Article

Biomass resilience of Neotropical secondary forests

Nature, Springer Nature, ISSN 1476-4687

Volume 530, 7589, 2016

DOI:10.1038/nature16512, Dimensions: pub.1044488410, PMID: 26840632,

Authors

Craven, Dylan (8) (9) (10)
Dent, Daisy H. (14) (15)
Lohbeck, Madelon (1) (25)
Muscarella, Robert (27) (28)
Ruíz, Jorge (31) (32)
van Breugel, Michiel (10) (36) (37)
Vester, Hans F M (38) (39)
Rozendaal, Danaë M A (1) (6) (42)

* Corresponding author

Affiliations

Organisations

  1. (1) Wageningen University & Research, grid.4818.5
  2. (2) University of Puerto Rico System, grid.267033.3
  3. (3) University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, grid.411015.0
  4. (4) National Autonomous University of Mexico, grid.9486.3
  5. (5) Brown University, grid.40263.33
  6. (6) University of Connecticut, grid.63054.34
  7. (7) University of Sao Paulo, grid.11899.38
  8. (8) German Center for Integrative Biodiversity Research, grid.421064.5
  9. (9) Leipzig University, grid.9647.c
  10. (10) SI ForestGEO, Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, Roosevelt Avenue, Tupper Building – 401, Balboa, Ancón, PanamáPanamá
  11. (11) Federal University of Pernambuco, grid.411227.3
  12. (12) El Colegio de la Frontera Sur, grid.466631.0
  13. (13) Tulane University, grid.265219.b
  14. (14) Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, Roosevelt Avenue, Tupper Building – 401, Balboa, Ancón, PanamáPanamá
  15. (15) University of Stirling, grid.11918.30
  16. (16) Clemson University, grid.26090.3d
  17. (17) Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnología, grid.418270.8
  18. (18) University of Alberta, grid.17089.37
  19. (19) Montes Claros State University, grid.412322.4
  20. (20) Fondo Patrimonio Natural para la Biodiversidad y Areas Protegidas, Calle 72 No. 12-65 piso 6, Bogotá, Colombia
  21. (21) National Institute of Amazonian Research, grid.419220.c
  22. (22) Colorado Mesa University, grid.419760.d
  23. (23) Purchase College, grid.264276.3
  24. (24) Bolivian Forest Research Institute, grid.493404.e
  25. (25) World Agroforestry Centre, grid.435643.3
  26. (26) University of Wisconsin–Madison, grid.14003.36
  27. (27) Aarhus University, grid.7048.b, AU
  28. (28) Columbia University, grid.21729.3f
  29. (29) Federal University of Bahia, grid.8399.b
  30. (30) University of Minnesota, grid.17635.36
  31. (31) Pedagogical and Technological University of Colombia, grid.442071.4
  32. (32) University of California, Santa Barbara, grid.133342.4
  33. (33) PO Box 412, Cr 5 No 14-05, Cota, Cundinamarca, Colombia
  34. (34) 4007 18th St Northwest, DC 20011, Washington, USA
  35. (35) University of Maryland, College Park, grid.164295.d
  36. (36) National University of Singapore, grid.4280.e
  37. (37) Yale-NUS College, grid.463064.3
  38. (38) Bonhoeffer College, Bruggertstraat 60, 7545, AX Enschede, The Netherlands
  39. (39) University of Amsterdam, grid.7177.6
  40. (40) Museu Paraense Emílio Goeldi, grid.452671.3
  41. (41) Louisiana State University, grid.64337.35
  42. (42) University of Regina, grid.57926.3f

Description

Land-use change occurs nowhere more rapidly than in the tropics, where the imbalance between deforestation and forest regrowth has large consequences for the global carbon cycle. However, considerable uncertainty remains about the rate of biomass recovery in secondary forests, and how these rates are influenced by climate, landscape, and prior land use. Here we analyse aboveground biomass recovery during secondary succession in 45 forest sites and about 1,500 forest plots covering the major environmental gradients in the Neotropics. The studied secondary forests are highly productive and resilient. Aboveground biomass recovery after 20 years was on average 122 megagrams per hectare (Mg ha(-1)), corresponding to a net carbon uptake of 3.05 Mg C ha(-1) yr(-1), 11 times the uptake rate of old-growth forests. Aboveground biomass stocks took a median time of 66 years to recover to 90% of old-growth values. Aboveground biomass recovery after 20 years varied 11.3-fold (from 20 to 225 Mg ha(-1)) across sites, and this recovery increased with water availability (higher local rainfall and lower climatic water deficit). We present a biomass recovery map of Latin America, which illustrates geographical and climatic variation in carbon sequestration potential during forest regrowth. The map will support policies to minimize forest loss in areas where biomass resilience is naturally low (such as seasonally dry forest regions) and promote forest regeneration and restoration in humid tropical lowland areas with high biomass resilience.

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Aarhus University

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Research area: Science & Technology

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2016: Level 2

Research area: Science & Technology

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Times Cited: 341

Field Citation Ratio (FCR): 85.26

Relative Citation ratio (RCR): 5.84