Surface fires in Amazonian forests could contribute as much as 5% of annual carbon emissions from all anthropogenic sources during severe El Niño years. However, these estimates are based on short‐term figures of post‐burn tree mortality, when large thicker barked trees (representing a disproportionate amount of the forest biomass) appear to resist the fires. On the basis of a longer term study, we report that the mortality of large trees increased markedly between 1 and 3 years, more than doubling current estimates of biomass loss and committed carbon emissions from low‐intensity fires in tropical forests.
Ecology Letters – Wiley
Published: Jan 1, 2003
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