Does soil pyrogenic carbon determine plant functional traits in Amazon Basin forests?

Klécia G. Massi, Michael Bird, Beatriz S. Marimon, Ben Hur Marimon, Denis S. Nogueira, Edmar A. Oliveira, Oliver L. Phillips, Carlos A. Quesada, Ana S. Andrade, Roel J. W. Brienen, José L. C. Camargo, Jerome Chave, Eurídice N. Honorio Coronado, Leandro V. Ferreira, Niro Higuchi, Susan G. Laurance, William F. Laurance, Thomas Lovejoy, Yadvinder Malhi, Rodolfo V. Martínez & 7 others Abel Monteagudo, David Neill, Adriana Prieto, Hirma Ramírez-Angulo, Hans ter Steege, Emilio Vilanova, Ted R. Feldpausch

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Amazon forests are fire-sensitive ecosystems and consequently fires affect forest structure and composition. For instance, the legacy of past fire regimes may persist through some species and traits that are found due to past fires. In this study, we tested for relationships between functional traits that are classically presented as the main components of plant ecological strategies and environmental filters related to climate and historical fires among permanent mature forest plots across the range of local and regional environmental gradients that occur in Amazonia. We used percentage surface soil pyrogenic carbon (PyC), a recalcitrant form of carbon that can persist for millennia in soils, as a novel indicator of historical fire in old-growth forests. Five out of the nine functional traits evaluated across all 378 species were correlated with some environmental variables. Although there is more PyC in Amazonian soils than previously reported, the percentage soil PyC indicated no detectable legacy effect of past fires on contemporary functional composition. More species with dry diaspores were found in drier and hotter environments. We also found higher wood density in trees from higher temperature sites. If Amazon forest past burnings were local and without distinguishable attributes of a widespread fire regime, then impacts on biodiversity would have been small and heterogeneous. Alternatively, sufficient time may have passed since the last fire to allow for species replacement. Regardless, as we failed to detect any impact of past fire on present forest functional composition, if our plots are representative then it suggests that mature Amazon forests lack a compositional legacy of past fire.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1047-1062
Number of pages16
JournalPlant Ecology
Volume218
Issue number9
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2017

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soil carbon
basin
forest fire
diaspore
old-growth forest
carbon
environmental gradient
soil
replacement
biodiversity
filter
ecosystem
climate

Bibliographical note

M1 - 9

Cite this

Massi, K. G., Bird, M., Marimon, B. S., Marimon, B. H., Nogueira, D. S., Oliveira, E. A., ... Feldpausch, T. R. (2017). Does soil pyrogenic carbon determine plant functional traits in Amazon Basin forests? Plant Ecology, 218(9), 1047-1062. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11258-017-0751-9
Massi, Klécia G. ; Bird, Michael ; Marimon, Beatriz S. ; Marimon, Ben Hur ; Nogueira, Denis S. ; Oliveira, Edmar A. ; Phillips, Oliver L. ; Quesada, Carlos A. ; Andrade, Ana S. ; Brienen, Roel J. W. ; Camargo, José L. C. ; Chave, Jerome ; Honorio Coronado, Eurídice N. ; Ferreira, Leandro V. ; Higuchi, Niro ; Laurance, Susan G. ; Laurance, William F. ; Lovejoy, Thomas ; Malhi, Yadvinder ; Martínez, Rodolfo V. ; Monteagudo, Abel ; Neill, David ; Prieto, Adriana ; Ramírez-Angulo, Hirma ; ter Steege, Hans ; Vilanova, Emilio ; Feldpausch, Ted R. / Does soil pyrogenic carbon determine plant functional traits in Amazon Basin forests?. In: Plant Ecology. 2017 ; Vol. 218, No. 9. pp. 1047-1062.
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abstract = "Amazon forests are fire-sensitive ecosystems and consequently fires affect forest structure and composition. For instance, the legacy of past fire regimes may persist through some species and traits that are found due to past fires. In this study, we tested for relationships between functional traits that are classically presented as the main components of plant ecological strategies and environmental filters related to climate and historical fires among permanent mature forest plots across the range of local and regional environmental gradients that occur in Amazonia. We used percentage surface soil pyrogenic carbon (PyC), a recalcitrant form of carbon that can persist for millennia in soils, as a novel indicator of historical fire in old-growth forests. Five out of the nine functional traits evaluated across all 378 species were correlated with some environmental variables. Although there is more PyC in Amazonian soils than previously reported, the percentage soil PyC indicated no detectable legacy effect of past fires on contemporary functional composition. More species with dry diaspores were found in drier and hotter environments. We also found higher wood density in trees from higher temperature sites. If Amazon forest past burnings were local and without distinguishable attributes of a widespread fire regime, then impacts on biodiversity would have been small and heterogeneous. Alternatively, sufficient time may have passed since the last fire to allow for species replacement. Regardless, as we failed to detect any impact of past fire on present forest functional composition, if our plots are representative then it suggests that mature Amazon forests lack a compositional legacy of past fire.",
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Massi, KG, Bird, M, Marimon, BS, Marimon, BH, Nogueira, DS, Oliveira, EA, Phillips, OL, Quesada, CA, Andrade, AS, Brienen, RJW, Camargo, JLC, Chave, J, Honorio Coronado, EN, Ferreira, LV, Higuchi, N, Laurance, SG, Laurance, WF, Lovejoy, T, Malhi, Y, Martínez, RV, Monteagudo, A, Neill, D, Prieto, A, Ramírez-Angulo, H, ter Steege, H, Vilanova, E & Feldpausch, TR 2017, 'Does soil pyrogenic carbon determine plant functional traits in Amazon Basin forests?' Plant Ecology, vol. 218, no. 9, pp. 1047-1062. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11258-017-0751-9

