NTRS - NASA Technical Reports Server

Back to Results
Aboveground Biomass Variability Across Intact and Degraded Forests in the Brazilian AmazonDeforestation rates have declined in the Brazilian Amazon since 2005, yet degradation from logging, re, and fragmentation has continued in frontier forests. In this study we quantified the aboveground carbon density (ACD) in intact and degraded forests using the largest data set of integrated forest inventory plots (n 359) and airborne lidar data (18,000 ha) assembled to date for the Brazilian Amazon. We developed statistical models relating inventory ACD estimates to lidar metrics that explained70 of the variance across forest types. Airborne lidar-ACD estimates for intact forests ranged between 5.0 +/- 2.5 and 31.9 +/- 10.8 kg C m(exp -2). Degradation carbon losses were large and persistent. Sites that burned multiple times within a decade lost up to 15.0 +/- 0.7 kg C m(-2)(94%) of ACD. Forests that burned nearly15 years ago had between 4.1 +/- 0.5 and 6.8 +/- 0.3 kg C m(exp -2) (22-40%) less ACD than intact forests. Even for low-impact logging disturbances, ACD was between 0.7 +/- 0.3 and 4.4 +/- 0.4 kg C m(exp -2)(4-21%) lower than unlogged forests. Comparing biomass estimates from airborne lidar to existing biomass maps, we found that regional and pan-tropical products consistently overestimated ACD in degraded forests, under-estimated ACD in intact forests, and showed little sensitivity to res and logging. Fine-scale heterogeneity in ACD across intact and degraded forests highlights the benefits of airborne lidar for carbon mapping. Differences between airborne lidar and regional biomass maps underscore the need to improve and update biomass estimates for dynamic land use frontiers, to better characterize deforestation and degradation carbon emissions for regional carbon budgets and Reduce Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation(REDD+).
Document ID
Document Type
Reprint (Version printed in journal)
External Source(s)
Longo, Marcos (Embrapa Agricultural Informatics Campinas, Brazil)
Keller, Michael (International Institute of Tropical Forestry Rio Piedras, Puerto Rico)
Dos-Santos, Maiza N. (Embrapa Agricultural Informatics Campinas, Brazil)
Leitold, Veronika (Maryland Univ. Greenbelt, MD, United States)
Pinage, Ekena R. (Embrapa Agricultural Informatics Campinas, Brazil)
Baccini, Alessandro (Woods Hole Research Center Falmouth, MA, United States)
Saatchi, Sassan (Jet Propulsion Lab., California Inst. of Tech. Pasadena, CA, United States)
Nogueira, Euler M. (National Inst. for Research in Amazonia Manaus, Brazil)
Batistella, Mateus (Brazilian Agricultural Research Corp. Brasilia, Brazil)
Morton, Douglas C. (NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Greenbelt, MD United States)
Date Acquired
June 12, 2017
Publication Date
November 10, 2016
Publication Information
Publication: Global Biogeochemical Cycles
Volume: 30
Issue: 11
ISSN: 0886-6236
Subject Category
Earth Resources and Remote Sensing
Report/Patent Number
Funding Number(s)
Distribution Limits