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Large tree mortality and the decline of forest biomass following Amazonian wildfires.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article


  • Jos Barlow
  • Carlos A. Peres
  • Bernard O. Lagan
  • Torbjorn Haugaasen
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>01/2003
<mark>Journal</mark>Ecology Letters
Issue number1
Number of pages598
Pages (from-to)605-8
<mark>Original language</mark>English


Surface fires in Amazonian forests could contribute as much as 5% of annual carbon emissions from all anthropogenic sources during severe El Niño years. However, these estimates are based on short-term figures of post-burn tree mortality, when large thicker barked trees (representing a disproportionate amount of the forest biomass) appear to resist the fires. On the basis of a longer term study, we report that the mortality of large trees increased markedly between 1 and 3 years, more than doubling current estimates of biomass loss and committed carbon emissions from low-intensity fires in tropical forests.