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Nat Commun. 2014 Oct 7;5:5037. doi: 10.1038/ncomms6037.

Long-term carbon loss in fragmented Neotropical forests.

Author information

1
1] Department of Ecological Modelling, UFZ-Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research, Permoserstraße 15, 04318 Leipzig, Germany [2] Department of Bioenergy, UFZ-Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research, Permoserstraße 15, 04318 Leipzig, Germany [3] Department of Conservation Biology, UFZ-Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research, Permoserstraße 15, 04318 Leipzig, Germany.
2
1] Department of Ecological Modelling, UFZ-Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research, Permoserstraße 15, 04318 Leipzig, Germany [2] School of Environment, University of Auckland, Private Bag 92019, Auckland, New Zealand.
3
Department of Conservation Biology, UFZ-Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research, Permoserstraße 15, 04318 Leipzig, Germany.
4
Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Toronto, 25 Willcocks Street, Toronto, Ontario, Canada M5S 3B2.
5
Fondazione Edmund Mach-Istituto Agrario di San Michele all'Adige, Via E. Mach 1, 38010 S Michele all'Adige (TN), Italy.
6
Departamento de Ecologia, Instituto de Biociências, Universidade de São Paulo, Rua do Matão, 321, travessa 14, 05508-900 São Paulo, Brazil.
7
1] Departamento de Ecologia, Instituto de Biociências, Universidade de São Paulo, Rua do Matão, 321, travessa 14, 05508-900 São Paulo, Brazil [2] Spatial Ecology and Conservation lab (LEEC), Department of Ecology, Institute of Bioscience, Universidade Estadual Paulista Júlio de Mesquita Filho (UNESP), Avenue 24A, 1515, Bela Vista, 13506-900 Rio Claro, Brazil.
8
Department of Ecological Modelling, UFZ-Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research, Permoserstraße 15, 04318 Leipzig, Germany.
9
1] Department of Ecological Modelling, UFZ-Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research, Permoserstraße 15, 04318 Leipzig, Germany [2] University of Osnabrück, Institute for Environmental Systems Research, Barbarastraße 12, 49076 Osnabrück, Germany [3] German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv) Halle-Jena-Leipzig, Deutscher Platz 5e, 04103 Leipzig, Germany.

Abstract

Tropical forests play an important role in the global carbon cycle, as they store a large amount of carbon (C). Tropical forest deforestation has been identified as a major source of CO2 emissions, though biomass loss due to fragmentation--the creation of additional forest edges--has been largely overlooked as an additional CO2 source. Here, through the combination of remote sensing and knowledge on ecological processes, we present long-term carbon loss estimates due to fragmentation of Neotropical forests: within 10 years the Brazilian Atlantic Forest has lost 69 (±14) Tg C, and the Amazon 599 (±120) Tg C due to fragmentation alone. For all tropical forests, we estimate emissions up to 0.2 Pg C y(-1) or 9 to 24% of the annual global C loss due to deforestation. In conclusion, tropical forest fragmentation increases carbon loss and should be accounted for when attempting to understand the role of vegetation in the global carbon balance.

PMID:
25289858
DOI:
10.1038/ncomms6037
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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