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1.
J Environ Qual ; 48(2): 385-393, 2019 Mar.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-30951123

RESUMO

Agriculture needs to reduce inputs of inorganic fertilizers and close the loop on nutrients that can otherwise become environmental pollutants. This can be achieved by promoting recycling of nutrients within the agricultural landscape. We investigated the extent to which plants found in riparian buffer zones have the potential to provide nutrients to crops as a green manure, through plant growth and decomposition studies. Under controlled conditions, species typical of Scottish riparian buffer strips were tested for their ability to accumulate biomass and nutrients in tissue under N- and P-replete conditions and whether this ability enhanced the utility of the resulting green manure in promoting crop growth. In this proof-of-concept study, we found that green manure derived from riparian buffer strips did not effectively replace inorganic fertilizer and only had a significant positive effect on growth, yield, and nutrient accumulation in barley ( L.) when it was integrated with the addition of inorganic fertilizers. The individual species tested varied in the amount of P they accumulated in their tissue (1.38-52.73 mg P plant), but individual species did not differ in their ability to promote yield when used as a green manure. Our results indicate that selecting certain species in the buffer strip on the basis of their nutrient accumulating abilities is not an effective way to increase the utility of buffer strip green manure as a nutrient source for crops.


Assuntos
Agricultura/métodos , Biodegradação Ambiental , Fertilizantes/análise , Esterco , Biomassa , Produtos Agrícolas , Nitrogênio/análise , Fósforo/análise , Solo
2.
Nat Commun ; 9(1): 3045, 2018 08 02.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-30072779

RESUMO

Land use carbon fluxes are major uncertainties in the global carbon cycle. This is because carbon stocks, and the extent of deforestation, degradation and biomass growth remain poorly resolved, particularly in the densely populated savannas which dominate the tropics. Here we quantify changes in aboveground woody carbon stocks from 2007-2010 in the world's largest savanna-the southern African woodlands. Degradation is widespread, affecting 17.0% of the wooded area, and is the source of 55% of biomass loss (-0.075 PgC yr-1). Deforestation losses are lower (-0.038 PgC yr-1), despite deforestation rates being 5× greater than existing estimates. Gross carbon losses are therefore 3-6x higher than previously thought. Biomass gains occurred in 48% of the region and totalled +0.12 PgC yr-1. Region-wide stocks are therefore stable at ~5.5 PgC. We show that land cover in African woodlands is highly dynamic with globally high rates of degradation and deforestation, but also extensive regrowth.

4.
Ecosystems ; 21(4): 740-754, 2018.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-30996655

RESUMO

African savannas and dry forests represent a large, but poorly quantified store of biomass carbon and biodiversity. Improving this information is hindered by a lack of recent forest inventories, which are necessary for calibrating earth observation data and for evaluating the relationship between carbon stocks and tree diversity in the context of forest conservation (for example, REDD+). Here, we present new inventory data from south-eastern Tanzania, comprising more than 15,000 trees at 25 locations located across a gradient of aboveground woody carbon (AGC) stocks. We find that larger trees disproportionately contribute to AGC, with the largest 3.7% of individuals containing half the carbon. Tree species diversity and carbon stocks were positively related, implying a potential functional relationship between the two, and a 'win-win' scenario for conservation; however, lower biomass areas also contain diverse species assemblages meaning that carbon-oriented conservation may miss important areas of biodiversity. Despite these variations, we find that total tree abundance and biomass is skewed towards a few locally dominant species, with eight and nine species (5.7% of the total) accounting for over half the total measured trees and carbon, respectively. This finding implies that carbon production in these areas is channelled through a small number of relatively abundant species. Our results provide key insights into the structure and functioning of these heterogeneous ecosystems and indicate the need for novel strategies for future measurement and monitoring of carbon stocks and biodiversity, including the use for larger plots to capture spatial variations in large tree density and AGC stocks, and to allow the calibration of earth observation data.

