Variations in Amazon forest productivity correlated with foliar nutrients and modelled rates of photosynthetic carbon supply

Mercado, Lina M., Patiño, Sandra, Domingues, Tomas F., Fyllas, Nikolaos M., Weedon, Graham P., Sitch, Stephen, Quesada, Carlos Alberto, Phillips, Oliver L., Aragão, Luiz E.O.C., Malhi, Yadvinder, Dolman, A.J., Restrepo-Coupe, Natalia, Saleska, Scott R., Baker, Timothy R., Almeida, Samual, Higuchi, Niro, and Lloyd, Jon (2011) Variations in Amazon forest productivity correlated with foliar nutrients and modelled rates of photosynthetic carbon supply. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 366 (1582). pp. 3316-3329.

[img] PDF (Published Version) - Published Version
Restricted to Repository staff only

View at Publisher Website: http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rstb.2011.0045

Abstract

The rate of above-ground woody biomass production, WP, in some western Amazon forests exceeds those in the east by a factor of 2 or more. Underlying causes may include climate, soil nutrient limitations and species composition. In this modelling paper, we explore the implications of allowing key nutrients such as N and P to constrain the photosynthesis of Amazon forests, and also we examine the relationship between modelled rates of photosynthesis and the observed gradients in WP. We use a model with current understanding of the underpinning biochemical processes as affected by nutrient availability to assess: (i) the degree to which observed spatial variations in foliar [N] and [P] across Amazonia affect stand-level photosynthesis; and (ii) how these variations in forest photosynthetic carbon acquisition relate to the observed geographical patterns of stem growth across the Amazon Basin. We find nutrient availability to exert a strong effect on photosynthetic carbon gain across the Basin and to be a likely important contributor to the observed gradient in WP. Phosphorus emerges as more important than nitrogen in accounting for the observed variations in productivity. Implications of these findings are discussed in the context of future tropical forests under a changing climate.

Item ID: 21787
Item Type: Article (Refereed Research - C1)
Keywords: Amazon forest; modelling photosynthesis; nutrient limitation
ISSN: 1471-2970
Date Deposited: 10 May 2012 02:32
FoR Codes: 06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0602 Ecology > 060208 Terrestrial Ecology @ 25%
06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0607 Plant Biology > 060705 Plant Physiology @ 40%
06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0699 Other Biological Sciences > 069902 Global Change Biology @ 35%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9603 Climate and Climate Change > 960310 Global Effects of Climate Change and Variability (excl. Australia, New Zealand, Antarctica and the South Pacific) @ 50%
96 ENVIRONMENT > 9608 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity > 960806 Forest and Woodlands Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity @ 50%
Citation Count from Web of Science Web of Science 2
Downloads: Total: 1
More Statistics

Actions (Repository Staff Only)

Item Control Page Item Control Page