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Distribution of aboveground live biomass in the Amazon basin

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dc.contributor.author Saatchi, S. S.
dc.contributor.author Houghton, R. A.
dc.contributor.author Dos Santos Alvala, R. C.
dc.contributor.author Soares, J. V.
dc.contributor.author Yu, Y.
dc.date.accessioned 2008-07-31T22:09:53Z
dc.date.available 2008-07-31T22:09:53Z
dc.date.issued 2007-04
dc.identifier.citation Global Change Biology, Volume 13, Number 4, April 2007, pp. 816-837 en_US
dc.identifier.clearanceno 07-1923
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/2014/40882
dc.description.abstract The amount and spatial distribution of forest biomass in the Amazon basin is a major source of uncertainty in estimating the flux of carbon released from land-cover and landuse change. Direct measurements of aboveground live biomass (AGLB) are limited to small areas of forest inventory plots and site-specific allometric equations that cannot be readily generalized for the entire basin. Furthermore, there is no spaceborne remote sensing instrument that can measure tropical forest biomass directly. To determine the spatial distribution of forest biomass of the Amazon basin, we report a method based on remote sensing metrics representing various forest structural parameters and environmental variables, and more than 500 plot measurements of forest biomass distributed over the basin. A decision tree approach was used to develop the spatial distribution of AGLB for seven distinct biomass classes of lowland old-growth forests with more than 80% accuracy. AGLB for other vegetation types, such as the woody and herbaceous savanna and secondary forests, was directly estimated with a regression based on satellite data. Results show that AGLB is highest in Central Amazonia and in regions to the east and north, including the Guyanas. Biomass is generally above 300Mghaˉ¹ here except in areas of intense logging or open floodplains. In Western Amazonia, from the lowlands of Peru, Ecuador, and Colombia to the Andean mountains, biomass ranges from 150 to 300Mghaˉ¹. Most transitional and seasonal forests at the southern and northwestern edges of the basin have biomass ranging from 100 to 200Mghaˉ¹. The AGLB distribution has a significant correlation with the length of the dry season. We estimate that the total carbon in forest biomass of the Amazon basin, including the dead and belowground biomass, is 86 PgC with ± 20% uncertainty. en_US
dc.description.sponsorship NASA/JPL en_US
dc.language.iso en_US en_US
dc.publisher Blackwell Publishing en_US
dc.subject Amazon en_US
dc.subject biomass en_US
dc.subject climate en_US
dc.subject rainforest en_US
dc.subject remote sensing en_US
dc.title Distribution of aboveground live biomass in the Amazon basin en_US
dc.type Article en_US


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