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Height–diameter allometry for a dominant palm to improve understanding of carbon and forest dynamics in forests of Puerto Rico

Chatzopoulos, Paschalis; Lammerant, Roel; Thompson, Jill; Uriarte, María; Zimmerman, Jess K.; Muscarella, Robert. 2024 Height–diameter allometry for a dominant palm to improve understanding of carbon and forest dynamics in forests of Puerto Rico. Biotropica. 12, pp. https://doi.org/10.1111/btp.13297

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Abstract/Summary

Tropical forests play a major role in the global carbon cycle but their diversity and structural complexity challenge our ability to accurately estimate carbon stocks and dynamics. Palms, in particular, are prominent components of many tropical forests that have unique anatomical, physiological, and allometric differences from dicot trees, which impede accurate estimates of their aboveground biomass (AGB) and population dynamics. We focused on improving height estimates and, ultimately, AGB estimates for a highly abundant palm in Puerto Rico, Prestoea acuminata. Based on field measurements of 1003 individuals, we found a strong relationship between stem height and diameter. We also found some evidence that height–diameter allometry of P. acuminata is mediated by various sources of environmental heterogeneity including slope and neighborhood crowding. We then examined variability in AGB estimates derived from three models developed to estimate palm AGB. Finally, we applied our novel height:diameter allometric model to hindcast dynamics of P. acuminata in the Luquillo Forest Dynamics Plot during a 27-year period (1989–2016) of post-hurricane recovery. Overall, our study provides improved estimates of AGB in wet forests of Puerto Rico and will facilitate novel insights to the dynamics of palms in tropical forests.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): https://doi.org/10.1111/btp.13297
UKCEH and CEH Sections/Science Areas: Biodiversity (Science Area 2017-)
ISSN: 0006-3606
Additional Information. Not used in RCUK Gateway to Research.: Open Access paper - full text available via Official URL link.
Additional Keywords: aboveground biomass, Arecaceae, environmental heterogeneity, forest dynamics, neotropics, Prestoea acuminata var. montana (Graham)
NORA Subject Terms: Ecology and Environment
Botany
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Date made live: 15 Jan 2024 11:56 +0 (UTC)
URI: https://nora.nerc.ac.uk/id/eprint/536654

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