News & Events

Grad student talk - Variation in live aboveground biomass along an elevational gradient of a...

Thursday, October 22, 2009, 4:30PM - 5:30PM


Lu Alves



RL-1 269

Full title: "Variation in live aboveground biomass along an elevational gradient of a tropical moist forest (Brazil)."

The Brazilian Atlantic forest, a global center of vascular plant diversity and endemism and one of the most threatened tropical forests in the world, sill covers around 14 million hectares, or 16,5% of the total extra-Amazonian tropical forests in South America. Despite its extension, forest carbon pools and fluxes of the Atlantic forest have seldom been studied, and standardized estimates of aboveground stocks of live and dead biomass are rarely available. Here I synthesize our recent results from a network of permanent plots established in 2006-2007 to evaluate forest structure and live aboveground biomass (AGB) variation along an elevational gradient (0-1,100m asl) of coastal Atlantic Forest in SE Brazil.

The Atlantic forest still retains a significant aboveground biomass stock (228 ± 28 Mg ha-1; 144-323 Mg ha-1) in comparison to other Neotropical forests. Total live biomass increased with elevation, with large and very large trees accounting for 68% of the total AGB accumulated at submontane and montane forests. A remarkable simple two-factor model explained 92% of the variance in total stand-level AGB along the elevational gradient. In the next years, long-term monitoring of those permanent forest plots will be crucial to quantify changes in carbon stocks and to evaluate.