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Biogeosciences An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-2016-510
© Author(s) 2016. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-2016-510
© Author(s) 2016. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Submitted as: research article 29 Nov 2016

Submitted as: research article | 29 Nov 2016

Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. It has been under review for the journal Biogeosciences (BG). The manuscript was not accepted for further review after discussion.

Influence of climate variability, fire and phosphorus limitation on the vegetation structure and dynamics in the Amazon-Cerrado border

Emily Ane Dionizio da Silva1, Marcos Heil Costa1, Andrea Almeida Castanho2, Gabrielle Ferreira Pires1, Beatriz Schwantes Marimon3, Ben Hur Marimon-Junior3, Eddie Lenza3, and Fernando Martins Pimenta1 Emily Ane Dionizio da Silva et al.
  • 1Departamento de Engenharia Agrícola, Universidade Federal de Viçosa (UFV), Viçosa, MG, Brazil
  • 2The Woods Hole Research Center, 149 Woods Hole Rd., Falmouth, MA 02540, USA
  • 3Univer sidade do Estado de Mato Grosso, Campus de Nova Xavantina, Nova Xavantina, MT, Brazil

Abstract. Climate, fire and soil nutritional limitation are important elements that affect the vegetation dynamics in areas of forest-savanna transition. In this paper, we use the dynamic vegetation model INLAND to evaluate the influence of climate variability, fire and phosphorus limitation on the Amazon-Cerrado transitional vegetation structure and dynamics. We assess how each element affects the net primary production, leaf area index and biomass and compare the simulations of aboveground biomass to observed biomass map. We used two climate datasets – the 1960–1990 average seasonal climate and the 1948 to 2008 interannual climate variability, two regional datasets of total soil P content in soil, based on regional (field measurements) and global data and the INLAND fire module. Our results show that climate interannual variability, phosphorus limitation and fire occurrence gradually improve simulated vegetation types and these effects are not homogeneous along the latitudinal/longitudinal gradient showing a synergistic effect among them. In terms of magnitude, the effect of fire is stronger, and is the main driver of vegetation changes along the transition. The nutritional limitation, in turn, is stronger than the effect of climate variability acting on the transitional ecosystems dynamics. Overall, INLAND typically simulates more than 80 % of the biomass variability in the transition zone. However, in many places, the biomass is clearly not well simulated indicating that important soil and physiological factors in the Amazon-Cerrado border, such as lithology and water table depth, carbon allocation strategies and mortality rates, still need to be included in the model.

Emily Ane Dionizio da Silva et al.
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Emily Ane Dionizio da Silva et al.
Emily Ane Dionizio da Silva et al.
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Short summary
This study uses a dynamic vegetation model to evaluate the role of interannual climate variability, fire occurrence and phosphorus limitation on the vegetation dynamics and structure in the Amazon-Cerrado transition. We show that the inclusion of these factors gradually improve the simulation of vegetation types and, although the model typically simulates more than 80% of the variability of biomass in the transition zone, model improvements are still needed.
This study uses a dynamic vegetation model to evaluate the role of interannual climate...
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