Tree mode of death and mortality risk factors across Amazon forests
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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.
Esquivel-Muelbert , A , Phillips , O L , Brienen , R J W , Fauset , S , Sullivan , M J P , Baker , T R , Chao , K J , Feldpausch , T R , Gloor , E , Higuchi , N , Houwing-Duistermaat , J , Lloyd , J , Liu , H , Malhi , Y , Marimon , B , Marimon Junior , B H , Monteagudo-Mendoza , A , Poorter , L , Silveira , M , Torre , E V , Dávila , E A , del Aguila Pasquel , J , Almeida , E , Loayza , P A , Andrade , A , Aragão , L E O C , Araujo-Murakami , A , Arets , E , Arroyo , L , Aymard C , G A , Baisie , M , Baraloto , C , Camargo , P B , Barroso , J , Blanc , L , Bonal , D , Bongers , F , Boot , R , Brown , F , Burban , B , Camargo , J L , Castro , W , Moscoso , V C , Chave , J , Comiskey , J , Valverde , F C , da Costa , A L , Cardozo , N D , Di Fiore , A & Honorio Coronado , E 2020 , ' Tree mode of death and mortality risk factors across Amazon forests ' , Nature Communications , vol. 11 , 5515 . https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-020-18996-3
Copyright © The Author(s) 2020, corrected publication 2021. Open Access. This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons license and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder.
DescriptionFunding Information: The analysis undertaken here was largely funded by the NERC-funded TREMOR project (NE/N004655/1) to D.G., R.J.W.B., E.G. and O.L.P. A.E.-M. was funded by TREMOR and by two ERC awards (T-FORCES 291585, TreeMort 758873). D.G. acknowledges further support from a Newton-funded consortium award (ARBOLES, NE/S011811/1). O.L.P. was supported by an ERC Advanced Grant and a Royal Society Wolfson Research Merit Award. T.A.M.P. was funded by the ERC award TreeMort 758873. This is paper number 47 of the Birmingham Institute of Forest Research. T.R.F., L.E.O.C.A. and O.L.P. were supported by NERC NE/N011570/1. Support for RAINFOR has come from the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) Urgency Grants and NERC Consortium Grants AMAZONICA (NE/F005806/ 1), TROBIT (NE/D005590/1) and BIO-RED (NE/N012542/1), a European Research Council (ERC) grant T-FORCES (291585), the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation (#1656), the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme (282664, AMAZA-LERT) and the Royal Society (CH160091). This is paper #47 of the Birmingham Institute of Forest Research (BIFoR).
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