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Disturbance and Old-Growth Amazon Forest Carbon Balance

Jeffrey Q Chambers, Tulane University, (Presenting)
Jeremy Fisher, Tulane University,
Giuliano Guimar„es, INPA,
Vilany Carneiro, INPA,
Amanda Robertson, INPA,
George Hurtt, University of New Hampshire,
Joaquim dos Santos, INPA,
Niro Higuchi, INPA,

Whether or not a widespread old-growth forest carbon sink can partially or largely offset the large Amazon deforestation carbon source remains a contentious question hindered by uncertainty. The size, intensity and recurrence interval for various natural forest disturbances can play a large role in determining landscape-scale carbon balance, yet little is known about how these processes vary across the basin. This talk will overview our multifaceted approach toward addressing this question with a synthesis of field data, remote sensing image analysis, and both theoretical and ecosystem modeling approaches. First, a simple cellular model was developed to explore the effects of clumped disturbance on inventory-based estimates of forest carbon balance. Results demonstrate that the appropriate sampling strategy is highly dependent on how disturbance is distributed across the landscape, requiring a total sampled area of 4 to 20 ha to produce unbiased estimates. Next, remote sensing methods for quantifying the distribution of disturbed patches across the landscape are illustrated, demonstrating that wind-induced tree mortality exhibits extreme spatial and temporal patchiness even at the scale of entire Landsat scenes. Finally the Ecosystem Demography (ED) model parameterized for various scenarios demonstrates basin-wide impacts of changes in disturbance regimes.

Science Theme:  CD (Carbon Dynamics)

Session:  2B: Forest Dynamics and Disturbance

Presentation Type:  Oral (view presentation (8426 KB))

Abstract ID: 63

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