Working Paper Article Version 1 This version is not peer-reviewed

Model-based Estimation of Amazonian Forests Recovery Time After Drought and Fire Events

Version 1 : Received: 30 July 2020 / Approved: 31 July 2020 / Online: 31 July 2020 (13:51:03 CEST)

How to cite: De Faria, B.; Marano, G.; Piponiot, C.; Rattis, L.; Rech, A.; Collalti, A. Model-based Estimation of Amazonian Forests Recovery Time After Drought and Fire Events. Preprints 2020, 2020070750 De Faria, B.; Marano, G.; Piponiot, C.; Rattis, L.; Rech, A.; Collalti, A. Model-based Estimation of Amazonian Forests Recovery Time After Drought and Fire Events. Preprints 2020, 2020070750

Abstract

In the last decades droughts, deforestation and wildfires have become recurring phenomena that have affected both human activities and natural ecosystems in Amazonia. The time an ecosystem requires to recover from carbon losses is a crucial metric to evaluate disturbance impacts on forests. However, the factors influencing and controlling the recovery time and its spatiotemporal patterns at the regional scale are still poorly understood. In this study, we combined forest growth model, remote sensing and field plots, to map Amazonia-wide (300-ha resolution) impact and recovery time of aboveground biomass (AGB) after drought, fire and a combination of logging and fire. Our simulated results indicate that AGB decreases by 4%, 19% and 46% in forests disturbed by drought, fire and logging + fire, respectively, with an average AGB recovery time of 27 years for drought, 44 years for burned and 63 years for logged + burned areas and with maximum values reaching 184 years in areas of high fire intensity. Our findings provide two major insights in the spatial and temporal patterns of drought and wildfire in the Amazon: 1) the recovery time of the forests takes longer in the southeastern part of the basin, and, 2) as droughts and wildfires become more frequent – since the intervals between the disturbances is getting shorter than forest regeneration – potentially causing a long-lasting damage in these fragile ecosystems and a permanent degradation.

Subject Areas

Amazon; recovery time; aboveground biomass; climate change; 3-PG

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