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Quantifying immediate carbon emissions from El Nino-mediated wildfires in humid tropical forests

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Quantifying immediate carbon emissions from El Nino-mediated wildfires in humid tropical forests. / Withey, Kieran; Berenguer, Erika; Palmeira, Alessandro Ferraz; Espirito-Santo, Fernando D. B.; Lennox, Gareth D.; Silva, Camila V. J.; Aragao, Luiz E. O. C.; Ferreira, Joice; Franca, Filipe; Malhi, Yadvinder; Rossi, Liana Chesini; Barlow, Jos.

In: Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, Vol. 373, No. 1760, 20170312, 19.11.2018.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

Harvard

Withey, K, Berenguer, E, Palmeira, AF, Espirito-Santo, FDB, Lennox, GD, Silva, CVJ, Aragao, LEOC, Ferreira, J, Franca, F, Malhi, Y, Rossi, LC & Barlow, J 2018, 'Quantifying immediate carbon emissions from El Nino-mediated wildfires in humid tropical forests', Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, vol. 373, no. 1760, 20170312. https://doi.org/10.1098/rstb.2017.0312

APA

Withey, K., Berenguer, E., Palmeira, A. F., Espirito-Santo, F. D. B., Lennox, G. D., Silva, C. V. J., Aragao, L. E. O. C., Ferreira, J., Franca, F., Malhi, Y., Rossi, L. C., & Barlow, J. (2018). Quantifying immediate carbon emissions from El Nino-mediated wildfires in humid tropical forests. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 373(1760), [20170312]. https://doi.org/10.1098/rstb.2017.0312

Vancouver

Withey K, Berenguer E, Palmeira AF, Espirito-Santo FDB, Lennox GD, Silva CVJ et al. Quantifying immediate carbon emissions from El Nino-mediated wildfires in humid tropical forests. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences. 2018 Nov 19;373(1760). 20170312. https://doi.org/10.1098/rstb.2017.0312

Author

Withey, Kieran ; Berenguer, Erika ; Palmeira, Alessandro Ferraz ; Espirito-Santo, Fernando D. B. ; Lennox, Gareth D. ; Silva, Camila V. J. ; Aragao, Luiz E. O. C. ; Ferreira, Joice ; Franca, Filipe ; Malhi, Yadvinder ; Rossi, Liana Chesini ; Barlow, Jos. / Quantifying immediate carbon emissions from El Nino-mediated wildfires in humid tropical forests. In: Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences. 2018 ; Vol. 373, No. 1760.

Bibtex

@article{f0d1e5615514455d8876962be7d7a63e,
title = "Quantifying immediate carbon emissions from El Nino-mediated wildfires in humid tropical forests",
abstract = "Wildfires produce substantial CO2 emissions in the humid tropics during El Ni{\~n}o-mediated extreme droughts, and these emissions are expected to increase in coming decades. Immediate carbon emissions from uncontrolled wildfires in human-modified tropical forests can be considerable owing to high necromass fuel loads. Yet, data on necromass combustion during wildfires are severely lacking. Here, we evaluated necromass carbon stocks before and after the 2015–2016 El Ni{\~n}o in Amazonian forests distributed along a gradient of prior human disturbance. We then used Landsat-derived burn scars to extrapolate regional immediate wildfire CO2 emissions during the 2015–2016 El Ni{\~n}o. Before the El Ni{\~n}o, necromass stocks varied significantly with respect to prior disturbance and were largest in undisturbed primary forests (30.2 ± 2.1 Mg ha−1, mean ± s.e.) and smallest in secondary forests (15.6 ± 3.0 Mg ha−1). However, neither prior disturbance nor our proxy of fire intensity (median char height) explained necromass losses due to wildfires. In our 6.5 million hectare (6.5 Mha) study region, almost 1 Mha of primary (disturbed and undisturbed) and 20 000 ha of secondary forest burned during the 2015–2016 El Ni{\~n}o. Covering less than 0.2% of Brazilian Amazonia, these wildfires resulted in expected immediate CO2 emissions of approximately 30 Tg, three to four times greater than comparable estimates from global fire emissions databases. Uncontrolled understorey wildfires in humid tropical forests during extreme droughts are a large and poorly quantified source of CO2 emissions.This article is part of a discussion meeting issue {\textquoteleft}The impact of the 2015/2016 El Ni{\~n}o on the terrestrial tropical carbon cycle: patterns, mechanisms and implications{\textquoteright}.",
keywords = "ENSO, forest degradation, climate change, necromass, drought, Amazon",
author = "Kieran Withey and Erika Berenguer and Palmeira, {Alessandro Ferraz} and Espirito-Santo, {Fernando D. B.} and Lennox, {Gareth D.} and Silva, {Camila V. J.} and Aragao, {Luiz E. O. C.} and Joice Ferreira and Filipe Franca and Yadvinder Malhi and Rossi, {Liana Chesini} and Jos Barlow",
year = "2018",
month = nov,
day = "19",
doi = "10.1098/rstb.2017.0312",
language = "English",
volume = "373",
journal = "Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences",
issn = "0962-8436",
publisher = "Royal Society",
number = "1760",

