Long-term decline of the Amazon carbon sink

R J W Brienen 1 O L Phillips 1 T R Feldpausch 1, 2 E Gloor 1 T R Baker 1 J Lloyd 3, 4 G Lopez-Gonzalez 1 A Monteagudo-Mendoza 5 Y Malhi 6 S L Lewis 1, 7 R Vásquez Martinez 8 M Alexiades 9 E Álvarez Dávila 10 P Alvarez-Loayza 11 A Andrade 12 L E O C Aragão 2, 13 A Araujo-Murakami 14 E J M M Arets 15 L Arroyo 16 G A Aymard C 17 O S Bánki 18 Christopher Baraloto 19, 20 J Barroso 21 Damien Bonal 22 R G A Boot 23 J L C Camargo 12 C V Castilho 24 V Chama 25 K J Chao 1, 26 Jérome Chave 27 J A Comiskey 28 F Cornejo Valverde 29 L da Costa 30 E A de Oliveira 31 A Di Fiore 32 T L Erwin 33 S Fauset 1 M Forsthofer 31 D R Galbraith 1 E S Grahame 1 N Groot 1 B Hérault 19 N Higuchi 12 E N Honorio Coronado 1, 34 H Keeling 1 T J Killeen 35 W F Laurance 36, 37 S Laurance 36, 37 J Licona 38 W E Magnussen 12 B S Marimon 31 B H Marimon-Junior 31 C Mendoza 39, 40 D A Neill 41 E M Nogueira 12 P Núñez 25 N C Pallqui Camacho 25 A Parada 16 G Pardo-Molina 42 J Peacock 1 M Peña-Claros 38, 43 G C Pickavance 1 N C A Pitman 44, 45 L Poorter 46 A Prieto 47 C A Quesada 42 F Ramírez 47 H Ramírez-Angulo 48 Z Restrepo 49 A Roopsind 50 A Rudas 51 R P Salomão 52 M Schwarz 1 N Silva 53 J E Silva-Espejo 25 M Silveira 21 J Stropp 54 J Talbot 1 H ter Steege 55, 56 J Teran-Aguilar 57 J Terborgh 44 R Thomas-Caesar 53 M Toledo 38 M Torello-Raventos 58, 36, 59 R K Umetsu 31 G M F van der Heijden 60, 61 P van der Hout 62 I C Guimarães Vieira 52 S A Vieira 63 E Vilanova 64 V A Vos 42 R J Zagt 23
Abstract : Atmospheric carbon dioxide records indicate that the land surface has acted as a strong global carbon sink over recent decades, with a substantial fraction of this sink probably located in the tropics, particularly in the Amazon. Nevertheless, it is unclear how the terrestrial carbon sink will evolve as climate and atmospheric composition continue to change. Here we analyse the historical evolution of the biomass dynamics of the Amazon rainforest over three decades using a distributed network of 321 plots. While this analysis confirms that Amazon forests have acted as a long-term net biomass sink, we find a long-term decreasing trend of carbon accumulation. Rates of net increase in above-ground biomass declined by one-third during the past decade compared to the 1990s. This is a consequence of growth rate increases levelling off recently, while biomass mortality persistently increased throughout, leading to a shortening of carbon residence times. Potential drivers for the mortality increase include greater climate variability, and feedbacks of faster growth on mortality, resulting in shortened tree longevity. The observed decline of the Amazon sink diverges markedly from the recent increase in terrestrial carbon uptake at the global scale, and is contrary to expectations based on models.
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Submitted on : Wednesday, September 23, 2015 - 8:47:43 PM
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R J W Brienen, O L Phillips, T R Feldpausch, E Gloor, T R Baker, et al.. Long-term decline of the Amazon carbon sink. Nature, Nature Publishing Group, 2015, 519 (7543), pp.344-348. ⟨10.1038/nature14283⟩. ⟨hal-01204223⟩



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