5.
New Phytol ; 213(2): 625-633, 2017 Jan.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-27898178

RESUMO

Tree phenology mediates land-atmosphere mass and energy exchange and is a determinant of ecosystem structure and function. In the dry tropics, including African savannas, many trees grow new leaves during the dry season - weeks or months before the rains typically start. This syndrome of pre-rain green-up has long been recognized at small scales, but the high spatial and interspecific variability in leaf phenology has precluded regional generalizations. We used remote sensing data to show that this precocious phenology is ubiquitous across the woodlands and savannas of southern tropical Africa. In 70% of the study area, green-up preceded rain onset by > 20 d (42% > 40 d). All the main vegetation formations exhibited pre-rain green-up, by as much as 53 ± 18 d (in the wet miombo). Green-up showed low interannual variability (SD between years = 11 d), and high spatial variability (> 100 d). These results are consistent with a high degree of local phenological adaptation, and an insolation trigger of green-up. Tree-tree competition and niche separation may explain the ubiquity of this precocious phenology. The ubiquity of pre-rain green-up described here challenges existing model representations and suggests resistance (but not necessarily resilience) to the delay in rain onset predicted under climate change.


Assuntos
Mudança Climática , Modelos Teóricos , Chuva , Clima Tropical , África , Geografia , Folhas de Planta/fisiologia , Probabilidade
6.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-27502377

RESUMO

Miombo and mopane woodlands are the dominant land cover in southern Africa. Ecosystem services from these woodlands support the livelihoods of 100 M rural people and 50 M urban dwellers, and others beyond the region. Provisioning services contribute $9 ± 2 billion yr(-1) to rural livelihoods; 76% of energy used in the region is derived from woodlands; and traded woodfuels have an annual value of $780 M. Woodlands support much of the region's agriculture through transfers of nutrients to fields and shifting cultivation. Woodlands store 18-24 PgC carbon, and harbour a unique and diverse flora and fauna that provides spiritual succour and attracts tourists. Longstanding processes that will impact service provision are the expansion of croplands (0.1 M km(2); 2000-2014), harvesting of woodfuels (93 M tonnes yr(-1)) and changing access arrangements. Novel, exogenous changes include large-scale land acquisitions (0.07 M km(2); 2000-2015), climate change and rising CO2 The net ecological response to these changes is poorly constrained, as they act in different directions, and differentially on trees and grasses, leading to uncertainty in future service provision. Land-use change and socio-political dynamics are likely to be dominant forces of change in the short term, but important land-use dynamics remain unquantified.This article is part of the themed issue 'Tropical grassy biomes: linking ecology, human use and conservation'.


Assuntos
Conservação dos Recursos Naturais/economia , Pradaria , África Austral , Agricultura , Fabaceae , Tanzânia
7.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-27502380

RESUMO

African woodlands form a major part of the tropical grassy biome and support the livelihoods of millions of rural and urban people. Charcoal production in particular is a major economic activity, but its impact on other ecosystem services is little studied. To address this, our study collected biophysical and social datasets, which were combined in ecological production functions, to assess ecosystem service provision and its change under different charcoal production scenarios in Gaza Province, southern Mozambique. We found that villages with longer histories of charcoal production had experienced declines in wood suitable for charcoal, firewood and construction, and tended to have lower perceived availabilities of these services. Scenarios of future charcoal impacts indicated that firewood and woody construction services were likely to trade-off with charcoal production. However, even under the most extreme charcoal scenario, these services were not completely lost. Other provisioning services, such as wild food, medicinal plants and grass, were largely unaffected by charcoal production. To reduce the future impacts of charcoal production, producers must avoid increased intensification of charcoal extraction by avoiding the expansion of species and sizes of trees used for charcoal production. This is a major challenge to land managers and policymakers in the area.This article is part of the themed issue 'Tropical grassy biomes: linking ecology, human use and conservation'.


