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Tropical Forests and Global Atmospheric Change$
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Yadvinder Malhi and Oliver Phillips

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780198567066

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198567066.001.0001

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Late twentieth-century patterns and trends in Amazon tree turnover

Late twentieth-century patterns and trends in Amazon tree turnover

(p.107) CHAPTER 10 Late twentieth-century patterns and trends in Amazon tree turnover
Tropical Forests and Global Atmospheric Change

Oliver L. Phillips

Timothy R. Baker

Luzmila Arroyo

Niro Higuchi

Timothy Killeen

William F. Laurance

Simon L. Lewis

Jon Lloyd

Yadvinder Malhi

Abel Monteagudo

David A. Neill

Percy Nuñez Vargas

J. Natalino N. Silva

Rodolfo Vásquez Martinez

Miguel Alexiades

Samuel Almeida

Sandra Brown

Jerome Chave

James A. Comiskey

Claudia I. Czimczik

Anthony Di Fiore

Terry Erwin

Caroline Kuebler

Susan G. Laurance

Henrique E. M. Nascimento

Jean Olivier

Walter Palacios

Sandra Patiño

Nigel Pitman

Carlos A. Quesada

Mario Saldias

Armando Torres Lezama

Barbara Vinceti

Oxford University Press

Previous work found that tree turnover, biomass, and large liana densities increased in mature tropical forests in the late 20th century, indicating a concerted shift in forest ecological processes. However, the findings have proved controversial. Here, regional-scale patterns of tree turnover are characterized, using improved datasets available for Amazonia that span the last twenty-five years. The main findings include: trees at least 10 cm in diameter recruit and die twice as fast on the richer soils of western Amazonia compared to trees on the poorer soils of eastern Amazonia; turnover rates have increased throughout Amazonia over the last two decades; mortality and recruitment rates have tended to increase in every region and environmental zone; recruitment rates consistently exceed mortality rates; and increases in recruitment and mortality rates are greatest in western Amazonia. These patterns and trends are not caused by obvious artefacts in the data or the analyses, and cannot be directly driven by a mortality driver such as increased drought because the biomass in these forests has simultaneously increased. Apparently, therefore, widespread environmental changes are stimulating the growth and productivity of Amazon forests.

Keywords:   Amazon forests, biomass, forest plots, tree turnover, tree growth, mortality, forest dynamics, tropical rainforests, global change

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