Assessing above-ground woody debris dynamics along a gradient of elevation in Amazonian cloud forests in Peru: Balancing above-ground inputs and respiration outputs

Daniel J. Gurdak, Luiz E.O.C. Aragão, Angela Rozas-Dávila, Walter H. Huasco, Karina G. Cabrera, Chris E. Doughty, William Farfan-Rios, Javier E. Silva-Espejo, Daniel B. Metcalfe, Miles R. Silman, Yadvinder Malhi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: Dead biomass, including woody debris (WD), is an important component of the carbon cycle in tropical forests. Aims: This study analyses WD (>2 cm) and other above-ground fluxes in mature tropical forest plots along an elevational gradient (210-3025 m above sea level) in southern Peru. Methods: This work was based on inventories of fine and coarse WD (FWD and CWD, respectively), above-ground biomass, and field-based and experimental respiration measurements. Results: Total WD stocks ranged from 6.26 Mg C ha-1 at 3025 m to 11.48 Mg C ha-1 at 2720 m. WD respiration was significantly correlated with moisture content (P < 0.001; R 2 = 0.25), temperature (P < 0.001; R 2 = 0.12) and wood density (P < 0.001; R 2 = 0.16). Controlled experiments showed that both water content and temperature increased respiration rates of individual WD samples. The full breadth of the temperature sensitivity coefficient, or Q 10, estimates, ranging from 1.14-2.13, was low compared to other studies. In addition, temperature sensitivity of WD respiration was greater for higher elevations. Conclusions: Carbon stocks, mortality and turnover of above-ground biomass varied widely and were not significantly related with elevation or slope. This study demonstrates that some forests may be a carbon source due to legacies of disturbance and increasing temperatures, which may cause additional, short-term carbon efflux from WD. Predictions of tropical forest carbon cycles under future climate should incorporate WD dynamics and related feedback.s

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)143-160
Number of pages18
JournalPlant Ecology and Diversity
Volume7
Issue number1-2
DOIs
StatePublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Amazon Basin
  • Andes
  • carbon balance
  • cloud forest
  • montane forest
  • necromass
  • respiration
  • temperature sensitivity
  • tropical forest
  • turnover

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Ecology
  • Plant Science

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Assessing above-ground woody debris dynamics along a gradient of elevation in Amazonian cloud forests in Peru: Balancing above-ground inputs and respiration outputs'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this