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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 trends in the biomass of Amazonian forest plots

Late twentieth-century trends in the biomass of Amazonian forest plots

Chapter:
(p.129) CHAPTER 11 Late twentieth-century trends in the biomass of Amazonian forest plots
Source:
Tropical Forests and Global Atmospheric Change
Author(s):

Timothy R. Baker

Oliver L. Phillips

Yadvinder Malhi

Samuel Almeida

Luzmila Arroyo

Anthony Di Fiore

Terry Erwin

Niro Higuchi

Timothy J. Killeen

Susan G. Laurance

William F. Laurance

Simon L. Lewis

Abel Monteagudo

David A. Neill

Percy Núnez Vargas

Nigel C. A. Pitman

J. Natalino M. Silva

Rodolfo Vásquez Martínez

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198567066.003.0011

This chapter discusses a previous study by Phillips et al. (1998) on biomass changes in Amazonian permanent sample plots which has been used to infer the presence of a regional carbon sink, generating vigorous debate about sampling and methodological issues. A new analysis of biomass change in old-growth Amazonian forest plots is presented here using new inventory data. It has been found that across fifty-nine sites, the above-ground dry biomass in trees of more than 10 cm in diameter has increased since plot establishment by about 1.22 Mg per hectare per year, or about 0.98 Mg per hectare per year if individual plot values are weighted by the number of hectare years of monitoring. This significant increase is not confounded by spatial or temporal variation in wood specific gravity, nor does it depend on the allometric equation used to estimate biomass. Overall, these results suggest a slightly greater rate of net stand-level change than reported in 1998, and indicate the presence of a significant regional-scale carbon sink in old-growth Amazonian forests during the past two decades.

Keywords:   Amazon forests, biomass, inventory plots, carbon dioxide, tree growth, tropical rainforests, global change

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