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Tree mode of death and mortality risk factors across Amazon forests

Esquivel-Muelbert, Adriane, Phillips, Oliver L, Brienen, Roel JW, Fauset, Sophie, Sullivan, Martin JP, Baker, Timothy R, Chao, Kuo-Jung, Feldpausch, Ted R, Gloor, Emanuel, Higuchi, Niro, Houwing-Duistermaat, Jeanne, Lloyd, Jon, Liu, Haiyan, Malhi, Yadvinder, Marimon, Beatriz, Marimon Junior, Ben Hur, Monteagudo-Mendoza, Abel, Poorter, Lourens, Silveira, Marcos, Torre, Emilio Vilanova, Dávila, Esteban Alvarez, del Aguila Pasquel, Jhon, Almeida, Everton, Loayza, Patricia Alvarez, Andrade, Ana, Aragão, Luiz EOC, Araujo-Murakami, Alejandro, Arets, Eric, Arroyo, Luzmila, Aymard C., Gerardo A, Baisie, Michel, Baraloto, Christopher, Camargo, Plínio Barbosa, Barroso, Jorcely, Blanc, Lilian, Bonal, Damien, Bongers, Frans, Boot, René, Brown, Foster, Burban, Benoit, Camargo, José Luís, Castro, Wendeson, Moscoso, Victor Chama, Chave, Jerome, Comiskey, James, Valverde, Fernando Cornejo, da Costa, Antonio Lola, Cardozo, Nallaret Davila, Di Fiore, Anthony, Dourdain, Aurélie, Erwin, Terry, Llampazo, Gerardo Flores, Vieira, Ima Célia Guimarães, Herrera, Rafael, Honorio Coronado, Eurídice, Huamantupa-Chuquimaco, Isau, Jimenez-Rojas, Eliana, Killeen, Timothy, Laurance, Susan, Laurance, William, Levesley, Aurora, Lewis, Simon L, Ladvocat, Karina Liana Lisboa Melgaço, Lopez-Gonzalez, Gabriela, Lovejoy, Thomas, Meir, Patrick, Mendoza, Casimiro, Morandi, Paulo, Neill, David, Nogueira Lima, Adriano José, Vargas, Percy Nuñez, de Oliveira, Edmar Almeida, Camacho, Nadir Pallqui, Pardo, Guido, Peacock, Julie, Peña-Claros, Marielos, Peñuela-Mora, Maria Cristina, Pickavance, Georgia, Pipoly, John, Pitman, Nigel, Prieto, Adriana, Pugh, Thomas AM, Quesada, Carlos, Ramirez-Angulo, Hirma, de Almeida Reis, Simone Matias, Rejou-Machain, Maxime, Correa, Zorayda Restrepo, Bayona, Lily Rodriguez, Rudas, Agustín, Salomão, Rafael, Serrano, Julio, Espejo, Javier Silva, Silva, Natalino, Singh, James, Stahl, Clement, Stropp, Juliana, Swamy, Varun, Talbot, Joey, ter Steege, Hans, Terborgh, John, Thomas, Raquel, Toledo, Marisol, Torres-Lezama, Armando, Gamarra, Luis Valenzuela, van der Heijden, Geertje, van der Meer, Peter, van der Hout, Peter, Martinez, Rodolfo Vasquez, Vieira, Simone Aparecida, Cayo, Jeanneth Villalobos, Vos, Vincent, Zagt, Roderick, Zuidema, Pieter and Galbraith, David (2020) Tree mode of death and mortality risk factors across Amazon forests. Nature Communications, 11 (1).

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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

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