Tree mode of death and mortality risk factors across Amazon forests

Esquivel-Muelbert, Adriane, Phillips, Oliver L., Brienen, Roel J.W., Fauset, Sophie, Sullivan, Martin J.P., Baker, Timothy R., Chao, Kuo-Jung, Feldpausch, Ted R., Gloor, Emanuel, Higuchi, Niro, Houwing-Duistermaat, Jeanne, Lloyd, Jon, Liu, Haiyan, Malhi, Yadvinder, Marimon, Beatriz, Marimon Junior, Ben Hur, Monteagudo-Mendoza, Abel, Poorter, Lourens, Silveira, Marcos, Vilanova Torre, Emilio, Alvarez Davila, Esteban, del Aguila Pasquel, Jhon, Almeida, Everton, Alvarez Loayza, Patricia, Andrade, Ana, Aragão, Luiz E.O.C., Araujo-Murakami, Alejandro, Arets, Eric, Arroyo, Luzmila, Aymard C., Gerardo A., Baisie, Michel, Baraloto, Christopher, Camargo, Plínio Barbosa, Barroso, Jorcely, Blanc, Lilian, Bonal, Damien, Bongers, Frans, Boot, Rene, Brown, Foster, Burban, Benoit, Camargo, José Luis, Castro, Wendeson, Moscoso, Victor Chama, Chave, Jerome, Comiskey, James, Valverde, Fernando Cornejo, Lola da Costa, Antonio, Cardozo, Nallaret Davila, Di Fiore, Anthony, Dourdain, Aurelie, Erwin, Terry, Llampazo, Gerardo Flores, Guimaraes Veira, Ima Celia, Herrera, Rafael, Honorio Coronado, Euridice, Huamantupa-Chuquimaco, Isau, Jimenez-Rojas, Eliana, Killeen, Timothy, Laurance, Susan, Laurance, William, Levesley, Aurora, Lewis, Simon L., Ladvocat, Karina Liano Lisboa Melgaco, Lopez-Gonzalez, Gabriela, Lovejoy, Thomas, Meir, Patrick, Mendoza, Casimiro, Morandi, Paulo, Neill, David, Lima, Adriano Jose Nogueira, Núñez Vargas, Percy, De Oliveira, Edmar Almeida, Pallqui Camacho, Nadir, Pardo, Guido, Peacock, Julie, Pena-Claros, Marielos, Peñuela-Mora, Maria Cristina, Pickavance, Georgia, Pipoly, John, Pittman, Nigel, Prieto, Adriana, Pugh, Thomas A.M., Quesada, Carlos, Ramírez-Angulo, Hirma, Reis, Simone Matias de Almeida, Rejou-Machain, Maxime, Restrepo Correa, Zorayda, Rodriguez Bayona, Lily, Rudas, Agustín, Salomão, Rafael, Serrano, Julio, Silva Espejo, Javier, Silva, Natalino, Singh, James, Stahl, Clement, Stropp, Juliana, Swamy, Varun, Talbot, Joey, ter Steege, Hans, Terborgh, John, Thomas, Raquel, Toledo, Marisol, Torres-lezama, Armando, Gamarra, Luis Valenzuel, van der Heijden, Geertje, van der Meer, Peter, van der Hout, Peter, Martinez, Rodolfo Vasquez, Vieira, Simone Aparecida, Cayo, Jeanneth Villalobos, Vos, Vincent, Zagt, Roderick, Zuidema, Pieter, and Galbraith, David (2020) Tree mode of death and mortality risk factors across Amazon forests. Nature Communications, 11. 5515.

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The carbon sink capacity of tropical forests is substantially affected by tree mortality. However, the main drivers of tropical tree death remain largely unknown. Here we present a pan-Amazonian assessment of how and why trees die, analysing over 120,000 trees representing > 3800 species from 189 long-term RAINFOR forest plots. While tree mortality rates vary greatly Amazon-wide, on average trees are as likely to die standing as they are broken or uprooted—modes of death with different ecological consequences. Species-level growth rate is the single most important predictor of tree death in Amazonia, with faster-growing species being at higher risk. Within species, however, the slowest-growing trees are at greatest risk while the effect of tree size varies across the basin. In the driest Amazonian region species-level bioclimatic distributional patterns also predict the risk of death, suggesting that these forests are experiencing climatic conditions beyond their adaptative limits. These results provide not only a holistic pan-Amazonian picture of tree death but large-scale evidence for the overarching importance of the growth–survival trade-off in driving tropical tree mortality.

Item ID: 65147
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 2041-1723
Funders: Natural Environment Research Council (NERC), Environment Research Council (ERC), Royal Society (RS), Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation
Projects and Grants: NERC TREMOR NE/N004655/1, ERC T-FORCES no. 291585, ERC TreeMort 758873, ERC Advanced Grant, Royal Society Wolfson Research Merit Award
Date Deposited: 01 Dec 2020 01:36
FoR Codes: 41 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 4104 Environmental management > 410401 Conservation and biodiversity @ 100%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9608 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity > 960899 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity of Environments not elsewhere classified @ 100%
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