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Title: Ecosystem heterogeneity and diversity mitigate Amazon forest resilience to frequent extreme droughts

Abstract

The impact of increases in drought frequency on the Amazon forest's composition, structure and functioning remain uncertain. We used a process- and individual-based ecosystem model (ED2) to quantify the forest's vulnerability to increased drought recurrence. We generated meteorologically realistic, drier-than-observed rainfall scenarios for two Amazon forest sites, Paracou (wetter) and Tapajós (drier), to evaluate the impacts of more frequent droughts on forest biomass, structure and composition. The wet site was insensitive to the tested scenarios, whereas at the dry site biomass declined when average rainfall reduction exceeded 15%, due to high mortality of large-sized evergreen trees. Biomass losses persisted when year-long drought recurrence was shorter than 2–7 yr, depending upon soil texture and leaf phenology. From the site-level scenario results, we developed regionally applicable metrics to quantify the Amazon forest's climatological proximity to rainfall regimes likely to cause biomass loss >20% in 50 yr according to ED2 predictions. Nearly 25% (1.8 million km2) of the Amazon forests could experience frequent droughts and biomass loss if mean annual rainfall or interannual variability changed by 2σ. At least 10% of the high-emission climate projections (CMIP5/RCP8.5 models) predict critically dry regimes over 25% of the Amazon forest area by 2100.

Authors:
ORCiD logo [1];  [2];  [3]; ORCiD logo [3];  [4];  [5];  [6];  [7];  [8];  [9];  [10];  [11];  [10];  [7];  [12];  [7];  [7]
  1. Harvard Univ., Cambridge, MA (United States); California Inst. of Technology (CalTech), Pasadena, CA (United States)
  2. Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States)
  3. Univ. of California, Los Angeles, CA (United States)
  4. INRA, UMR EEF (France)
  5. Universidade de São Paulo (Brazil)
  6. State Univ. of New York (SUNY), Albany, NY (United States)
  7. Harvard Univ., Cambridge, MA (United States)
  8. University of Technology Sydney (Australia) ; Univ. of Arizona, Tucson, AZ (United States)
  9. Univ. of Arizona, Tucson, AZ (United States)
  10. Universidade Federal do Oeste do Pará, , Santarém, PA (United States)
  11. Michigan State Univ., East Lansing, MI (United States)
  12. Hohai University, Nanjing, Jiangsu (China)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Science (SC)
OSTI Identifier:
1487084
Grant/Contract Number:  
AC02-05CH11231
Resource Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
New Phytologist
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 219; Journal Issue: 3; Journal ID: ISSN 0028-646X
Publisher:
Wiley
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES; Amazon; biomass loss; climate change; droughts; ecosystem demography model; forest vulnerability; water and light competition

Citation Formats

Longo, Marcos, Knox, Ryan G., Levine, Naomi M., Alves, Luciana F., Bonal, Damien, Camargo, Plinio B., Fitzjarrald, David R., Hayek, Matthew N., Restrepo-Coupe, Natalia, Saleska, Scott R., da Silva, Rodrigo, Stark, Scott C., Tapajós, Raphael P., Wiedemann, Kenia T., Zhang, Ke, Wofsy, Steven C., and Moorcroft, Paul R. Ecosystem heterogeneity and diversity mitigate Amazon forest resilience to frequent extreme droughts. United States: N. p., 2018. Web. doi:10.1111/nph.15185.
Longo, Marcos, Knox, Ryan G., Levine, Naomi M., Alves, Luciana F., Bonal, Damien, Camargo, Plinio B., Fitzjarrald, David R., Hayek, Matthew N., Restrepo-Coupe, Natalia, Saleska, Scott R., da Silva, Rodrigo, Stark, Scott C., Tapajós, Raphael P., Wiedemann, Kenia T., Zhang, Ke, Wofsy, Steven C., & Moorcroft, Paul R. Ecosystem heterogeneity and diversity mitigate Amazon forest resilience to frequent extreme droughts. United States. doi:10.1111/nph.15185.
Longo, Marcos, Knox, Ryan G., Levine, Naomi M., Alves, Luciana F., Bonal, Damien, Camargo, Plinio B., Fitzjarrald, David R., Hayek, Matthew N., Restrepo-Coupe, Natalia, Saleska, Scott R., da Silva, Rodrigo, Stark, Scott C., Tapajós, Raphael P., Wiedemann, Kenia T., Zhang, Ke, Wofsy, Steven C., and Moorcroft, Paul R. Tue . "Ecosystem heterogeneity and diversity mitigate Amazon forest resilience to frequent extreme droughts". United States. doi:10.1111/nph.15185. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1487084.
@article{osti_1487084,
title = {Ecosystem heterogeneity and diversity mitigate Amazon forest resilience to frequent extreme droughts},
author = {Longo, Marcos and Knox, Ryan G. and Levine, Naomi M. and Alves, Luciana F. and Bonal, Damien and Camargo, Plinio B. and Fitzjarrald, David R. and Hayek, Matthew N. and Restrepo-Coupe, Natalia and Saleska, Scott R. and da Silva, Rodrigo and Stark, Scott C. and Tapajós, Raphael P. and Wiedemann, Kenia T. and Zhang, Ke and Wofsy, Steven C. and Moorcroft, Paul R.},
abstractNote = {The impact of increases in drought frequency on the Amazon forest's composition, structure and functioning remain uncertain. We used a process- and individual-based ecosystem model (ED2) to quantify the forest's vulnerability to increased drought recurrence. We generated meteorologically realistic, drier-than-observed rainfall scenarios for two Amazon forest sites, Paracou (wetter) and Tapajós (drier), to evaluate the impacts of more frequent droughts on forest biomass, structure and composition. The wet site was insensitive to the tested scenarios, whereas at the dry site biomass declined when average rainfall reduction exceeded 15%, due to high mortality of large-sized evergreen trees. Biomass losses persisted when year-long drought recurrence was shorter than 2–7 yr, depending upon soil texture and leaf phenology. From the site-level scenario results, we developed regionally applicable metrics to quantify the Amazon forest's climatological proximity to rainfall regimes likely to cause biomass loss >20% in 50 yr according to ED2 predictions. Nearly 25% (1.8 million km2) of the Amazon forests could experience frequent droughts and biomass loss if mean annual rainfall or interannual variability changed by 2σ. At least 10% of the high-emission climate projections (CMIP5/RCP8.5 models) predict critically dry regimes over 25% of the Amazon forest area by 2100.},
doi = {10.1111/nph.15185},
journal = {New Phytologist},
number = 3,
volume = 219,
place = {United States},
year = {2018},
month = {5}
}

