Biomass collapse in Amazonian forest fragments
Laurance W; Laurance S; Ferreira L; Rankin-de Merona J; Gascon C; Lovejoy T
Rain forest fragments in central Amazonia were found to experience a dramatic loss of above-ground tree biomass that is not offset by recruitment of new trees. These losses were largest within 100 meters of fragment edges where tree mortality is sharply increased by microclimatic changes and elevated wind turbulence. Permanent study plots within 100 meters of edges lost up to 36 percent of their biomass in the first 10 to 17 years after fragmentation. Lianas (climbing woody vines) increased near edges but usually compensated for only a small fraction of the biomass lost as a result of increased tree mortality.