PELD - Transição Cerrado-Floresta Amazônica

The plots are located in the transition zone between Cerrado and Amazon Forest biomes, eastern Mato Grosso, Brazil. One plot was established in a cerrado stricto sensu (savanna) and other in cerradão (savanna forest). The study is conducted at Parque Municipal do Bacaba of the Universidade do Estado de Mato Grosso (UNEMAT), located in Nova Xavantina (14°42′S, 52°21′W) in partnership with Project PELD-Transição Cerrado Floresta-Amazônica (CNPq/Long-term Ecological Projects).

Bacaba park present different vegetation types (cerrado stricto sensu, cerrado rupestre, cerradão and gallery forests) which has been monitored since 1995. The basal area (~21 m2ha-1) and the mean heights (6.4 m) of the cerradão are greater than that of the cerrado stricto sensu (~15 m2ha-1 and 3.7 m). The most important species in cerradão are Hirtella glandulosa, Tachigali vulgaris and Xylopia aromatica, and in the cerrado stricto sensu are Qualea parviflora, Davilla elliptica and Roupala montana. The soils of both areas are acid (pH < 5.0) and dystrophic (Ca2+ < 0.4 cmolc kg-1) with high concentration of exchangeable aluminium (Al3+ > 1.3 cmolc kg-1). The soil fertility do not differ between the aareas. However, the cerradão soil showed higher percentages of clay than the cerrado at all depths up to 2 m, which could result in a higher availability of water throughout the year for the trees. The mean annual temperature is around 24.4°C and the mean annual rainfall is 1600 mm, with the dry season between May and September.

The fieldwork is leaded by Ben Hur Marimon-Junior, Beatriz Schwantes Marimon, Amintas Nazareth Rossete and Ricardo Keichi Umetsu (UNEMAT). The research goals are to understand the dynamic processes involved in the characterization and functioning of ecosystems in the transition between Cerrado and Amazon forest. We will install measurements for below-ground, above-ground NPP monitoring and also CO2 efflux measurements.

We are monitoring: litterfall, titter bag decomposition and release of nutrients, litter layer, soil moisture, soil density, penetrability and infiltrability.
We will install: ingrowth cores, total and component of soil CO2 efflux, stem CO2 efflux, foliage (leaf area index, LAI), dendrometers and coarse woody debris.

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 © 2017.

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

    I am Professor of Ecosystem Science at Oxford University.
    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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    Ben Hur Marimon Junior

    Professor at the State University of Mato Grosso (UNEMAT), Campus of Nova Xavantina, Mato Grosso State, Brazil. The broad scope of my interest is the impact of environmental changes in...

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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...

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    Beatriz Schwantes Marimon

    Professor at the State University of Mato Grosso (UNEMAT), Campus of Nova Xavantina, Mato Grosso State, Brazil. Ecologist working with structure, dynamics and management of vegetation types of the transition...

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