Assuntos
Carvão Vegetal/análise , Conservação dos Recursos Naturais/economia , Pradaria , Madeira/análise , Carvão Vegetal/economia , Moçambique
8.
Glob Chang Biol ; 22(4): 1406-20, 2016 Apr.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-26499288

RESUMO

We combined two existing datasets of vegetation aboveground biomass (AGB) (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 108, 2011, 9899; Nature Climate Change, 2, 2012, 182) into a pan-tropical AGB map at 1-km resolution using an independent reference dataset of field observations and locally calibrated high-resolution biomass maps, harmonized and upscaled to 14 477 1-km AGB estimates. Our data fusion approach uses bias removal and weighted linear averaging that incorporates and spatializes the biomass patterns indicated by the reference data. The method was applied independently in areas (strata) with homogeneous error patterns of the input (Saatchi and Baccini) maps, which were estimated from the reference data and additional covariates. Based on the fused map, we estimated AGB stock for the tropics (23.4 N-23.4 S) of 375 Pg dry mass, 9-18% lower than the Saatchi and Baccini estimates. The fused map also showed differing spatial patterns of AGB over large areas, with higher AGB density in the dense forest areas in the Congo basin, Eastern Amazon and South-East Asia, and lower values in Central America and in most dry vegetation areas of Africa than either of the input maps. The validation exercise, based on 2118 estimates from the reference dataset not used in the fusion process, showed that the fused map had a RMSE 15-21% lower than that of the input maps and, most importantly, nearly unbiased estimates (mean bias 5 Mg dry mass ha(-1) vs. 21 and 28 Mg ha(-1) for the input maps). The fusion method can be applied at any scale including the policy-relevant national level, where it can provide improved biomass estimates by integrating existing regional biomass maps as input maps and additional, country-specific reference datasets.


Assuntos
Biomassa , Mapas como Assunto , Conjuntos de Dados como Assunto , Modelos Teóricos , Árvores , Clima Tropical
9.
Ecol Appl ; 25(8): 2320-36, 2015 Dec.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-26910958

RESUMO

Large parts of sub-Saharan Africa are experiencing rapid changes in land use and land cover, driven largely by the expansion of small-scale shifting cultivation. This practice creates complex mosaic landscapes with active agricultural fields and patches of mature woodland, interspersed with remnant patches in various stages of regrowth. Our objective here was to examine the rate and extent to which carbon stocks in trees and soils recover after cultivation, and detail how this disturbance and regrowth affect patterns in tree species composition and diversity over 40 years of succession in a miombo woodland landscape in southeast Tanzania. We sampled 67 areas, including plots previously cleared for cultivation, active fields, and mature woodlands for reference purposes. Sites were further stratified by soil texture to test for associated effects. Tree carbon stocks accumulated at an average rate of 0.83 ± 0.10 Mg C x ha(-1) x yr(-1), with soil texture having no clear impact on accumulation rates. Bulk soil carbon stocks on both soil types appeared unaffected by both the initial land clearance and the subsequent regrowth, which resulted in no significant changes over time. Tree species diversity in regrowing plots developed rapidly and within -10 years was equivalent to that of mature woodland. Many of the species found in mature woodlands reappeared relatively quickly after abandonment, although species composition is expected to take considerably longer to recover, with at least 60-80 years required for the compositional similarity between regrowing and mature woodlands to reach levels similar to that among nearby mature woodlands. Through impacts on ß-diversity, disturbance was also found to increase the total number of tree species present in the landscape, with many of the recorded species only found in regrowing woodlands. Our results are of relevance to carbon sequestration projects by helping to inform the potential future carbon and biodiversity benefits of restoring disturbed habitats (REDD+). At a time where the use of shifting cultivation is threatened by shifts to larger-scale, commercial agriculture, we show that secondary woodland habitats can retain considerable biodiversity value, and act as carbon sinks.


