Impacts of fire on forest biomass dynamics at the southern Amazon edge

Nogueira, Denis S., Marimon, Beatriz S., Marimon-junior, Ben Hur, Oliveira, Edmar A., Morandi, Paulo, Reis, Simone M., Elias, Fernando, Neves, Eder C., Feldpausch, Ted R., Lloyd, Jon, and Phillips, Oliver L. (2019) Impacts of fire on forest biomass dynamics at the southern Amazon edge. Environmental Conservation, 46 (4). pp. 285-292.

PDF (Published Version) - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.

Download (653kB) | Preview
View at Publisher Website:


Over recent decades, biomass gains in remaining old-growth Amazonia forests have declined due to environmental change. Amazonia's huge size and complexity makes understanding these changes, drivers, and consequences very challenging. Here, using a network of permanent monitoring plots at the Amazon-Cerrado transition, we quantify recent biomass carbon changes and explore their environmental drivers. Our study area covers 30 plots of upland and riparian forests sampled at least twice between 1996 and 2016 and subject to various levels of fire and drought. Using these plots, we aimed to: (1) estimate the long-term biomass change rate; (2) determine the extent to which forest changes are influenced by forest type; and (3) assess the threat to forests from ongoing environmental change. Overall, there was no net change in biomass, but there was clear variation among different forest types. Burning occurred at least once in 8 of the 12 riparian forests, while only 1 of the 18 upland forests burned, resulting in losses of carbon in burned riparian forests. Net biomass gains prevailed among other riparian and upland forests throughout Amazonia. Our results reveal an unanticipated vulnerability of riparian forests to fire, likely aggravated by drought, and threatening ecosystem conservation at the Amazon southern margins.

Item ID: 62070
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1469-4387
Keywords: biomass loss, burned forest, carbon stocks, climate change, drought sensitivity
Copyright Information: © Foundation for Environmental Conservation 2019. This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution licence (, which permits unrestricted re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Funders: Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico (CNPq), British Council Newton Fund (BCNF), Natural Environment Research Council (NERC), European Research Council (ERC), Royal Society, Coordenadoria de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior (CAPES), Fundação de Amparo á Pesquisa do Estado de Mato Grosso (FAPEMAT)
Projects and Grants: CNPq-PDJ scholarship 150622/2015-5, CNPq-PDJ scholarship 150577/2016-8, PVE project 401279/2014-6, PELD/CNPq 403725/2012-7, PELD/CNPq 441244/2016-5, PPBIO-CNPq 457602/2012-0, CAPES PVE project 177/2012, BCNF grant 275556724, NERC TROBIT project (Tropical Biomes in Transition, NE/NE/D005590/1), ERC Advanced Grant, Royal Society Wolfson Research Merit Award
Date Deposited: 10 May 2020 22:52
FoR Codes: 41 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 4104 Environmental management > 410401 Conservation and biodiversity @ 100%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9608 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity > 960806 Forest and Woodlands Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity @ 100%
Downloads: Total: 572
Last 12 Months: 12
More Statistics

Actions (Repository Staff Only)

Item Control Page Item Control Page