green tree lanscape

Carbon Program

 

Quantifying and Explaining Variation in Carbon Pools and Fluxes

Because tropical and temperate forests together encompass an estimated 38% of terrestrial carbon pools and 48% of terrestrial net primary production, knowledge of their carbon budgets and of how these budgets respond to natural and anthropogenic global change is key to understanding the global carbon cycle today and in the future. Regrettably, there are still large gaps in our understanding of forest carbon pools, short- and long-term carbon fluxes, the mechanisms underlying these fluxes, and the likely impacts of global change--especially for tropical forests. The new ForestGEO Global Forest Carbon Research Initiative aims to fill these gaps through research quantifying the sizes of forest carbon pools and fluxes, their spatial and temporal variation, and the drivers of this variation at multiple tropical and temperate forest sites around the globe.

ForestGEO has a 25-year history of forest dynamics research, monitoring the growth and mortality of more than four million trees of approximately 8,500 species. Building on this work, we are now censusing carbon pools in soil, fine roots, coarse woody debris, and lianas as well as trees. We are measuring tree growth, tree mortality, litterfall, and soil respiration annually or subannually in order to estimate interannual variation in associated carbon fluxes. We will analyze the relationship of spatial and temporal variation in these carbon pools and fluxes to variation in climate and chemical drivers in order to test hypotheses regarding the effects of global change on forests and develop a better basis for predicting future forest carbon budgets.

    Central Personnel

    Amacayacu, Colombia 

    Barro Colorado Island, Panama

    Bukit Timah, Singapore

    Changbaishan, China

    Gutianshan, China

    Huai Kha Khaeng, Thailand

    Khao Chong, Thailand

    Lambir, Malaysia

    Mudumalai, India

    Pasoh, Malaysia

    • Zaizul Akmal Izuan Shah Bin Ibrahim (Carbon Technician)
    • Tahjuddin Bin Pilus (Carbon Technician)

    Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute, USA

    Smithsonian Environmental Research Center, USA

    Xishuangbanna, China

    Yasuni, Ecuador

    • Asner, G. P., J. Mascaro, H. C. Muller-Landau, G. Vieilledent, R. Vaudry, M. Rasamoelina, J. Hall, and M. van Breugel. 2012. A universal airborne LiDAR approach for tropical forest carbon mapping.Oecologia. DOI 10.1007/s00442-011-2165-z. Published online 28 October 2011.
    • Bunker, D. E., F. DeClerck, J. C. Bradford, R. K. Colwell, I. Perfecto, O. L. Phillips, M. Sankaran, and S. Naeem. 2005. Species loss and above-ground carbon Storage in a tropical forest.Science310: 1029-1031.
    • Chave, J., R. Condit, S. Aguilar, A. Hernandez, S. Lao, and R. Perez. 2004. Error propagation and scaling for tropical forest biomass estimates.Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London359: 409-420.
    • Chave, J., R. Condit, S. Lao, J. P. Caspersen, R. B. Foster, and S. P. Hubbell. 2003. Spatial and temporal variation of biomass in a tropical forest: results from a large census plot in Panama.Journal of Ecology91: 240.
    • Chave, J., R. Condit, H. C. Muller-Landau, S. C. Thomas, P. S. Ashton, S. Bunyavejchewin, L. L. Co, H. S. Dattaraja, S. J. Davies, S. Esufali, C. E. N. Ewango, K. J. Feeley, R. B. Foster, N. Gunatilleke, S. Gunatilleke, P. Hall, T. B. Hart, C. Hernández, S. P. Hubbell, A. Itoh, S. Kiratiprayoon, J. V. LaFrankie, S. Loo de Lao, J.-R. Makana, M. N. S. Noor, A. R. Kassim, C. Samper, R. Sukumar, H. S. Suresh, S. Tan, J. Thompson, M. D. C. Tongco, R. Valencia, M. Vallejo, G. Villa, T. Yamakura, J. K. Zimmerman, and E. C. Losos. 2008. Assessing evidence for a pervasive alteration in tropical tree communities.PLoS Biology6: e45.
    • Chave, J., H. C. Muller-Landau, T. R. Baker, T. A. Easdale, H. Ter Steege, and C. O. Webb. 2006. Regional and phylogenetic variation in wood density among 2,456 neotropical tree species.Ecological Applications16(6): 2356-2367.
    • Dewalt, S. J., S. A. Schnitzer, J. Chave, F. Bongers, R. J. Burnham, Z. Cai, G. Chuyong, D. B. Clark, C. E. N. Ewango, J. J. Gerwing, E. Gortaire, T. Hart, G. Ibarra-Manríquez, K. Ickes, D. Kenfack, M. J. Macía, J. Makana, M. Martínez-Ramos, J. Mascaro, S. Moses, H. C. Muller-Landau, M. P. E. Parren, N. Parthasarathy, D. R. Pérez-Salicrup, F. E. Putz, H. Romero-Saltos, and D. Thomas. 2010. Annual rainfall and seasonality predict pan-tropical patterns of liana density and basal area.Biotropica42:309-317.
    • Feeley, K. J., S. J. Wright, M. N. Nur Supardi, A. R. Kassim, and S. J. Davies. 2007. Decelerating growth in tropical forest trees.Ecology Letters10: 461-469.
    • Feeley, K. J., S. J. Davies, P. S. Ashton, S. Bunyavejchewin, M. N. Nur Supardi, A. R. Kassim, S. Tan, and J. Chave. 2007. The role of gap phase processes in the biomass dynamics of tropical forests.Proceedings of the Royal SocietyB 274: 2857-2864.
    • Larjavaara, M. and H. C. Muller-Landau. 2012. Temperature explains global variation in biomass among humid old-growth forests.Global Ecology and Biogeography. DOI: 10.1111/j.1466-8238.2011.00740.x
    • Larjavaara, M. and H. C. Muller-Landau. 2012. Still rethinking the value of high wood density.American Journal of Botany99:165-168.
    • Larjavaara, M., and H. C. Muller-Landau. 2011. Cross-section mass: An improved basis for woody debris necromass inventory.Silva Fennica45:291-298.
    • Larjavaara, M. and H. C. Muller-Landau. 2010. Rethinking the value of high wood density.Functional Ecology24:701-705.
    • Larjavaara, M. and H. C. Muller-Landau. 2010. Comparison of decay classification, knife test and two penetrometers for estimating wood density of coarse woody debris.Canadian Journal of Forest Research40: 2313-232.
    • Mascaro, J., G. P. Asner, H. C. Muller-Landau, M. van Breugel, J. Hall, and K. Dahlin. 2011. Controls over aboveground forest carbon density on Barro Colorado Island, Panama.Biogeosciences8:1615-1629.
    • Mascaro, J., M. Detto, G. P. Asner, and H. C. Muller-Landau. 2011. Evaluating uncertainty in mapping carbon with airborne LiDAR.Remote Sensing of Environment115:3770-3774.
    • McEwan, R. W., Lin, Y.-C., Sun, I.-F., Hsieh, C.-F., Su, S.-H., Chang, L.-W., Song, G.-Z. M., Wang, H.-H., Hwong, J.-L., Lin, K.-C., Yang, K.-C. & Chiang, J.-M. 2011 Topographic and biotic regulation of aboveground carbon storage in subtropical broad-leaved forests of Taiwan.Forest Ecology And Management, 262, 1817-1825.
    • Muller-Landau, H. C. 2004. Interspecific and intersite variation in wood specific gravity of tropical trees.Biotropica36: 20-32.
    • Muller-Landau, H. C., R. S. Condit, J. Chave, S. C. Thomas, S. A. Bohlman, S. Bunyavejchewin, S. Davies, R. Foster, S. Gunatilleke, N. Gunatilleke, K. E. Harms, T. Hart, S. P. Hubbell, A. Itoh, A. R. Kassim, J. V. LaFrankie, H. S. Lee, E. Losos, J.-R. Makana, T. Ohkubo, R. Sukumar, I.-F. Sun, N. Supardi M. N., S. Tan, J. Thompson, R. Valencia, G. Villa Muñoz, C. Wills, T. Yamakura, G. Chuyong, H. S. Dattaraja, S. Esufali, P. Hall, C. Hernandez, D. Kenfack, S. Kiratiprayoon, H. S. Suresh, D. Thomas, M. I. Vallejo, and P. Ashton. 2006. Testing metabolic ecology theory for allometric scaling of tree size, growth, and mortality in tropical forests.Ecology Letters9:575-588.
    • Muller-Landau, H. C., R. S. Condit, K. E. Harms, C. O. Marks, S. C. Thomas, S. Bunyavejchewin, G. Chuyong, L. Co, S. Davies, R. Foster, S. Gunatilleke, N. Gunatilleke, T. Hart, S. P. Hubbell, A. Itoh, A. R. Kassim, D. Kenfack, J. V. LaFrankie, D. Lagunzad, H. S. Lee, E. Losos, J.-R. Makana, T. Ohkubo, C. Samper, R. Sukumar, I.-F. Sun, N. Supardi M. N., S. Tan, D. Thomas, J. Thompson, R. Valencia, M. I. Vallejo, G. Villa Muñoz, T. Yamakura, J. K. Zimmerman, H. S. Dattaraja, S. Esufali, P. Hall, F. He, C. Hernandez, S. Kiratiprayoon, H. S. Suresh, C. Wills, and P. Ashton. 2006. Comparing tropical forest tree size distributions with the predictions of metabolic ecology and equilibrium models.Ecology Letters9:589-602.
    • Valencia, R., R. Condit, H. C. Muller-Landau, C. Hernandez, and H. Navarrete. 2009. Dissecting biomass dynamics in a large Amazonian forest plot and hypotheses about causes.Journal of Tropical Ecology25:473-482.
    • Wright, S. J., H. C. Muller-Landau, and J. Schipper. 2009. The future of tropical species on a warmer planet.Conservation Biology23(6):1418-1426.
    • Wright, S. J., H. C. Muller-Landau, R. Condit, and S. P. Hubbell. 2003. Gap-dependent recruitment, realized vital rates, and size distributions of tropical trees.Ecology84:3174-3185.