Research at the University of Exeter examines how measurements of charcoal reflectance can be used to understand fire regimes and carbon dynamics in tropical forests in South America.
The public selection process is now open for assessing and selecting candidates for admission to the Masters and PhD programme in the Tropical Forests Science Programme at the National Institute of Amazonian Research (INPA) with research projects matching themes of the Post-graduate programme in Tropical Forest Science (PPG-CFT).
In our recent work studying the impact of record heat and drought on intact African tropical rainforests there was surprising resilience to the extreme conditions during the last major 2015/2016 El Niño event. The international study, reported in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, found that intact rainforests across tropical Africa continued to remove carbon from the atmosphere before and during the 2015-2016 El Niño, despite the extreme heat and drought.
Two complementary PhD studentships have been funded thanks to donations from long-term University of Exeter supporters, the A. G. Leventis Foundation. Both will be based within the Global Systems Institute and focus on tropical forest protection and restoration, specifically understanding carbon storage within degraded and recovering forest ecosystems.
Fire is an important cause of disturbance in terrestrial ecosystems and can has a major impact on biodiversity. We evaluated the effect of fire regime on species richness and tree basal area in southern Amazon forest using Landsat and PALSAR data.
The fire regime of tropical forests is changing rapidly, with implications for forest cover, carbon storage, species composition, biodiversity, function, and climate. These changes are having a range of impacts over varying spatiotemporal scales and are explored in a journal special issue on the Transformation of Tropical Forests through Fire. (more…)
A huge new study has unravelled what factors control tree mortality rates in Amazon forests and helps to explain why tree mortality is increasing across the Amazon basin. The capacity of the Amazon forest to store carbon in a changing climate will ultimately be determined by how fast trees die. The new analysis found that the mean growth rate of the tree species is the main risk factor behind Amazon tree death, with faster-growing trees dying off at a younger age. These findings have important consequences for our understanding of the future of these forests.
We are seeking qualified and motivated candidates to pursue a PhD studying how lighting affects tree mortality, carbon dynamics, and forest composition in tropical forests. Applications for the NERC GW4+ project are open, with a closing date of 16:00 on Friday 8th January 2021.
A major study in forests across the tropics is the first global assessment of palm tree numbers to better understand forest composition, diversity, and to reduce uncertainty about the role of palms in the carbon balance in these ecosystems. (more…)