Assuntos
Agricultura , Florestas , Biodiversidade , Biocombustíveis , Conservação dos Recursos Naturais , Monitoramento Ambiental , Tanzânia , Árvores/classificação
10.
Glob Chang Biol ; 20(10): 3177-90, 2014 Oct.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-24817483

RESUMO

Terrestrial carbon stock mapping is important for the successful implementation of climate change mitigation policies. Its accuracy depends on the availability of reliable allometric models to infer oven-dry aboveground biomass of trees from census data. The degree of uncertainty associated with previously published pantropical aboveground biomass allometries is large. We analyzed a global database of directly harvested trees at 58 sites, spanning a wide range of climatic conditions and vegetation types (4004 trees ≥ 5 cm trunk diameter). When trunk diameter, total tree height, and wood specific gravity were included in the aboveground biomass model as covariates, a single model was found to hold across tropical vegetation types, with no detectable effect of region or environmental factors. The mean percent bias and variance of this model was only slightly higher than that of locally fitted models. Wood specific gravity was an important predictor of aboveground biomass, especially when including a much broader range of vegetation types than previous studies. The generic tree diameter-height relationship depended linearly on a bioclimatic stress variable E, which compounds indices of temperature variability, precipitation variability, and drought intensity. For cases in which total tree height is unavailable for aboveground biomass estimation, a pantropical model incorporating wood density, trunk diameter, and the variable E outperformed previously published models without height. However, to minimize bias, the development of locally derived diameter-height relationships is advised whenever possible. Both new allometric models should contribute to improve the accuracy of biomass assessment protocols in tropical vegetation types, and to advancing our understanding of architectural and evolutionary constraints on woody plant development.


Assuntos
Biomassa , Monitoramento Ambiental/métodos , Modelos Teóricos , Árvores/fisiologia , Clima Tropical , Carbono , Modelos Biológicos , Análise de Regressão , Gravidade Específica , Madeira/química
11.
Science ; 343(6170): 548-52, 2014 Jan 31.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-24482480

RESUMO

Ecologists have long sought to understand the factors controlling the structure of savanna vegetation. Using data from 2154 sites in savannas across Africa, Australia, and South America, we found that increasing moisture availability drives increases in fire and tree basal area, whereas fire reduces tree basal area. However, among continents, the magnitude of these effects varied substantially, so that a single model cannot adequately represent savanna woody biomass across these regions. Historical and environmental differences drive the regional variation in the functional relationships between woody vegetation, fire, and climate. These same differences will determine the regional responses of vegetation to future climates, with implications for global carbon stocks.


Assuntos
Clima , Ecossistema , Fogo , Árvores , África , Austrália , Umidade , Modelos Biológicos , América do Sul
12.
PLoS One ; 8(9): e74170, 2013.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-24069275

RESUMO

Carbon emissions resulting from deforestation and forest degradation are poorly known at local, national and global scales. In part, this lack of knowledge results from uncertain above-ground biomass estimates. It is generally assumed that using more sophisticated methods of estimating above-ground biomass, which make use of remote sensing, will improve accuracy. We examine this assumption by calculating, and then comparing, above-ground biomass area density (AGBD) estimates from studies with differing levels of methodological sophistication. We consider estimates based on information from nine different studies at the scale of Africa, Mozambique and a 1160 km(2) study area within Mozambique. The true AGBD is not known for these scales and so accuracy cannot be determined. Instead we consider the overall precision of estimates by grouping different studies. Since an the accuracy of an estimate cannot exceed its precision, this approach provides an upper limit on the overall accuracy of the group. This reveals poor precision at all scales, even between studies that are based on conceptually similar approaches. Mean AGBD estimates for Africa vary from 19.9 to 44.3 Mg ha(-1), for Mozambique from 12.7 to 68.3 Mg ha(-1), and for the 1160 km(2) study area estimates range from 35.6 to 102.4 Mg ha(-1). The original uncertainty estimates for each study, when available, are generally small in comparison with the differences between mean biomass estimates of different studies. We find that increasing methodological sophistication does not appear to result in improved precision of AGBD estimates, and moreover, inadequate estimates of uncertainty obscure any improvements in accuracy. Therefore, despite the clear advantages of remote sensing, there is a need to improve remotely sensed AGBD estimates if they are to provide accurate information on above-ground biomass. In particular, more robust and comprehensive uncertainty estimates are needed.


