Journal cover Journal topic
Biogeosciences An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
Journal topic
Volume 13, issue 8
Biogeosciences, 13, 2537-2562, 2016
https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-13-2537-2016
© Author(s) 2016. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Biogeosciences, 13, 2537-2562, 2016
https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-13-2537-2016
© Author(s) 2016. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Research article 28 Apr 2016

Research article | 28 Apr 2016

Climate seasonality limits leaf carbon assimilation and wood productivity in tropical forests

Fabien H. Wagner1, Bruno Hérault2, Damien Bonal3, Clément Stahl4,5, Liana O. Anderson6, Timothy R. Baker7, Gabriel Sebastian Becker8, Hans Beeckman9, Danilo Boanerges Souza10, Paulo Cesar Botosso11, David M. J. S. Bowman12, Achim Bräuning13, Benjamin Brede14, Foster Irving Brown15, Jesus Julio Camarero16,17, Plínio Barbosa Camargo18, Fernanda C. G. Cardoso19, Fabrício Alvim Carvalho20, Wendeson Castro21, Rubens Koloski Chagas22, Jérome Chave23, Emmanuel N. Chidumayo24, Deborah A. Clark25, Flavia Regina Capellotto Costa26, Camille Couralet9, Paulo Henrique da Silva Mauricio15, Helmut Dalitz8, Vinicius Resende de Castro27, Jaçanan Eloisa de Freitas Milani28, Edilson Consuelo de Oliveira29, Luciano de Souza Arruda30, Jean-Louis Devineau31, David M. Drew32, Oliver Dünisch33, Giselda Durigan34, Elisha Elifuraha35, Marcio Fedele36, Ligia Ferreira Fedele36, Afonso Figueiredo Filho37, César Augusto Guimarães Finger38, Augusto César Franco39, João Lima Freitas Júnior21, Franklin Galvão28, Aster Gebrekirstos40, Robert Gliniars8, Paulo Maurício Lima de Alencastro Graça41, Anthony D. Griffiths42,43, James Grogan44, Kaiyu Guan45,46, Jürgen Homeier47, Maria Raquel Kanieski48, Lip Khoon Kho49, Jennifer Koenig43, Sintia Valerio Kohler37, Julia Krepkowski13, José Pires Lemos-Filho50, Diana Lieberman51, Milton Eugene Lieberman51, Claudio Sergio Lisi36,52, Tomaz Longhi Santos28, José Luis López Ayala53, Eduardo Eijji Maeda54, Yadvinder Malhi55, Vivian R. B. Maria36, Marcia C. M. Marques19, Renato Marques56, Hector Maza Chamba57, Lawrence Mbwambo58, Karina Liana Lisboa Melgaço26, Hooz Angela Mendivelso16,17, Brett P. Murphy59, Joseph J. O'Brien60, Steven F. Oberbauer61, Naoki Okada62, Raphaël Pélissier63,64, Lynda D. Prior12, Fidel Alejandro Roig65, Michael Ross66, Davi Rodrigo Rossatto67, Vivien Rossi68, Lucy Rowland69, Ervan Rutishauser70, Hellen Santana26, Mark Schulze71, Diogo Selhorst72, Williamar Rodrigues Silva73, Marcos Silveira15, Susanne Spannl13, Michael D. Swaine74, José Julio Toledo75, Marcos Miranda Toledo76, Marisol Toledo77, Takeshi Toma78, Mario Tomazello Filho36, Juan Ignacio Valdez Hernández53, Jan Verbesselt14, Simone Aparecida Vieira79, Grégoire Vincent64, Carolina Volkmer de Castilho80, Franziska Volland13, Martin Worbes81, Magda Lea Bolzan Zanon82, and Luiz E. O. C. Aragão1,83 Fabien H. Wagner et al.
  • 1Remote Sensing Division, National Institute for Space Research – INPE, São José dos Campos 12227-010, SP, Brazil
  • 2CIRAD, UMR Ecologie des Forêts de Guyane, Kourou 97379, France
  • 3INRA, UMR EEF 1137, Champenoux 54280, France
  • 4INRA, UMR Ecologie des Forêts de Guyane, Kourou 97387, France
  • 5Department of Biology, University of Antwerp, Wilrijk 2610, Belgium
  • 6National Center for Monitoring and Early Warning of Natural Disasters – CEMADEN, São José dos Campos 12.247-016, SP, Brazil
  • 7School of Geography, University of Leeds, Leeds LS2 9JT, UK
  • 8Institute of Botany, University of Hohenheim, 70593 Stuttgart, Germany
  • 9Laboratory for Wood Biology and Xylarium, Royal Museum for Central Africa, Tervuren 3080, Belgium
  • 10Programa de Pós-graduação em Ciências de Florestas Tropicais, Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas da Amazônia, Manaus 69067-375, AM, Brazil
  • 11Embrapa Florestas, Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation, Colombo 83411-000, PR, Brazil
  • 12School of Biological Sciences, University of Tasmania, Hobart 7001, Tasmania, Australia
  • 13Institute of Geography, University of Erlangen-Nuremberg, 91058 Erlangen, Germany
  • 14Laboratory of Geo-information Science and Remote Sensing, Wageningen University, Wageningen 6708PB, the Netherlands
  • 15Centro de Ciências Biológicas e da Natureza, Laboratóio de Botânica e Ecologia Vegetal, Universidade Federal Do Acre, Rio Branco 69915-559, AC, Brazil
