Carbon cycle dynamics in the South-East Amazonian forest

  • Duration: 2013 - 2015
  • Financing: PUCP, GEOCARBON (EU)

The generation of global future climate predictive models requires a detailed knowledge on biochemical processes involved in the planetary cycle of carbon. Tropical forests are dynamic carbon cesspools extremely sensitive to climate variables.  Changes in the composition and diversity of plant species, caused by climatic effects at local or global scale, may cause significant functional alterations in the ecosystems and affect their role as carbon reservoirs. This project focuses on the carbon-cycle components in the forest of the Tambopata National Reserve, Madre de Dios. The methodology consists of the quantitative continuous monitoring of turbulent flows of carbon dioxide, methane and volatile organic compounds, above the forest canopy, and the analysis of its correlation with climate variables.  Simultaneously, the biochemical variables studied are useful indicators for assessing the potential for organic matter degradation in the forest soil and the consequential emission of greenhouse gases.

Expected results

The proposal is to correlate the soil carbon dioxide and methane emissions with the flows observed on the forest canopy, to generate complete models of the forest behavior as carbon cesspool or emitter in response to climate variables. The data and model generation are carried out in cooperation with the Universities of Edinburgh and Sao Paulo. The results are part of the world networks FLUXNET and GEOCARBON.

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