Tree mode of death and mortality risk factors across Amazon forests

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The carbon sink capacity of tropical forests is substantially affected by tree mortality. However, the main drivers of tropical tree death remain largely unknown. Here we present a pan-Amazonian assessment of how and why trees die, analysing over 120,000 trees representing > 3800 species from 189 long-term RAINFOR forest plots. While tree mortality rates vary greatly Amazon-wide, on average trees are as likely to die standing as they are broken or uprooted—modes of death with different ecological consequences. Species-level growth rate is the single most important predictor of tree death in Amazonia, with faster-growing species being at higher risk. Within species, however, the slowest-growing trees are at greatest risk while the effect of tree size varies across the basin. In the driest Amazonian region species-level bioclimatic distributional patterns also predict the risk of death, suggesting that these forests are experiencing climatic conditions beyond their adaptative limits. These results provide not only a holistic pan-Amazonian picture of tree death but large-scale evidence for the overarching importance of the growth–survival trade-off in driving tropical tree mortality.

Details

Authors
  • Adriane Esquivel-Muelbert
  • Oliver L. Phillips
  • Roel J.W. Brienen
  • Sophie Fauset
  • Martin J.P. Sullivan
  • Timothy R. Baker
  • Kuo Jung Chao
  • Ted R. Feldpausch
  • Emanuel Gloor
  • Niro Higuchi
  • Jeanne Houwing-Duistermaat
  • Jon Lloyd
  • Haiyan Liu
  • Yadvinder Malhi
  • Beatriz Marimon
  • Ben Hur Marimon Junior
  • Abel Monteagudo-Mendoza
  • Lourens Poorter
  • Marcos Silveira
  • Emilio Vilanova Torre
  • Esteban Alvarez Dávila
  • Jhon del Aguila Pasquel
  • Everton Almeida
  • Patricia Alvarez Loayza
  • Ana Andrade
  • Luiz E.O.C. Aragão
  • Alejandro Araujo-Murakami
  • Eric Arets
  • Luzmila Arroyo
  • Gerardo A. Aymard C
  • Michel Baisie
  • Christopher Baraloto
  • Plínio Barbosa Camargo
  • Jorcely Barroso
  • Lilian Blanc
  • Damien Bonal
  • Frans Bongers
  • René Boot
  • Foster Brown
  • Benoit Burban
  • José Luís Camargo
  • Wendeson Castro
  • Victor Chama Moscoso
  • Jerome Chave
  • James Comiskey
  • Fernando Cornejo Valverde
  • Antonio Lola da Costa
  • Nallaret Davila Cardozo
  • Anthony Di Fiore
  • Aurélie Dourdain
  • Terry Erwin
  • Gerardo Flores Llampazo
  • Ima Célia Guimarães Vieira
  • Rafael Herrera
  • Eurídice Honorio Coronado
  • Isau Huamantupa-Chuquimaco
  • Eliana Jimenez-Rojas
  • Timothy Killeen
  • Susan Laurance
  • William Laurance
  • Aurora Levesley
  • Simon L. Lewis
  • Karina Liana Lisboa Melgaço Ladvocat
  • Gabriela Lopez-Gonzalez
  • Thomas Lovejoy
  • Patrick Meir
  • Casimiro Mendoza
  • Paulo Morandi
  • David Neill
  • Adriano José Nogueira Lima
  • Percy Nuñez Vargas
  • Edmar Almeida de Oliveira
  • Nadir Pallqui Camacho
  • Guido Pardo
  • Julie Peacock
  • Marielos Peña-Claros
  • Maria Cristina Peñuela-Mora
  • Georgia Pickavance
  • John Pipoly
  • Nigel Pitman
  • Adriana Prieto
  • Carlos Quesada
  • Hirma Ramirez-Angulo
  • Simone Matias de Almeida Reis
  • Maxime Rejou-Machain
  • Zorayda Restrepo Correa
  • Lily Rodriguez Bayona
  • Agustín Rudas
  • Rafael Salomão
  • Julio Serrano
  • Javier Silva Espejo
  • Natalino Silva
  • James Singh
  • Clement Stahl
  • Juliana Stropp
  • Varun Swamy
  • Joey Talbot
  • Hans ter Steege
  • John Terborgh
  • Raquel Thomas
  • Marisol Toledo
  • Armando Torres-Lezama
  • Luis Valenzuela Gamarra
  • Geertje van der Heijden
  • Peter van der Meer
  • Peter van der Hout
  • Rodolfo Vasquez Martinez
  • Simone Aparecida Vieira
  • Jeanneth Villalobos Cayo
  • Vincent Vos
  • Roderick Zagt
  • Pieter Zuidema
  • David Galbraith
External organisations
  • University of Birmingham
  • University of Leeds
  • Plymouth University
  • Manchester Metropolitan University
  • National Chung-Hsing University
  • University of Exeter
  • National Institute of Amazonian Research
  • Imperial College London
  • University of Oxford
  • State University Of Mato Grosso (UNIMAT)
  • Jardín Botánico de Missouri
  • Wageningen University
  • Federal University of Acre (UFAC)
  • Universidad de Los Andes, Merida
  • University of California, Berkeley
  • Universidad Nacional Abierta y a Distancia
  • Fundación Con Vida
  • Instituto de Investigaciones de la Amazonia Peruana (IIAP)
  • Federal University of Western Pará
  • Duke University
  • Brazilian Institute for Space Research
  • Museo de Historia Natural Noel Kempff Mercado
  • Gabriel René Moreno Autonomous University
  • University Of Antilles
  • Florida International University
  • University of São Paulo
  • Agricultural research for develompent (CIRAD) Centre de Recherche de Montpellier
  • Academic Centre for Dentistry Amsterdam
  • Woods Hole Research Center
  • Versailles Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines University
  • US National Park Service
  • Proyecto Castaña
  • Federal University of Pará
  • University of Texas at Austin
  • Smithsonian Institution
  • Universidad Nacional Jorge Basadre de Grohmann
  • Brazilian Ministry Of Science And Technology
  • Instituto Venezolano de Investigaciones Científicas (IVIC)
  • Polytechnic University of Valencia
  • National University of Saint Anthony the Abbot in Cuzco
  • Universidad Nacional de Colombia, Sede Amazonia
  • Agteca, Bolivia
  • James Cook University
  • University College London
  • George Mason University
  • Australian National University
  • University of Edinburgh
  • Universidad Mayor de San Simon
  • Amazonia State University
  • Universidad Autónoma del Beni José Ballivián
  • Universidad Regional Amazónica Ikiam
  • Broward County Parks Recreation
  • The Field Museum of Natural History
  • National University of Colombia
  • Centro de Conservacion, Investigacion y Manejo de Areas Naturales (CIMA)
  • Federal Rural University Of The Amazon
  • Universidad de La Serena
  • Guyana Forestry Commission
  • Federal University of Alagoas
  • San Diego Zoo Global
  • Naturalis Biodiversity Center
  • Florida Museum Natural History
  • Iwokrama International Centre for Rain forest Conservation and Development
  • University of Nottingham
  • Van Hall Larenstein University of Applied Sciences
  • Van der Hoult Forestry Consulting
  • University of Campinas
  • University of Saint Francis Xavier
  • Tropenbos International
  • Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Environmental Sciences
Original languageEnglish
Article number5515
JournalNature Communications
Volume11
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Dec
Publication categoryResearch
Peer-reviewedYes
Externally publishedYes