Tree growth rates in an Amazonian evergreen forest: seasonal patterns and correlations with leaf phenology

Friday, 19 December 2014
Kleber Silva Campos1, Neill Prohaska2, Jin Wu2, Mauricio Lamano Ferreira3, Bruce W Nelson4, Scott R Saleska2 and Rodrigo da Silva5, (1)UFPA Federal University of Para, Pará, Brazil, (2)University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ, United States, (3)Universidade de São Paulo, Centro de Energia Nuclear na Agricultura, Laboratório de Ecologia Isotópica, Piracicaba, Brazil, (4)INPA National Institute of Amazonian Research, Manaus, Brazil, (5)Universidade Federal do Oeste do Pará, Santarem, Brazil
Metabolism and phenology of tropical forests significantly influence global dynamics of climate, carbon and water. However, there is still lack of mechanistic understanding of the controls on tropical forest metabolism, particularly at individual tree level. In this study, we are interested in investigating (1) what is the seasonal pattern of woody growth for tropical trees and (2) what is the mechanistic controls onwoody growth at individual level?To explore the above questions,we use two data sources from an evergreen tropical forest KM67 site (near Santarem, Brazil). They are: (1) image time series from a tower mounted RGB imaging system, with images recordedin10 minutes interval since October 2013.Images near local noon homogeneous diffuse lighting were selectedfor leaf phenologymonitoring; (2) ground based bi-weekly biometry survey (via dendrometry band technique) for 25 trees from random sampling since September 2013. 12 among 25 trees are within the tower mounted camera image view. Our preliminary resultsdemonstrate that 20 trees among 25 trees surveyed significantly increase woody growth (or “green up”) in dry season. Our results also find thatamong those 20 trees, 12 trees reaches the maximum woody increment rate in late dry season with a mean DBH (Diameter at Breast Height) around 30 cm,while 8 trees reaching the maximum in the middle of wet season, with a mean DBH around 90 cm. This study,though limited in the sample size, mightprovide another line of evidence that Amazon rainforests “green up” in dry season. As for mechanistic controls on tropical tree woody control, we hypothesize both climate and leaf phenology control individual woody growth. We would like to link both camera based leaf phenology and climate data in the next to explorethe reason as to the pattern found in this study that bigger trees might have different seasonal growth pattern as smaller trees.