skip to main content
DOE PAGES title logo U.S. Department of Energy
Office of Scientific and Technical Information

Title: Carbon exchange in an Amazon forest: from hours to years

Abstract

In Amazon forests, the relative contributions of climate, phenology, and disturbance to net ecosystem exchange of carbon (NEE) are not well understood. To partition influences across various timescales, we use a statistical model to represent eddy-covariance-derived NEE in an evergreen eastern Amazon forest as a constant response to changing meteorology and phenology throughout a decade. Our best fit model represented hourly NEE variations as changes due to sunlight, while seasonal variations arose from phenology influencing photosynthesis and from rainfall influencing ecosystem respiration, where phenology was asynchronous with dry-season onset. We compared annual model residuals with biometric forest surveys to estimate impacts of drought disturbance. We found that our simple model represented hourly and monthly variations in NEE well ( R 2=0.81 and 0.59, respectively). Modeled phenology explained 1% of hourly and 26% of monthly variations in observed NEE, whereas the remaining modeled variability was due to changes in meteorology. We did not find evidence to support the common assumption that the forest phenology was seasonally light- or water-triggered. Our model simulated annual NEE well, with the exception of 2002, the first year of our data record, which contained 1.2MgCha -1 of residual net emissions, because photosynthesis was anomalously low. Becausemore » a severe drought occurred in 1998, we hypothesized that this drought caused a persistent, multi-year depression of photosynthesis. Our results suggest drought can have lasting impacts on photosynthesis, possibly via partial damage to still-living trees.« less

Authors:
 [1];  [2]; ORCiD logo [3]; ORCiD logo [4]; ORCiD logo [5];  [6]; ORCiD logo [6];  [7]; ORCiD logo [8];  [9]; ORCiD logo [10];  [11]; ORCiD logo [11];  [11];  [12];  [11]
  1. Harvard Law School, Cambridge, MA (United States)
  2. California Inst. of Technology (CalTech), La Canada Flintridge, CA (United States). NASA Jet Propulsion Lab.
  3. Brookhaven National Lab. (BNL), Upton, NY (United States). Biological, Environmental & Climate Sciences Dept.
  4. Michigan State Univ., East Lansing, MI (United States). Dept. of Forestry
  5. Univ. of Technology Sydney, Sydney, NSW (Australia). Plant Functional Biology and Climate Change Cluster
  6. Univ. Federal do Oeste do Para, Santarém, PA (Brazil)
  7. State Univ. of New York (SUNY), Albany, NY (United States)
  8. Univ. de São Paulo, Piracicaba, SP (Brazil)
  9. Boston Univ., MA (United States). Dept. of Earth and Environment
  10. Univ. of California, Los Angeles, CA (United States). Center for Tropical Research, Inst. of the Environment and Sustainability
  11. Harvard Univ., Cambridge, MA (United States). Faculty of Arts and Sciences
  12. Univ. of Arizona, Tucson, AZ (United States). Dept. of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Brookhaven National Lab. (BNL), Upton, NY (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Basic Energy Sciences (BES) (SC-22)
OSTI Identifier:
1466576
Report Number(s):
[BNL-208002-2018-JAAM]
[Journal ID: ISSN 1726-4189]
Grant/Contract Number:  
[SC0012704]
Resource Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Biogeosciences (Online)
Additional Journal Information:
[Journal Name: Biogeosciences (Online); Journal Volume: 15; Journal Issue: 15]; Journal ID: ISSN 1726-4189
Publisher:
European Geosciences Union
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES

