Carbon In Amazon Forests: Unexpected Seasonal Fluxes And Disturbance-Induced Losses

  • Sites: BR-Sa1, BR-Sa3
  • Publication Type: JOUR
  • Authors: Saleska, S. R.; Miller, S. D.; Matross, D. M.; Goulden, M. L.; Wofsy, S. C.; Rocha, H. R. da; Camargo, P. B. de; Crill, P.; Daube, B. C.; Freitas, H. C. de; Hutyra, L.; Keller, M.; Kirchhoff, V.; Menton, M.; Munger, J. W.; Pyle, E. H.; Rice, A. H.; Silva, H.

  • The net ecosystem exchange of carbon dioxide was measured by eddy covariance methods for 3 years in two old-growth forest sites near SantarĂ©m, Brazil. Carbon was lost in the wet season and gained in the dry season, which was opposite to the seasonal cycles of both tree growth and model predictions. The 3-year average carbon loss was 1.3 (confidence interval: 0.0 to 2.0) megagrams of carbon per hectare per year. Biometric observations confirmed the net loss but imply that it is a transient effect of recent disturbance superimposed on long-term balance. Given that episodic disturbances are characteristic of old-growth forests, it is likely that carbon sequestration is lower than has been inferred from recent eddy covariance studies at undisturbed sites.


  • Journal: Science
  • Funding Agency: —
  • Citation Information:
  • Volume: 302
  • No: 5650
  • Pages: 1554-1557
  • Publication Year: 2003
  • DOI: 10.1126/science.1091165