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Fires increase Amazon forest productivity through increases in diffuse radiation

Rap, A.; Spracklen, D.V.; Mercado, L.; Reddington, C.L.; Haywood, J.M.; Ellis, R.J.; Phillips, O.L.; Artaxo, P.; Bonal, D.; Restrepo Coupe, N.; Butt, N.. 2015 Fires increase Amazon forest productivity through increases in diffuse radiation. Geophysical Research Letters, 42 (11). 4654-4662. 10.1002/2015GL063719

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Abstract/Summary

Atmospheric aerosol scatters solar radiation increasing the fraction of diffuse radiation and the efficiency of photosynthesis. We quantify the impacts of biomass burning aerosol (BBA) on diffuse radiation and plant photosynthesis across Amazonia during 1998–2007. Evaluation against observed aerosol optical depth allows us to provide lower and upper BBA emissions estimates. BBA increases Amazon basin annual mean diffuse radiation by 3.4–6.8% and net primary production (NPP) by 1.4–2.8%, with quoted ranges driven by uncertainty in BBA emissions. The enhancement of Amazon basin NPP by 78–156 Tg C a−1 is equivalent to 33–65% of the annual regional carbon emissions from biomass burning. This NPP increase occurs during the dry season and acts to counteract some of the observed effect of drought on tropical production. We estimate that 30–60 Tg C a−1 of this NPP enhancement is within woody tissue, accounting for 8–16% of the observed carbon sink across mature Amazonian forests.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): 10.1002/2015GL063719
CEH Sections: Reynard
ISSN: 0094-8276
Additional Information. Not used in RCUK Gateway to Research.: Open Access paper - full text available via Official URL link.
Additional Keywords: aerosol, deforestation fires, biomass burning, diffuse radiation, plant photosynthesis
NORA Subject Terms: Ecology and Environment
Atmospheric Sciences
Date made live: 10 Aug 2015 11:37 +0 (UTC)
URI: http://nora.nerc.ac.uk/id/eprint/511479

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