Citation Formats

Hayek, Matthew N., Longo, Marcos, Wu, Jin, Smith, Marielle N., Restrepo-Coupe, Natalia, Tapajós, Raphael, da Silva, Rodrigo, Fitzjarrald, David R., Camargo, Plinio B., Hutyra, Lucy R., Alves, Luciana F., Daube, Bruce, Munger, J. William, Wiedemann, Kenia T., Saleska, Scott R., and Wofsy, Steven C. Carbon exchange in an Amazon forest: from hours to years. United States: N. p., 2018. Web. doi:10.5194/bg-15-4833-2018.
Hayek, Matthew N., Longo, Marcos, Wu, Jin, Smith, Marielle N., Restrepo-Coupe, Natalia, Tapajós, Raphael, da Silva, Rodrigo, Fitzjarrald, David R., Camargo, Plinio B., Hutyra, Lucy R., Alves, Luciana F., Daube, Bruce, Munger, J. William, Wiedemann, Kenia T., Saleska, Scott R., & Wofsy, Steven C. Carbon exchange in an Amazon forest: from hours to years. United States. doi:10.5194/bg-15-4833-2018.
Hayek, Matthew N., Longo, Marcos, Wu, Jin, Smith, Marielle N., Restrepo-Coupe, Natalia, Tapajós, Raphael, da Silva, Rodrigo, Fitzjarrald, David R., Camargo, Plinio B., Hutyra, Lucy R., Alves, Luciana F., Daube, Bruce, Munger, J. William, Wiedemann, Kenia T., Saleska, Scott R., and Wofsy, Steven C. Wed . "Carbon exchange in an Amazon forest: from hours to years". United States. doi:10.5194/bg-15-4833-2018. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1466576.
@article{osti_1466576,
title = {Carbon exchange in an Amazon forest: from hours to years},
author = {Hayek, Matthew N. and Longo, Marcos and Wu, Jin and Smith, Marielle N. and Restrepo-Coupe, Natalia and Tapajós, Raphael and da Silva, Rodrigo and Fitzjarrald, David R. and Camargo, Plinio B. and Hutyra, Lucy R. and Alves, Luciana F. and Daube, Bruce and Munger, J. William and Wiedemann, Kenia T. and Saleska, Scott R. and Wofsy, Steven C.},
abstractNote = {In Amazon forests, the relative contributions of climate, phenology, and disturbance to net ecosystem exchange of carbon (NEE) are not well understood. To partition influences across various timescales, we use a statistical model to represent eddy-covariance-derived NEE in an evergreen eastern Amazon forest as a constant response to changing meteorology and phenology throughout a decade. Our best fit model represented hourly NEE variations as changes due to sunlight, while seasonal variations arose from phenology influencing photosynthesis and from rainfall influencing ecosystem respiration, where phenology was asynchronous with dry-season onset. We compared annual model residuals with biometric forest surveys to estimate impacts of drought disturbance. We found that our simple model represented hourly and monthly variations in NEE well (R2=0.81 and 0.59, respectively). Modeled phenology explained 1% of hourly and 26% of monthly variations in observed NEE, whereas the remaining modeled variability was due to changes in meteorology. We did not find evidence to support the common assumption that the forest phenology was seasonally light- or water-triggered. Our model simulated annual NEE well, with the exception of 2002, the first year of our data record, which contained 1.2MgCha-1 of residual net emissions, because photosynthesis was anomalously low. Because a severe drought occurred in 1998, we hypothesized that this drought caused a persistent, multi-year depression of photosynthesis. Our results suggest drought can have lasting impacts on photosynthesis, possibly via partial damage to still-living trees.},
doi = {10.5194/bg-15-4833-2018},
journal = {Biogeosciences (Online)},
number = [15],
volume = [15],
place = {United States},
year = {2018},
month = {8}
}

Journal Article:
Free Publicly Available Full Text
Publisher's Version of Record

Citation Metrics:
Cited by: 2 works
Citation information provided by
Web of Science

Save / Share:

Works referenced in this record:

Ecosystem heterogeneity and diversity mitigate Amazon forest resilience to frequent extreme droughts
journal, May 2018

  • Longo, Marcos; Knox, Ryan G.; Levine, Naomi M.
  • New Phytologist, Vol. 219, Issue 3
  • DOI: 10.1111/nph.15185

Response of tree biomass and wood litter to disturbance in a Central Amazon forest
journal, September 2004


Photosynthetic seasonality of global tropical forests constrained by hydroclimate
journal, March 2015

  • Guan, Kaiyu; Pan, Ming; Li, Haibin
  • Nature Geoscience, Vol. 8, Issue 4
  • DOI: 10.1038/ngeo2382

Amazon forests maintain consistent canopy structure and greenness during the dry season
journal, February 2014

  • Morton, Douglas C.; Nagol, Jyoteshwar; Carabajal, Claudia C.
  • Nature, Vol. 506, Issue 7487
  • DOI: 10.1038/nature13006

The role of ecosystem-atmosphere interactions in simulated Amazonian precipitation decrease and forest dieback under global climate warming
journal, May 2004

  • Betts, R. A.; Cox, P. M.; Collins, M.
  • Theoretical and Applied Climatology, Vol. 78, Issue 1-3
  • DOI: 10.1007/s00704-004-0050-y