  • 16Instituto Pirenaico de Ecologia, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Cientificas (IPE-CSIC), Zaragoza 50059, Spain
  • 17Instituto Boliviano de Investigacion Forestal (IBIF), Santa Cruz de la Sierra 6204, Bolivia
  • 18Centro de Energia Nuclear na Agricultura, Laboratóio de Ecologia Isotópica, Universidade de SÃo Paulo, Piracicaba 13416903, SP, Brazil
  • 19Departamento de Botânica, Universidade Federal do Paraná, Curitiba 81531-980, PR, Brazil
  • 20Departamento de Botânica, Universidade Federal de Juiz de Fora (UFJF), Juiz de Fora 36015-260, MG, Brazil
  • 21Programa de Pós-Graduação Ecologia e Manejo de Recursos Naturais, Universidade Federal do Acre, Rio Branco 69915-559, AC, Brazil
  • 22Departamento de Ecologia do Instituto de Biociências, Universidade de São Paulo (USP), São Paulo 05508-090, SP, Brazil
  • 23UMR 5174 Laboratoire Evolution et DiversitéBiologique, CNRS & UniversitéPaul Sabatier, Toulouse 31062, France
  • 24Biological Sciences Department, University of Zambia, Lusaka Box 32379, Zambia
  • 25Department of Biology, University of Missouri-St. Louis, Saint Louis 63121, MO, USA
  • 26Coordenação de Pesquisas em Biodiversidade, Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas da Amazônia, Manaus 69080-971, AM, Brazil
  • 27Departamento de Engenharia Florestal, Universidade Federal de Viçosa (UFV), Viçosa 36570-000, MG, Brazil
  • 28Departamento de Engenharia Florestal, Universidade Federal do Paraná, Curitiba 80210-170, PR, Brazil
  • 29Centro de Ciêcias Biológicas e da Natureza, Laboratório de Botânica e Ecologia Vegetal, Universidade Federal do Acre, Rio Branco 69915-559, AC, Brazil
  • 30Prefeitura Municipal de Rio Branco, Rio Branco 69900-901, AC, Brazil
  • 31Département Hommes, Natures, Sociétés, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS) et UMR 208 Patrimoines Locaux et Gouvernance, Paris 75231 Cedex 05, France
  • 32Dept. Forest and Wood Science, University of Stellenbosch, Stellenbosch 7600, South Africa
  • 33Meisterschule Ebern für das Schreinerhandwerk, 96106 Ebern, Germany
  • 34Floresta Estadual de Assis, Assis 19802-970, SP, Brazil
  • 35Tanzania Forestry Research Institute (TAFORI), Dodoma P.O. Box 1576, Tanzania
  • 36Departamento de Ciências Florestais, Universidade de São Paulo, Escola Superior de Agricultura Luiz de Queiroz, Piracicaba 13418-900, SP, Brazil
  • 37Departamento de Engenharia Florestal – DEF, Universidade Estadual do Centro-Oeste, Irati 84500-000, PR, Brazil
  • 38Departamento de Ciências Florestais, Centro de Ciências Rurais, Universidade Federal de Santa Maria, Santa Maria 97105-9000, RS, Brazil
  • 39Departamento de Botânica, Laboratório de Fisiologia Vegetal, Universidade de Brasília, Instituto de Ciências Biológicas, Brasília 70904-970, DF, Brazil
  • 40World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF), Nairobi P.O. Box 30677-00100, Kenya
  • 41Coordenação de Pesquisa em Ecologia, Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas da Amazônia, Manaus C.P. 478 69011-970, AM, Brazil
  • 42Departement of Land Resource Management, Northern Territory Government, Palmerston NT 0831 , Australia
  • 43Research Institute for Environment and Livelihoods, Charles Darwin University, Darwin NT 0909, Australia
  • 44Department of Biological Sciences, Mount Holyoke College, South Hadley 01075, MA, USA
  • 45Department of Earth System Science, Stanford University, Stanford 94305, CA, USA
  • 46Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences, University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign, Champaign 61801, USA
  • 47Department of Plant Ecology, Albrecht von Haller Institute of Plant Sciences, University of Göttingen, 37073 Göttingen, Germany
  • 48Departamento de Engenharia Florestal, Universidade do Estado de Santa Catarina – UDESC, Lages 88520-000, SC, Brazil
  • 49Tropical Peat Research Institute, Biological Research Division, Malaysian Palm Oil Board, Selangor 43000, Malaysia
  • 50Departamento de Botânica, Instituto de Ciências Biologicas, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Belo Horizonte 31270-901, MG, Brazil
  • 51Division of Science & Environmental Policy, California State University Monterey Bay, Seaside 93955, CA, USA
  • 52Departamento de Biologia, Universidade Federal de Sergipe, São Cristóvão 49100-000, Brazil
  • 53Programa Forestal, Colegio de Postgraduados, Montecillo 56230, México
  • 54Department of Geosciences and Geography, University of Helsinki, Helsinki 00014, Finland
