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  • 201905_Staver_PanAm R2 FINAL

    Rights statement: This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Staver, A.C., Brando, P.M., Barlow, J., Morton, D.C., Paine, C.T., Malhi, Y., Araujo Murakami, A. and del Aguila, Pasquel, J. (2020), Thinner bark increases sensitivity of wetter Amazonian tropical forests to fire. Ecol Lett, 23: 99-106. doi:10.1111/ele.13409 which has been published in final form at https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/ele.13409 This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance With Wiley Terms and Conditions for self-archiving.

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    Embargo ends: 22/10/20

    Available under license: CC BY-NC: Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License

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Thinner bark increases sensitivity of wetter Amazonian tropical forests to fire

Research output: Contribution to journalLetter

Published
  • A.C. Staver
  • P.M. Brando
  • J. Barlow
  • D.C. Morton
  • C.E.T. Paine
  • Y. Malhi
  • A. Araujo Murakami
  • J. del Aguila Pasquel
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<mark>Journal publication date</mark>31/01/2020
<mark>Journal</mark>Ecology Letters
Issue number1
Volume23
Number of pages8
Pages (from-to)99-106
Publication statusPublished
Early online date22/10/19
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

Understory fires represent an accelerating threat to Amazonian tropical forests and can, during drought, affect larger areas than deforestation itself. These fires kill trees at rates varying from < 10 to c. 90% depending on fire intensity, forest disturbance history and tree functional traits. Here, we examine variation in bark thickness across the Amazon. Bark can protect trees from fires, but it is often assumed to be consistently thin across tropical forests. Here, we show that investment in bark varies, with thicker bark in dry forests and thinner in wetter forests. We also show that thinner bark translated into higher fire‐driven tree mortality in wetter forests, with between 0.67 and 5.86 gigatonnes CO2 lost in Amazon understory fires between 2001 and 2010. Trait‐enabled global vegetation models that explicitly include variation in bark thickness are likely to improve the predictions of fire effects on carbon cycling in tropical forests.

Bibliographic note

This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Staver, A.C., Brando, P.M., Barlow, J., Morton, D.C., Paine, C.T., Malhi, Y., Araujo Murakami, A. and del Aguila, Pasquel, J. (2020), Thinner bark increases sensitivity of wetter Amazonian tropical forests to fire. Ecol Lett, 23: 99-106. doi:10.1111/ele.13409 which has been published in final form at https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/ele.13409 This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance With Wiley Terms and Conditions for self-archiving.