Light and the Phenology of Tropical Trees
journal, January 1994

  • Wright, S. Joseph; van Schaik, Carel P.
  • The American Naturalist, Vol. 143, Issue 1
  • DOI: 10.1086/285600

Changing Amazon biomass and the role of atmospheric CO 2 concentration, climate, and land use : CHANGING AMAZON BIOMASS
journal, January 2016

  • de Almeida Castanho, Andrea D.; Galbraith, David; Zhang, Ke
  • Global Biogeochemical Cycles, Vol. 30, Issue 1
  • DOI: 10.1002/2015GB005135

Drought impact on forest carbon dynamics and fluxes in Amazonia
journal, March 2015

  • Doughty, Christopher E.; Metcalfe, D. B.; Girardin, C. A. J.
  • Nature, Vol. 519, Issue 7541
  • DOI: 10.1038/nature14213

Climatic variability and vegetation vulnerability in Amazônia
journal, January 2005

  • Hutyra, L. R.; Munger, J. W.; Nobre, C. A.
  • Geophysical Research Letters, Vol. 32, Issue 24
  • DOI: 10.1029/2005GL024981

Seasonal changes in leaf area of Amazon forests from leaf flushing and abscission: AMAZON SEASONAL GREENING
journal, February 2012

  • Samanta, Arindam; Knyazikhin, Yuri; Xu, Liang
  • Journal of Geophysical Research: Biogeosciences, Vol. 117, Issue G1
  • DOI: 10.1029/2011JG001818

A novel correction for biases in forest eddy covariance carbon balance
journal, March 2018


Drivers and mechanisms of tree mortality in moist tropical forests
journal, February 2018

  • McDowell, Nate; Allen, Craig D.; Anderson-Teixeira, Kristina
  • New Phytologist, Vol. 219, Issue 3
  • DOI: 10.1111/nph.15027

Amazon forest structure generates diurnal and seasonal variability in light utilization
journal, January 2016

  • Morton, Douglas C.; Rubio, Jérémy; Cook, Bruce D.
  • Biogeosciences, Vol. 13, Issue 7
  • DOI: 10.5194/bg-13-2195-2016

The spatial distribution of forest biomass in the Brazilian Amazon: a comparison of estimates
journal, October 2001


Projections of future meteorological drought and wet periods in the Amazon
journal, October 2015

  • Duffy, Philip B.; Brando, Paulo; Asner, Gregory P.
  • Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Vol. 112, Issue 43
  • DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1421010112

Sunlight mediated seasonality in canopy structure and photosynthetic activity of Amazonian rainforests
journal, June 2015


Amazon rainforests green-up with sunlight in dry season
journal, January 2006

  • Huete, Alfredo R.; Didan, Kamel; Shimabukuro, Yosio E.
  • Geophysical Research Letters, Vol. 33, Issue 6
  • DOI: 10.1029/2005GL025583

CO 2 balance of a secondary tropical peat swamp forest in Sarawak, Malaysia
journal, January 2018


Leaf development and demography explain photosynthetic seasonality in Amazon evergreen forests
journal, February 2016


Causes and impacts of the 2005 Amazon drought
journal, January 2008


Moving beyond photosynthesis: from carbon source to sink-driven vegetation modeling
journal, November 2013

  • Fatichi, Simone; Leuzinger, Sebastian; Körner, Christian
  • New Phytologist, Vol. 201, Issue 4
  • DOI: 10.1111/nph.12614

Resolving systematic errors in estimates of net ecosystem exchange of CO2 and ecosystem respiration in a tropical forest biome
journal, July 2008

  • Hutyra, Lucy R.; Munger, J. William; Hammond-Pyle, Elizabeth
  • Agricultural and Forest Meteorology, Vol. 148, Issue 8-9
  • DOI: 10.1016/j.agrformet.2008.03.007

Pervasive drought legacies in forest ecosystems and their implications for carbon cycle models
journal, July 2015


Tree damage, allometric relationships, and above-ground net primary production in central Amazon forest
journal, October 2001

  • Chambers, Jeffrey Q.; Santos, Joaquim dos; Ribeiro, Ralfh J.
  • Forest Ecology and Management, Vol. 152, Issue 1-3
  • DOI: 10.1016/S0378-1127(00)00591-0

Seasonal carbon dynamics and water fluxes in an Amazon rainforest
journal, January 2012


What drives the seasonality of photosynthesis across the Amazon basin? A cross-site analysis of eddy flux tower measurements from the Brasil flux network
journal, December 2013


