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Appears in Collections:Biological and Environmental Sciences Journal Articles
Peer Review Status: Refereed
Title: Above-ground biomass and structure of 260 African tropical forests
Author(s): Lewis, Simon L
Sonke, Bonaventure
Sunderland, Terry
Begne, Serge K
Lopez-Gonzalez, Gabriela
van, der Heijden Geertje M F
Phillips, Oliver L
Affum-Baffoe, Kofi
Baker, Timothy R
Banin, Lindsay
Bastin, Jean-Francois
Beeckman, Hans
Boeckx, Pascal
Bogaert, Jan
Jeffery, Kathryn Jane
White, Lee
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Keywords: climate
wood density
Congo Basin
east Africa
west Africa
Issue Date: Sep-2013
Citation: Lewis SL, Sonke B, Sunderland T, Begne SK, Lopez-Gonzalez G, van der Heijden GMF, Phillips OL, Affum-Baffoe K, Baker TR, Banin L, Bastin J, Beeckman H, Boeckx P, Bogaert J, Jeffery KJ & White L (2013) Above-ground biomass and structure of 260 African tropical forests, Philosophical Transactions B: Biological Sciences, 368 (1625), Art. No.: 20120295.
Abstract: We report above-ground biomass (AGB), basal area, stem density and wood mass density estimates from 260 sample plots (mean size: 1.2 ha) in intact closed-canopy tropical forests across 12 African countries. Mean AGB is 395.7 Mg dry mass ha-1 (95% CI: 14.3), substantially higher than Amazonian values, with the Congo Basin and contiguous forest region attaining AGB values (429 Mg ha-1) similar to those of Bornean forests, and significantly greater than East or West African forests. AGB therefore appears generally higher in palaeo- compared with neotropical forests. However, mean stem density is low (426 ± 11 stems ha-1 greater than or equal to 100 mm diameter) compared with both Amazonian and Bornean forests (cf. approx. 600) and is the signature structural feature of African tropical forests. While spatial autocorrelation complicates analyses, AGB shows a positive relationship with rainfall in the driest nine months of the year, and an opposite association with the wettest three months of the year; a negative relationship with temperature; positive relationship with clay-rich soils; and negative relationships with C : N ratio (suggesting a positive soil phosphorus-AGB relationship), and soil fertility computed as the sum of base cations. The results indicate that AGB is mediated by both climate and soils, and suggest that the AGB of African closed-canopy tropical forests may be particularly sensitive to future precipitation and temperature changes.
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Rights: Copyright 2013 The Authors. Published by the Royal Society under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, provided the original author and source are credited.
Notes: Additional co-authors: Charles De Cannière, Eric Chezeaux, Connie J. Clark, Murray Collins, Gloria Djagbletey, Marie Noël K. Djuikouo, Vincent Droissart, Jean-Louis Doucet, Cornielle E. N. Ewango, Sophie Fauset, Ted R. Feldpausch, Ernest G. Foli, Jean-François Gillet, Alan C. Hamilton, David J. Harris, Terese B. Hart, Thales de Haulleville, Annette Hladik, Koen Hufkens, Dries Huygens, Philippe Jeanmart, Elizabeth Kearsley, Miguel E. Leal, Jon Lloyd, Jon C. Lovett, Jean-Remy Makan, Yadvinder Malhi, Andrew R. Marshall, Lucas Ojo, Kelvin S.-H. Peh, Georgia Pickavance, John R. Poulsen, Jan M. Reitsma, Douglas Sheil, Murielle Simo, Kathy Steppe, Hermann E. Taedoumg, Joey Talbot, James R. D. Taplin, David Taylor, Sean C. Thomas, Benjamin Toirambe, Hans Verbeeck, Jason Vleminckx, Simon Willcock, Hannsjorg Woell and Lise Zemagho

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