The weather in the Amazon is more often dry nowadays and when it is, the world's biggest rainforest produces vast quantities of CO2. This may be the forest's death warrant, with serious consequences for the climate. Wageningen researchers see both signs of stress and a suprising degree of resilience.
A lot of water combined with heat and sunlight provide ideal conditions for luxuriant plant growth. This becomes apparent when rain suddenly becomes scarce, as it did in 2005, 2010 and 2015. The vegetation grew at a slower pace and there were more forest fires.
The forest remains a tropical rainforest
Drought causes problems for trees and other plants which are used to a humid environment. The crowns of trees thin out and some trees die off completely. The response of forests to more frequent droughts is surprising: the forest may change in the composition of species present but it remains tropical rainforest, with more or less the same amount of biomass and of sequestrated CO2.
Research chair group Meteorology and Air Quality
Ingrid van der Laan-Luijkx, a postdoc at the Meteorology and Air Quality chair group, can see such effects from Wageningen by studying the air quality above the Amazon. Van der Laan's lab is working with Brazilian researchers who take regular air samples from a small plane at different altitudes above the Amazon.
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Publications about the Amazon
Seasonality of microbial organic matter decomposition affecting phosphorus availability in a Central Amazonian tropical lowland rainforest soil
Geophysical Research Abstracts 20 (2018). - ISSN 1029-7006 - 1 p.
Near-infrared spectrometry allows fast and extensive predictions of functional traits from dry leaves and branches
Ecological Applications 28 (2018)5. - ISSN 1051-0761 - p. 1157 - 1167.
Disturbance intensity is a stronger driver of biomass recovery than remaining tree-community attributes in a managed Amazonian forest
Journal of Applied Ecology 55 (2018)4. - ISSN 0021-8901 - p. 1647 - 1657.
Forest-rainfall cascades buffer against drought across the Amazon
Nature Climate Change 8 (2018)6. - ISSN 1758-678X - p. 539 - 543.
Can traits predict individual growth performance? A test in a hyperdiverse tropical forest
New Phytologist 219 (2018)1. - ISSN 0028-646X - p. 109 - 121.
Domestication of Amazonian forests
University. Promotor(en): Frans Bongers, co-promotor(en): Marielos Pena Claros; C.R. Clement. - Wageningen : Wageningen University - ISBN 9789463438735 - p.
Re-thinking socio-economic impact assessments of disasters
International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction 31 (2018). - ISSN 2212-4209 - p. 212 - 219.
Climate models predict increasing temperature variability in poor countries
Science Advances 4 (2018)5. - ISSN 2375-2548
Greenhouse gas emissions along a peat swamp forest degradation gradient in the Peruvian Amazon
Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies for Global Change (2018). - ISSN 1381-2386 - p. 1 - 19.
Monoterpene chemical speciation in a tropical rainforest
Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics 18 (2018)5. - ISSN 1680-7316 - p. 3403 - 3418.