Ecosystem function analysis in Andean and Amazonian forests to understand the carbon dynamics and its response to climate change (RAINFOR/TRAIT)

  • Duration: 2013 - 2016
  • Financing: Universidad de Oxford

It is critical to understand carbon balance in the tropical forests, even more to determine its potential role in accelerating or slowing down climate change throughout the twenty-first century.

In particular, it is important to understand the link between arboreal biodiversity and the carbon cycle along the Peruvian Andes-Amazon gradient. The knowledge of structural, physical and chemical features of the tree species in tropical ecosystems and their connection to carbon dynamics provides a better understanding of tropical forests responses to the climate change.

Expected results

Carry out an intense field campaign (April – November 2013) for gathering data on the physical, structural, chemical features and content of leaves, stems and roots, to determine following points:

  • How do the chemical, anatomical and gas exchange features vary in the plots and between the plots along the environmental gradient?
  • Existence of significant trends in the features of leaves and wood along the transept.
  • Degree of seasonality and inter-annual variability of the carbon cycle and nutrients.
  • Storage capacity and nitrogen and phosphorus return rate of the canopy, wood, fine roots at plot level.
  • For individual trees, which is the link between nutrient flow and canopy leaves features (for example, what is the relationship between SLA and the return of canopy nutrients, described by the decomposition of the leaf and the translocation of nutrients.

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