Amazon/Andean tropical forests form a vital cog in the earth’s system. They are one of the leading biodiversity hotspots, important for the global carbon cycle, and maintain local and influence global climate through recycling moisture and the distribution of energy. The eastern Andes are a major source of water, sediment and carbon to the Amazon River system. Landslides are a pervasive feature of this part of the Andes, and are likely to be important regulators of (1) sediment and carbon export from to the Amazon basin and (2) ecosystem structure, function and biomass in Andean montane forests. The aim of my research is to quantify the role of landslides in carbon cycling and ecosystem processes, through detailed work at a site on the eastern flank of the Peruvian Andes.
The aim is to investigate and quantify the role of landslides in ecological processes and carbon cycling in an Andean transect in Peru. This objective can be subdivided into three component parts:
To quantify the frequency, area, and magnitude of landslides in the study area
To estimate the carbon export to the Amazon fluvial system
To elucidate the post-landslide ecological succession: species, structure, and biomass
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