Subproject

Secondary succession in tropical dry forests

We are studying secondary succession in tropical dry forests in two Costa Rican Conservation Areas: Area de Conservacion Guanacaste (Santa Rosa National Park) and Tempisque (Palo Verde National Park).

We have 18 plots that vary in forest age (10-60 years) and soil characteristics, and we have been following them since 2008. These plots were selected from a larger set of forest inventory plots (described in the attached 2009 Forest Ecology and Management paper).

All plots are 20x50 m. We have measured fine root stocks, coarse woody debris, and aboveground biomass (in prep). Since 2008 we have made seasonal measurements of diameter increment (all trees over 10 cm DBH via dendrometers), and monthly measurements of litter fall (leaves, flowers, fruits, twigs, and frass--- we find LOTS of frass). Since 2011 we have made measurements of fine root stocks, fine root production via ingrowth cores, and nutrient (nitrate, phosphate, and ammonium) availability via ion exchange membranes (every two months for the root stuff and monthly for nutrients, along with hourly soil moisture at 4 depths to 40 cm.

We are planning to continue these measurements for the next 4 years.

Photos and images

Medium_nature
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: http://is.gd/WZmcSs

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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 ForestPlots.net 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...