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Changes in the carbon cycle of Amazon ecosystems during the 2010 drought.

Potter, C., S. Klooster, C. Hiatt, P. Gross, V. Brooks-Genovese, and J. C. Castilla-Rubio (2011), Changes in the carbon cycle of Amazon ecosystems during the 2010 drought., Environ. Res. Lett., 6, doi:10.1088/1748-9326/6/3/034024.

Satellite remote sensing was combined with the NASA-CASA (Carnegie Ames Stanford Approach) carbon cycle simulation model to evaluate the impact of the 2010 drought (July through September) throughout tropical South America. Results indicated that net primary production in Amazon forest areas declined by an average of 7% in 2010 compared to 2008. This represented a loss of vegetation CO2 uptake and potential Amazon rainforest growth of nearly 0.5 Pg C in 2010. The largest overall decline in ecosystem carbon gains by land cover type was predicted for closed broadleaf forest areas of the Amazon river basin, including a large fraction of regularly flooded forest areas. Model results support the hypothesis that soil and dead wood carbon decomposition fluxes of CO2 to the atmosphere were elevated during the drought period of 2010 in periodically flooded forest areas, compared to those for forests outside the main river floodplains.

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