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Registered: 12-2008
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The Importance of the Amazon Forests

Carbon Sinks and Amazonian Droughts

Amazonian forests process about 18 petagrams (18 × 1015 g) of carbon annually and, thus, changes in forest dynamics (including tree growth) have the potential to affect the concentration of atmospheric CO2 and climate. In 2005, Amazonia suffered a drought associated with elevated tropical North Atlantic sea surface temperatures. Phillips et al. (p. 1344) document the effects of this drought on the biomass of trees in an array of permanent forest plots across the Amazon basin. Censuses of the plots in years prior to the drought had indicated an accumulation of biomass (that is, a carbon sink). The rate of accumulation decreased significantly during the drought, suggesting that such events (which may become more frequent in the future) will reduce the Amazon forest's capacity to act as a carbon sink. The drought also selectively killed fast-growing trees with low wood density, which, if repeated, would affect the forest's ability to regenerate. read entire article:
ScienceNOW Mag.
see also this statment by co-author of the paper.

Last edited by AgnesW, 3/5/2009, 10:46 pm
3/5/2009, 9:53 pm Link to this post   Blog

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