Biogeosciences Discuss., 10, 6417-6459, 2013
© Author(s) 2013. This work is distributed
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This discussion paper has been under review for the journal Biogeosciences (BG). Please refer to the corresponding final paper in BG.
Productivity of aboveground coarse wood biomass and stand age related to soil hydrology of Amazonian forests in the Purus-Madeira interfluvial area
B. B. L. Cintra1,2, J. Schietti1, T. Emillio1, D. Martins1, G. Moulatlet1, P. Souza1, C. Levis1, C. A. Quesada1, and J. Schöngart1,2
1Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas da Amazônia (INPA), Manaus, Amazonas, Brazil
2Max Planck Institute for Chemistry, Biogeochemistry Department, Mainz, Germany

Abstract. The ongoing demand for information on forest productivity has increased the number of permanent monitoring plots across the Amazon. Those plots, however, do not comprise the whole diversity of forest types in the Amazon. The complex effects of soil, climate and hydrology on the productivity of seasonally waterlogged interfluvial wetland forests are still poorly understood. The presented study is the first field-based estimate for tree ages and wood biomass productivity in the vast interfluvial region between the Purus and Madeira rivers. We estimate stand age and wood biomass productivity by a combination of tree-ring data and allometric equations for biomass stocks of eight plots distributed along 600 km in the Purus-Madeira interfluvial area that is crossed by the BR-319 highway. We relate stand age and wood biomass productivity to hydrological and edaphic conditions. Mean productivity and stand age were 5.6 ± 1.1 Mg ha−1 yr−1 and 102 ± 18 yr, respectively. There is a strong relationship between tree age and diameter, as well as between mean diameter increment and mean wood density within a plot. Regarding the soil hydromorphic properties we find a positive correlation with wood biomass productivity and a negative relationship with stand age. Productivity also shows a positive correlation with the superficial phosphorus concentration. In addition, superficial phosphorus concentration increases with enhanced soil hydromorphic condition. We raise three hypotheses to explain these results: (1) the reduction of iron molecules on the saturated soils with plinthite layers close to the surface releases available phosphorous for the plants; (2) the poor structure of the saturated soils creates an environmental filter selecting tree species of faster growth rates and shorter life spans and (3) plant growth on saturated soil is favored during the dry season, since there should be low restrictions for soil water availability.

Citation: Cintra, B. B. L., Schietti, J., Emillio, T., Martins, D., Moulatlet, G., Souza, P., Levis, C., Quesada, C. A., and Schöngart, J.: Productivity of aboveground coarse wood biomass and stand age related to soil hydrology of Amazonian forests in the Purus-Madeira interfluvial area, Biogeosciences Discuss., 10, 6417-6459, doi:10.5194/bgd-10-6417-2013, 2013.
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