Assuntos
Biomassa , Monitoramento Ambiental , Árvores , África , Biodiversidade , Carbono , Conservação dos Recursos Naturais , Monitoramento Ambiental/métodos , Geografia , Imagens de Satélites
13.
Glob Chang Biol ; 18(10): 3087-3099, 2012 Oct.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-28741819

RESUMO

Policy makers across the tropics propose that carbon finance could provide incentives for forest frontier communities to transition away from swidden agriculture (slash-and-burn or shifting cultivation) to other systems that potentially reduce emissions and/or increase carbon sequestration. However, there is little certainty regarding the carbon outcomes of many key land-use transitions at the center of current policy debates. Our meta-analysis of over 250 studies reporting above- and below-ground carbon estimates for different land-use types indicates great uncertainty in the net total ecosystem carbon changes that can be expected from many transitions, including the replacement of various types of swidden agriculture with oil palm, rubber, or some other types of agroforestry systems. These transitions are underway throughout Southeast Asia, and are at the heart of REDD+ debates. Exceptions of unambiguous carbon outcomes are the abandonment of any type of agriculture to allow forest regeneration (a certain positive carbon outcome) and expansion of agriculture into mature forest (a certain negative carbon outcome). With respect to swiddening, our meta-analysis supports a reassessment of policies that encourage land-cover conversion away from these [especially long-fallow] systems to other more cash-crop-oriented systems producing ambiguous carbon stock changes - including oil palm and rubber. In some instances, lengthening fallow periods of an existing swidden system may produce substantial carbon benefits, as would conversion from intensely cultivated lands to high-biomass plantations and some other types of agroforestry. More field studies are needed to provide better data of above- and below-ground carbon stocks before informed recommendations or policy decisions can be made regarding which land-use regimes optimize or increase carbon sequestration. As some transitions may negatively impact other ecosystem services, food security, and local livelihoods, the entire carbon and noncarbon benefit stream should also be taken into account before prescribing transitions with ambiguous carbon benefits.

14.
Ecol Appl ; 21(1): 48-60, 2011 Jan.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-21516887

RESUMO

Miombo woodlands are the largest savanna in the world and dominate southern Africa. They are strongly influenced by anthropogenic fires and support the livelihoods of over 100 million people. Managing the fire regime of these flammable systems is difficult, but crucial for sustaining biodiversity, ecosystem services, and carbon stocks. Fire intensity is more easily manipulated than fire frequency, because suppression is expensive and ineffective. However, there are important issues relating fire intensity to impacts on woody vegetation that need to be understood to inform management approaches. Such impacts include the links between fire intensity, tree top-kill, resprouting, and regrowth rates. Here we present results from a fire experiment in Mozambican miombo; the results of a 50-year fire experiment in Zimbabwean miombo; and observations of forest structure at a dry-forest site in Mozambique. We synthesize these data with a process-based gap model of stem growth, regeneration, and mortality; this model explicitly considers the effect of different frequencies and intensities of fire. We use the model, tested against the field data, to explore the sensitivity of woodland tree populations and biomass to fire intensity and frequency. The fire experiments show that large (> 5 cm dbh) stems are vulnerable to fire, with top-kill rates of up to 12% in intense fires. In contrast to idealized physical representations of tree mortality, stems of > 10 cm dbh did not gain further protection from fire with increasing dbh. Resprouting was very common and not obviously linked to fire intensity. The modeling showed that miombo tree populations and biomass are very sensitive to fire intensity, offering opportunities for effective management. At any achievable fire return interval (< 5 years), low-intensity fires are required to maintain observed biomass. Model predictions and field experiments show that no tree biomass can be sustained under annual fires.


Assuntos
Biomassa , Fogo , Árvores , Madeira
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