}

RIS

TY - JOUR

T1 - Quantifying immediate carbon emissions from El Nino-mediated wildfires in humid tropical forests

AU - Withey, Kieran

AU - Berenguer, Erika

AU - Palmeira, Alessandro Ferraz

AU - Espirito-Santo, Fernando D. B.

AU - Lennox, Gareth D.

AU - Silva, Camila V. J.

AU - Aragao, Luiz E. O. C.

AU - Ferreira, Joice

AU - Franca, Filipe

AU - Malhi, Yadvinder

AU - Rossi, Liana Chesini

AU - Barlow, Jos

PY - 2018/11/19

Y1 - 2018/11/19

N2 - Wildfires produce substantial CO2 emissions in the humid tropics during El Niño-mediated extreme droughts, and these emissions are expected to increase in coming decades. Immediate carbon emissions from uncontrolled wildfires in human-modified tropical forests can be considerable owing to high necromass fuel loads. Yet, data on necromass combustion during wildfires are severely lacking. Here, we evaluated necromass carbon stocks before and after the 2015–2016 El Niño in Amazonian forests distributed along a gradient of prior human disturbance. We then used Landsat-derived burn scars to extrapolate regional immediate wildfire CO2 emissions during the 2015–2016 El Niño. Before the El Niño, necromass stocks varied significantly with respect to prior disturbance and were largest in undisturbed primary forests (30.2 ± 2.1 Mg ha−1, mean ± s.e.) and smallest in secondary forests (15.6 ± 3.0 Mg ha−1). However, neither prior disturbance nor our proxy of fire intensity (median char height) explained necromass losses due to wildfires. In our 6.5 million hectare (6.5 Mha) study region, almost 1 Mha of primary (disturbed and undisturbed) and 20 000 ha of secondary forest burned during the 2015–2016 El Niño. Covering less than 0.2% of Brazilian Amazonia, these wildfires resulted in expected immediate CO2 emissions of approximately 30 Tg, three to four times greater than comparable estimates from global fire emissions databases. Uncontrolled understorey wildfires in humid tropical forests during extreme droughts are a large and poorly quantified source of CO2 emissions.This article is part of a discussion meeting issue ‘The impact of the 2015/2016 El Niño on the terrestrial tropical carbon cycle: patterns, mechanisms and implications’.

AB - Wildfires produce substantial CO2 emissions in the humid tropics during El Niño-mediated extreme droughts, and these emissions are expected to increase in coming decades. Immediate carbon emissions from uncontrolled wildfires in human-modified tropical forests can be considerable owing to high necromass fuel loads. Yet, data on necromass combustion during wildfires are severely lacking. Here, we evaluated necromass carbon stocks before and after the 2015–2016 El Niño in Amazonian forests distributed along a gradient of prior human disturbance. We then used Landsat-derived burn scars to extrapolate regional immediate wildfire CO2 emissions during the 2015–2016 El Niño. Before the El Niño, necromass stocks varied significantly with respect to prior disturbance and were largest in undisturbed primary forests (30.2 ± 2.1 Mg ha−1, mean ± s.e.) and smallest in secondary forests (15.6 ± 3.0 Mg ha−1). However, neither prior disturbance nor our proxy of fire intensity (median char height) explained necromass losses due to wildfires. In our 6.5 million hectare (6.5 Mha) study region, almost 1 Mha of primary (disturbed and undisturbed) and 20 000 ha of secondary forest burned during the 2015–2016 El Niño. Covering less than 0.2% of Brazilian Amazonia, these wildfires resulted in expected immediate CO2 emissions of approximately 30 Tg, three to four times greater than comparable estimates from global fire emissions databases. Uncontrolled understorey wildfires in humid tropical forests during extreme droughts are a large and poorly quantified source of CO2 emissions.This article is part of a discussion meeting issue ‘The impact of the 2015/2016 El Niño on the terrestrial tropical carbon cycle: patterns, mechanisms and implications’.

KW - ENSO

KW - forest degradation

KW - climate change

KW - necromass

KW - drought

KW - Amazon

U2 - 10.1098/rstb.2017.0312

DO - 10.1098/rstb.2017.0312

M3 - Journal article

VL - 373

JO - Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences

JF - Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences

SN - 0962-8436

IS - 1760

M1 - 20170312

ER -