Size and frequency of natural forest disturbances and the Amazon forest carbon balance
journal, March 2014

  • Espírito-Santo, Fernando D. B.; Gloor, Manuel; Keller, Michael
  • Nature Communications, Vol. 5, Issue 1
  • DOI: 10.1038/ncomms4434

Seasonality in CO 2 and H 2 O flux at an eastern Amazonian rain forest
journal, January 2002


Persistent effects of a severe drought on Amazonian forest canopy
journal, December 2012

  • Saatchi, S.; Asefi-Najafabady, S.; Malhi, Y.
  • Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Vol. 110, Issue 2
  • DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1204651110

Seasonal patterns of CO 2 fluxes in Amazon forests: Fusion of eddy covariance data and the ORCHIDEE model
journal, January 2011

  • Verbeeck, Hans; Peylin, Philippe; Bacour, Cédric
  • Journal of Geophysical Research, Vol. 116, Issue G2
  • DOI: 10.1029/2010JG001544

Carbon Balance and Vegetation Dynamics in an Old-Growth Amazonian Forest
journal, August 2004

  • Rice, Amy H.; Pyle, Elizabeth Hammond; Saleska, Scott R.
  • Ecological Applications, Vol. 14, Issue sp4
  • DOI: 10.1890/02-6006

DIEL AND SEASONAL PATTERNS OF TROPICAL FOREST CO 2 EXCHANGE
journal, August 2004

  • Goulden, Michael L.; Miller, Scott D.; da Rocha, Humberto R.
  • Ecological Applications, Vol. 14, Issue sp4
  • DOI: 10.1890/02-6008

Physiological and environmental regulation of stomatal conductance, photosynthesis and transpiration: a model that includes a laminar boundary layer
journal, April 1991

  • Collatz, G. James; Ball, J. Timothy; Grivet, Cyril
  • Agricultural and Forest Meteorology, Vol. 54, Issue 2-4
  • DOI: 10.1016/0168-1923(91)90002-8

The temperature response of soil microbial efficiency and its feedback to climate
journal, January 2013

  • Frey, Serita D.; Lee, Juhwan; Melillo, Jerry M.
  • Nature Climate Change, Vol. 3, Issue 4
  • DOI: 10.1038/nclimate1796

Biometric and Micrometeorological Measurements of Tropical Forest Carbon Balance
journal, August 2004

  • Miller, Scott D.; Goulden, Michael L.; Menton, Mary C.
  • Ecological Applications, Vol. 14, Issue sp4
  • DOI: 10.1890/02-6005

The limits to tree height
journal, April 2004

  • Koch, George W.; Sillett, Stephen C.; Jennings, Gregory M.
  • Nature, Vol. 428, Issue 6985
  • DOI: 10.1038/nature02417

Seasonal leaf dynamics for tropical evergreen forests in a process-based global ecosystem model
journal, January 2012

  • De Weirdt, M.; Verbeeck, H.; Maignan, F.
  • Geoscientific Model Development, Vol. 5, Issue 5
  • DOI: 10.5194/gmd-5-1091-2012

Global convergence in the vulnerability of forests to drought
journal, November 2012

  • Choat, Brendan; Jansen, Steven; Brodribb, Tim J.
  • Nature, Vol. 491, Issue 7426
  • DOI: 10.1038/nature11688

The 2010 Amazon Drought
journal, February 2011


Dry-season greening of Amazon forests
journal, March 2016

  • Saleska, Scott R.; Wu, Jin; Guan, Kaiyu
  • Nature, Vol. 531, Issue 7594
  • DOI: 10.1038/nature16457

Amazon forest carbon dynamics predicted by profiles of canopy leaf area and light environment
journal, September 2012


A long-term record of carbon exchange in a boreal black spruce forest: means, responses to interannual variability, and decadal trends
journal, March 2007


Long-term decline of the Amazon carbon sink
journal, March 2015

  • Brienen, R. J. W.; Phillips, O. L.; Feldpausch, T. R.
  • Nature, Vol. 519, Issue 7543
  • DOI: 10.1038/nature14283

Seasonal controls on the exchange of carbon and water in an Amazonian rain forest: SEASONALITY OF AMAZONIAN CARBON FLUXES
journal, August 2007

  • Hutyra, Lucy R.; Munger, J. William; Saleska, Scott R.
  • Journal of Geophysical Research: Biogeosciences, Vol. 112, Issue G3
  • DOI: 10.1029/2006JG000365