  • 55School of Geography and the Environment, University of Oxford, Oxford OX1 3QY, UK
  • 56Departamento de Solos e Engenharia Agrícola, Universidade Federal do Paraná, Curitiba 80035-050, PR, Brazil
  • 57Laboratoria de Dendrochronologia y Anatomia de Maderas Espinoza, Universidad Nacional de Loja, Loja EC110103, Ecuador
  • 58Tanzania Forestry Research Institute (TAFORI), Morogoro P.O. Box 1854, Tanzania
  • 59Research Institute for the Environment and Livelihoods, Charles Darwin University, Darwin NT 0909, Australia
  • 60Center for Forest Disturbance Science, USDA Forest Service, Athens 30607, GA, USA
  • 61Department of Biological Sciences, Florida International University, Miami 33199, FL, USA
  • 62Graduate School of Agriculture, Kyoto University, Kyoto 606-8501, Japan
  • 63Institut Français de Pondicherry, Puducherry 6005001, India
  • 64UMR AMAP (botAnique et bioinforMatique de l'Architecture des Plantes), IRD, Montpellier 34398, France
  • 65Tree Ring and Environmental History Laboratory, Instituto Argentino de Nivología, Glaciología y Ciencias Ambientales – CONICET, Mendoza 5500, Argentina
  • 66Department of Earth and Environment, Southeast Environmental Research Center, Florida International University, Miami 33199, FL, USA
  • 67Departamento de Biologia Aplicada, FCAV, Universidade Estadual Paulista, UNESP, Jaboticabal 14884-000, SP, Brazil
  • 68UR B&SEF (Biens et services des écosystèmes forestiers tropicaux), CIRAD, Yaoundé BP 2572, Cameroon
  • 69School of Geosciences, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh EH9 3FF, UK
  • 70CarboForExpert, Geneva 1211, Switzerland
  • 71HJ Andrews Experimental Forest, Oregon State University, Blue River 97413, OR, USA
  • 72Ibama, Rio Branco 69907-150, AC, Brazil
  • 73PRONAT – Programa de Pós-Graduação em Recurso Naturais, Universidade Federal de Roraima – UFRR, Boa Vista 69310-000, RR, Brazil
  • 74School of Biological Sciences, University of Aberdeen, Aberdeen AB24 2TZ, UK
  • 75Departamento de Ciências Ambientais, Universidade Federal do Amapá, Macapá 68902-280, AP, Brazil
  • 76Embrapa Cocais, Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation, São Luiz 65066-190, MA, Brazil
  • 77Instituto Boliviano de Investigacion Forestal (IBIF), Universidad Autonoma Gabriel René Moreno, Santa Cruz de la Sierra CP 6201, Bolivia
  • 78Department of Forest Vegetation, Forestry and Forest Products Research Institute (FFPRI), Ibaraki 305-8687, Japan
  • 79Núcleo de Estudos e Pesquisas Ambientais (NEPAM), Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP), Campinas 13083-867, SP, Brazil
  • 80Embrapa Roraima, Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation, Boa Vista 69301-970, RR, Brazil
  • 81Crop Production Systems in the Tropics, Georg-August-University, 37077 Göttingen, Germany
  • 82Departamento de Engenharia Florestal, Centro de Educação Superior Norte, Universidade Federal de Santa Maria, Frederico Westphalen 98400-000, RS, Brazil
  • 83College of Life and Environmental Sciences, University of Exeter, Exeter EX4 4RJ, UK

Abstract. The seasonal climate drivers of the carbon cycle in tropical forests remain poorly known, although these forests account for more carbon assimilation and storage than any other terrestrial ecosystem. Based on a unique combination of seasonal pan-tropical data sets from 89 experimental sites (68 include aboveground wood productivity measurements and 35 litter productivity measurements), their associated canopy photosynthetic capacity (enhanced vegetation index, EVI) and climate, we ask how carbon assimilation and aboveground allocation are related to climate seasonality in tropical forests and how they interact in the seasonal carbon cycle. We found that canopy photosynthetic capacity seasonality responds positively to precipitation when rainfall is  < 2000mmyr−1 (water-limited forests) and to radiation otherwise (light-limited forests). On the other hand, independent of climate limitations, wood productivity and litterfall are driven by seasonal variation in precipitation and evapotranspiration, respectively. Consequently, light-limited forests present an asynchronism between canopy photosynthetic capacity and wood productivity. First-order control by precipitation likely indicates a decrease in tropical forest productivity in a drier climate in water-limited forest, and in current light-limited forest with future rainfall  < 2000mmyr−1.

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