Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item:
Appears in Collections:Biological and Environmental Sciences Journal Articles
Peer Review Status: Refereed
Title: Resistance of African tropical forests to an extreme climate anomaly
Author(s): Bennett, Amy C
Dargie, Greta C
Cuni-Sanchez, Aida
Mukendi, John Tshibamba
Hubau, Wannes
Mukinzi, Jacques M
Phillips, Oliver L
Malhi, Yadvinder
Sullivan, Martin J P
Cooper, Declan L M
Adu-Bredu, Stephen
Affum-Baffoe, Kofi
Amani, Christian A
Jeffery, Kathryn J
White, Lee J T
Keywords: temperature
carbon cycle
El Niño
Issue Date: 2021
Date Deposited: 10-Jun-2021
Citation: Bennett AC, Dargie GC, Cuni-Sanchez A, Mukendi JT, Hubau W, Mukinzi JM, Phillips OL, Malhi Y, Sullivan MJP, Cooper DLM, Adu-Bredu S, Affum-Baffoe K, Amani CA, Jeffery KJ & White LJT (2021) Resistance of African tropical forests to an extreme climate anomaly. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 118 (21), Art. No.: e2003169118.
Abstract: The responses of tropical forests to environmental change are critical uncertainties in predicting the future impacts of climate change. The positive phase of the 2015–2016 El Niño Southern Oscillation resulted in unprecedented heat and low precipitation in the tropics with substantial impacts on the global carbon cycle. The role of African tropical forests is uncertain as their responses to short-term drought and temperature anomalies have yet to be determined using on-the-ground measurements. African tropical forests may be particularly sensitive because they exist in relatively dry conditions compared with Amazonian or Asian forests, or they may be more resistant because of an abundance of drought-adapted species. Here, we report responses of structurally intact old-growth lowland tropical forests inventoried within the African Tropical Rainforest Observatory Network (AfriTRON). We use 100 long-term inventory plots from six countries each measured at least twice prior to and once following the 2015–2016 El Niño event. These plots experienced the highest temperatures and driest conditions on record. The record temperature did not significantly reduce carbon gains from tree growth or significantly increase carbon losses from tree mortality, but the record drought did significantly decrease net carbon uptake. Overall, the long-term biomass increase of these forests was reduced due to the El Niño event, but these plots remained a live biomass carbon sink (0.51 ± 0.40 Mg C ha−1 y−1) despite extreme environmental conditions. Our analyses, while limited to African tropical forests, suggest they may be more resistant to climatic extremes than Amazonian and Asian forests.
DOI Link: 10.1073/pnas.2003169118
Rights: Copyright © 2021 the Author(s). Published by PNAS. This open access article is distributed under Creative Commons Attribution License 4.0 (CC BY -
Notes: Additional co-authors: Lindsay F. Banin, Hans Beeckman, Serge K. Begne, Yannick E. Bocko, Pascal Boeckx, Jan Bogaert, Terry Brncic, Eric Chezeaux, Connie J. Clark, Armandu K. Daniels, Thales de Haulleville, Marie-Noël Djuikouo Kamdem, Jean-Louis Doucet, Fidèle Evouna Ondo, Corneille E. N. Ewango, Ted R. Feldpausch, Ernest G. Foli, Christelle Gonmadje, Jefferson S. Hall, Olivier J. Hardy, David J. Harris, Suspense A. Ifo, Elizabeth Kearsley, Miguel Leal, Aurora Levesley, Jean-Remy Makana, Faustin Mbayu Lukasu, Vincent P. Medjibe, Vianet Mihindu, Sam Moore, Natacha Nssi Begone, Georgia C. Pickavance, John R. Poulsen, Jan Reitsma, Bonaventure Sonké, Terry C. H. Sunderland, Hermann Taedoumg, Joey Talbot, Darlington S. Tuagben, Peter M. Umunay, Hans Verbeeck, Jason Vleminckx, Hannsjoerg Woell, John T. Woods, Lise Zemagho, and Simon L. Lewis
Licence URL(s):

Files in This Item:
File Description SizeFormat 
e2003169118.full.pdfFulltext - Published Version1.61 MBAdobe PDFView/Open

This item is protected by original copyright

A file in this item is licensed under a Creative Commons License Creative Commons

Items in the Repository are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.

The metadata of the records in the Repository are available under the CC0 public domain dedication: No Rights Reserved

If you believe that any material held in STORRE infringes copyright, please contact providing details and we will remove the Work from public display in STORRE and investigate your claim.