Reviews and syntheses: An empirical spatiotemporal description of the global surface–atmosphere carbon fluxes: opportunities and data limitations
journal, January 2017

  • Zscheischler, Jakob; Mahecha, Miguel D.; Avitabile, Valerio
  • Biogeosciences, Vol. 14, Issue 15
  • DOI: 10.5194/bg-14-3685-2017

Drought Sensitivity of the Amazon Rainforest
journal, March 2009


Large seasonal swings in leaf area of Amazon rainforests
journal, March 2007

  • Myneni, R. B.; Yang, W.; Nemani, R. R.
  • Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Vol. 104, Issue 12
  • DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0611338104

Partitioning controls on Amazon forest photosynthesis between environmental and biotic factors at hourly to interannual timescales
journal, October 2016

  • Wu, Jin; Guan, Kaiyu; Hayek, Matthew
  • Global Change Biology, Vol. 23, Issue 3
  • DOI: 10.1111/gcb.13509

Seasonal patterns of tropical forest leaf area index and CO 2 exchange : TROPICAL FOREST CO
journal, March 2008

  • Doughty, Christopher E.; Goulden, Michael L.
  • Journal of Geophysical Research: Biogeosciences, Vol. 113, Issue G1
  • DOI: 10.1029/2007JG000590

Soil Warming and Carbon-Cycle Feedbacks to the Climate System
journal, December 2002


The steady-state mosaic of disturbance and succession across an old-growth Central Amazon forest landscape
journal, January 2013

  • Chambers, J. Q.; Negron-Juarez, R. I.; Marra, D. M.
  • Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Vol. 110, Issue 10
  • DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1202894110

El Niño drought increased canopy turnover in Amazon forests
journal, March 2018

  • Leitold, Veronika; Morton, Douglas C.; Longo, Marcos
  • New Phytologist, Vol. 219, Issue 3
  • DOI: 10.1111/nph.15110

Dynamics of carbon, biomass, and structure in two Amazonian forests: CARBON DYNAMICS IN TWO AMAZONIAN FORESTS
journal, March 2008

  • Pyle, Elizabeth Hammond; Santoni, Gregory W.; Nascimento, Henrique E. M.
  • Journal of Geophysical Research: Biogeosciences, Vol. 113, Issue G1
  • DOI: 10.1029/2007JG000592

Factors controlling CO 2 exchange on timescales from hourly to decadal at Harvard Forest
journal, January 2007

  • Urbanski, S.; Barford, C.; Wofsy, S.
  • Journal of Geophysical Research, Vol. 112, Issue G2
  • DOI: 10.1029/2006JG000293

A geostatistical synthesis study of factors affecting gross primary productivity in various ecosystems of North America
journal, January 2010


Decreased water limitation under elevated CO 2 amplifies potential for forest carbon sinks
journal, May 2015

  • Farrior, Caroline E.; Rodriguez-Iturbe, Ignacio; Dybzinski, Ray
  • Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Vol. 112, Issue 23
  • DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1506262112

Spatial and temporal rainfall variability near the Amazon-Tapajós confluence: EASTERN AMAZON RAINFALL VARIABILITY
journal, March 2008

  • Fitzjarrald, David R.; Sakai, Ricardo K.; Moraes, Osvaldo L. L.
  • Journal of Geophysical Research: Biogeosciences, Vol. 113, Issue G1
  • DOI: 10.1029/2007JG000596

Carbon in Amazon Forests: Unexpected Seasonal Fluxes and Disturbance-Induced Losses
journal, November 2003


Forest Disturbance by Large Blowdowns in the Brazilian Amazon
journal, April 1994

  • Nelson, Bruce W.; Kapos, Valerie; Adams, John B.
  • Ecology, Vol. 75, Issue 3
  • DOI: 10.2307/1941742

Mortality of Large Trees and Lianas Following Experimental Drought in an Amazon Forest
journal, September 2007

  • Nepstad, Daniel C.; Tohver, Ingrid Marisa; Ray, David
  • Ecology, Vol. 88, Issue 9
  • DOI: 10.1890/06-1046.1

    Works referencing / citing this record:

    Phenology and Seasonal Ecosystem Productivity in an Amazonian Floodplain Forest
    journal, June 2019

    • Fonseca, Letícia D. M.; Dalagnol, Ricardo; Malhi, Yadvinder
    • Remote Sensing, Vol. 11, Issue 13
    • DOI: 10.3390/rs11131530