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journal, December 2015


White-Sand Vegetation of Brazilian Amazonia
journal, September 1981


The large influence of climate model bias on terrestrial carbon cycle simulations
journal, January 2017


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

Mechanistic scaling of ecosystem function and dynamics in space and time: Ecosystem Demography model version 2
journal, January 2009

  • Medvigy, D.; Wofsy, S. C.; Munger, J. W.
  • Journal of Geophysical Research, Vol. 114, Issue G1
  • DOI: 10.1029/2008JG000812

The Drought of Amazonia in 2005
journal, February 2008

  • Marengo, José A.; Nobre, Carlos A.; Tomasella, Javier
  • Journal of Climate, Vol. 21, Issue 3
  • DOI: 10.1175/2007JCLI1600.1

Vegetation-atmosphere-soil nutrient feedbacks in the Amazon for different deforestation scenarios
journal, January 2009

  • Senna, Mônica Carneiro Alves; Costa, Marcos Heil; Pires, Gabrielle Ferreira
  • Journal of Geophysical Research, Vol. 114, Issue D4
  • DOI: 10.1029/2008JD010401

Exploring uncertainty of Amazon dieback in a perturbed parameter Earth system ensemble
journal, June 2017

  • Boulton, Chris A.; Booth, Ben B. B.; Good, Peter
  • Global Change Biology, Vol. 23, Issue 12
  • DOI: 10.1111/gcb.13733

Global Land Precipitation: A 50-yr Monthly Analysis Based on Gauge Observations
journal, June 2002


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


Predictive Models of Forest Dynamics
journal, June 2008


Death from drought in tropical forests is triggered by hydraulics not carbon starvation
journal, November 2015

  • Rowland, L.; da Costa, A. C. L.; Galbraith, D. R.
  • Nature, Vol. 528, Issue 7580
  • DOI: 10.1038/nature15539

A Method for Scaling Vegetation Dynamics: The Ecosystem Demography Model (ED)
journal, November 2001

  • Moorcroft, P. R.; Hurtt, G. C.; Pacala, S. W.
  • Ecological Monographs, Vol. 71, Issue 4
  • DOI: 10.2307/3100036

    Works referencing / citing this record:

    Local spatial variation in the population dynamics of two tree species in a region of Atlantic Rainforest, SE Brazil
    journal, November 2019

    • Rosa, Lucas Benedito Gonsales; Sampaio, Maurício Bonesso; Martins, Valéria Forni
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    Future Climate and Land Use Change Impacts on River Flows in the Tapajós Basin in the Brazilian Amazon
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    • Farinosi, Fabio; Arias, Mauricio E.; Lee, Eunjee
    • Earth's Future, Vol. 7, Issue 8
    • DOI: 10.1029/2019ef001198

    Changes in Climate and Land Use Over the Amazon Region: Current and Future Variability and Trends
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    • Marengo, Jose A.; Souza, Carlos M.; Thonicke, Kirsten
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    • DOI: 10.3389/feart.2018.00228

    Reduced Carbon Dioxide Sink and Methane Source under Extreme Drought Condition in an Alpine Peatland
    journal, November 2018

    • Kang, Xiaoming; Yan, Liang; Cui, Lijuan
    • Sustainability, Vol. 10, Issue 11
    • DOI: 10.3390/su10114285

    Carbon exchange in an Amazon forest: from hours to years
    journal, January 2018