Contrasting effects of defaunation on aboveground carbon storage across the global tropics

Abstract : Defaunation is causing declines of large-seeded animal-dispersed trees in tropical forests worldwide, but whether and how these declines will affect carbon storage across this biome is unclear. Here we show, using a pan-tropical data set, that simulated declines of large-seeded animal-dispersed trees have contrasting effects on aboveground carbon stocks across Earth’s tropical forests. In our simulations, African, American and South Asian forests, which have high proportions of animal-dispersed species, consistently show carbon losses (2–12%), but Southeast Asian and Australian forests, where there are more abiotically dispersed species, show little to no carbon losses or marginal gains (±1%). These patterns result primarily from changes in wood volume, and are underlain by consistent relationships in our empirical data (B2,100 species), wherein, large-seeded animal-dispersed species are larger as adults than small-seeded animal-dispersed species, but are smaller than abiotically dispersed species. Thus, floristic differences and distinct dispersal mode–seed size–adult size combinations can drive contrasting regional responses to defaunation.
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https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-01358088
Contributor : Saravanan G. <>
Submitted on : Wednesday, August 31, 2016 - 9:21:54 AM
Last modification on : Thursday, August 29, 2019 - 1:38:05 PM

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Anand M. Osuri, Jayashree Ratnam, Varun Varma, Patricia Alvarez-Loayza, Johanna Hurtado Astaiza, et al.. Contrasting effects of defaunation on aboveground carbon storage across the global tropics. Nature Communications, Nature Publishing Group, 2016, 7, ⟨10.1038/ncomms11351⟩. ⟨hal-01358088⟩

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