Does soil pyrogenic carbon determine plant functional traits in Amazon Basin forests? / Massi, Klécia G.; Bird, Michael; Marimon, Beatriz S.; Marimon, Ben Hur; Nogueira, Denis S.; Oliveira, Edmar A.; Phillips, Oliver L.; Quesada, Carlos A.; Andrade, Ana S.; Brienen, Roel J. W.; Camargo, José L. C.; Chave, Jerome; Honorio Coronado, Eurídice N.; Ferreira, Leandro V.; Higuchi, Niro; Laurance, Susan G.; Laurance, William F.; Lovejoy, Thomas; Malhi, Yadvinder; Martínez, Rodolfo V.; Monteagudo, Abel; Neill, David; Prieto, Adriana; Ramírez-Angulo, Hirma; ter Steege, Hans; Vilanova, Emilio; Feldpausch, Ted R.

In: Plant Ecology, Vol. 218, No. 9, 2017, p. 1047-1062.

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - Does soil pyrogenic carbon determine plant functional traits in Amazon Basin forests?

AU - Massi, Klécia G.

AU - Bird, Michael

AU - Marimon, Beatriz S.

AU - Marimon, Ben Hur

AU - Nogueira, Denis S.

AU - Oliveira, Edmar A.

AU - Phillips, Oliver L.

AU - Quesada, Carlos A.

AU - Andrade, Ana S.

AU - Brienen, Roel J. W.

AU - Camargo, José L. C.

AU - Chave, Jerome

AU - Honorio Coronado, Eurídice N.

AU - Ferreira, Leandro V.

AU - Higuchi, Niro

AU - Laurance, Susan G.

AU - Laurance, William F.

AU - Lovejoy, Thomas

AU - Malhi, Yadvinder

AU - Martínez, Rodolfo V.

AU - Monteagudo, Abel

AU - Neill, David

AU - Prieto, Adriana

AU - Ramírez-Angulo, Hirma

AU - ter Steege, Hans

AU - Vilanova, Emilio

AU - Feldpausch, Ted R.

N1 - M1 - 9

PY - 2017

Y1 - 2017

N2 - Amazon forests are fire-sensitive ecosystems and consequently fires affect forest structure and composition. For instance, the legacy of past fire regimes may persist through some species and traits that are found due to past fires. In this study, we tested for relationships between functional traits that are classically presented as the main components of plant ecological strategies and environmental filters related to climate and historical fires among permanent mature forest plots across the range of local and regional environmental gradients that occur in Amazonia. We used percentage surface soil pyrogenic carbon (PyC), a recalcitrant form of carbon that can persist for millennia in soils, as a novel indicator of historical fire in old-growth forests. Five out of the nine functional traits evaluated across all 378 species were correlated with some environmental variables. Although there is more PyC in Amazonian soils than previously reported, the percentage soil PyC indicated no detectable legacy effect of past fires on contemporary functional composition. More species with dry diaspores were found in drier and hotter environments. We also found higher wood density in trees from higher temperature sites. If Amazon forest past burnings were local and without distinguishable attributes of a widespread fire regime, then impacts on biodiversity would have been small and heterogeneous. Alternatively, sufficient time may have passed since the last fire to allow for species replacement. Regardless, as we failed to detect any impact of past fire on present forest functional composition, if our plots are representative then it suggests that mature Amazon forests lack a compositional legacy of past fire.

AB - Amazon forests are fire-sensitive ecosystems and consequently fires affect forest structure and composition. For instance, the legacy of past fire regimes may persist through some species and traits that are found due to past fires. In this study, we tested for relationships between functional traits that are classically presented as the main components of plant ecological strategies and environmental filters related to climate and historical fires among permanent mature forest plots across the range of local and regional environmental gradients that occur in Amazonia. We used percentage surface soil pyrogenic carbon (PyC), a recalcitrant form of carbon that can persist for millennia in soils, as a novel indicator of historical fire in old-growth forests. Five out of the nine functional traits evaluated across all 378 species were correlated with some environmental variables. Although there is more PyC in Amazonian soils than previously reported, the percentage soil PyC indicated no detectable legacy effect of past fires on contemporary functional composition. More species with dry diaspores were found in drier and hotter environments. We also found higher wood density in trees from higher temperature sites. If Amazon forest past burnings were local and without distinguishable attributes of a widespread fire regime, then impacts on biodiversity would have been small and heterogeneous. Alternatively, sufficient time may have passed since the last fire to allow for species replacement. Regardless, as we failed to detect any impact of past fire on present forest functional composition, if our plots are representative then it suggests that mature Amazon forests lack a compositional legacy of past fire.

U2 - 10.1007/s11258-017-0751-9

DO - 10.1007/s11258-017-0751-9

M3 - Article

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JO - Plant Ecology

JF - Plant Ecology

SN - 1573-5052

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Massi KG, Bird M, Marimon BS, Marimon BH, Nogueira DS, Oliveira EA et al. Does soil pyrogenic carbon determine plant functional traits in Amazon Basin forests? Plant Ecology. 2017;218(9):1047-1062. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11258-017-0751-9