forest, with a closed canopy 30–37 m high and emergents growing to 40–45 m. The understorey is characterized by abundant sessile palms,such as Astrocaryum spp. And Attalea spp. Mean annual temperature is around 26°C and mean annual rainfall is 2362 mm, with a dry season between July and October. Soils are derived from tertiary marine sediments from the Barreiras group. Soils represent a continuum from clayey latosols on the ridges, becoming sandier as the inclination increases and altitude decreases until the mineral fraction in the bottom lands is almost pure sand.

We have installed measurements for below-ground, above-ground NPP monitoring and CO2 efflux measurements.

The fieldwork is leaded by Flavia Costa, Beto Quesada (INPA researchers). Jhon del Aguila, an IIAP (Research Institute of Peeruvian Amazon) researcher, is training them in long-term data collection. He has previous worked at the Allpahuayo site near Iquitos, Peru.

The research goals are to understand the effects of soil, topography, weather and watershed position on the carbon cycle in these forests.

Where are we working?

Bullet_red - Site Bullet_blue - Plot Bullet_yellow - Field station

Photos and images

Uploaded 6 Feb 2014 by Cécile Girardin. Copyright © 2023.

Congratulations to the GEM team (Chris, Yadvinder & Liana) who co-authored a paper in Nature this week (cover story):

"The paper answers a long-standing question about the net carbon balance of the Amazon forest. It uses aircraft flights throughout the year at four different locations to measure the change in carbon dioxide concentration if air as it passes over the Amazon Basin. The study shows that in wet years and wet seasons the Amazon is a net sink (i.e. absorbs carbon) from the atmosphere, but in dry years and dry seasons it is carbon neutral or a source of carbon. Our main contribution in Oxford was to provide insight from our RAINFOR-GEM intensive monitoring plots across Amazonia, which suggest that the loss of the carbon sink was caused by a reduction in photosynthesis." (Y. Malhi blog, Feb 2014)

Gatti L.V., M. Gloor, J. B. Miller, C. E. Doughty, Y. Malhi, L. G. Domingues, L. S. Basso, A. Martinewski, C. S. C. Correia, V. F. Borges, S. Freitas, R. Braz, L. O. Anderson, H. Rocha, J. Grace, O. L. Phillips & J. Lloyd Drought sensitivity of Amazonian carbon balance revealed by atmospheric measurements, Nature 506, 76–80. Supplementary Info

Download the paper from here:

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    Yadvinder Malhi

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    I lead the Ecosystems Programme at the Environmental Change Institute, with a focus of understanding the functioning of tropical forests and...

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    Georgia Pickavance

    I am a Database Assistant, supporting the tropical forest database and associated research projects RAINFOR, Afritron and T-FORCES. I am studying for a Masters in GIS alongside my research...

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    Oliver Phillips

    My long-term research goal is to understand the dynamics of carbon and biodiversity across the world’s tropical forests, how these change with our changing climate, and how they may feedback...