Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Oecologia. 2005 Jan;142(2):238-46. Epub 2004 Sep 29.

Biomass change in an Atlantic tropical moist forest: the ENSO effect in permanent sample plots over a 22-year period.

Author information

  • 1Companhia Vale do Rio Doce, Linhares Natural Reserve, Box 91, Linhares, 29900-970, ES, Brazil.


There are a number of controversies surrounding both biomass estimation and carbon balance in tropical forests. Here we use long-term (from 1978 through 2000) data from five 0.5-ha permanent sample plots (PSPs) within a large tract of relatively undisturbed Atlantic moist forest in southeastern Brazil to quantify the biomass increment (DeltaM(I)), and change in total stand biomass (DeltaM(stand)), from mortality, recruitment, and growth data for trees >/=10 cm diameter at breast height (DBH). Despite receiving an average of only 1,200 mm annual precipitation, total forests biomass (334.5+/-11.3 Mg ha(-1)) was comparable to moist tropical forests with much greater precipitation. Over this relatively long-term study, forest biomass experienced rapid declines associated with El NiƱo events, followed by gradual biomass accumulation. Over short time intervals that overlook extreme events, these dynamics can be misinterpreted as net biomass accumulation. However for the 22 years of this study, there was a small reduction in forest biomass, averaging -1.2 Mg ha(-1) year(-1) (+/-3.1). Strong climatic disturbances can severely reduce forest biomass, and if the frequency and intensity of these events increases beyond historical averages, these changing disturbance regimes have the capacity to significantly reduce forest biomass, resulting in a net source of carbon to the atmosphere.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

LinkOut - more resources

Full Text Sources

Other Literature Sources

PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Springer
    Loading ...
    Support Center