Role of Amazon forests in global carbon cycleIn a recent Proc.Natl.Acad.Sci.USA article, Susan Trumbore coauthored the description of a new analytical method to quantify tree mortality patterns and trends. - Earth's forests perform a well-known service to the planet, absorbing a great deal of the carbon dioxide pollution emitted into the atmosphere from human activities. But when trees are killed by natural disturbances, such as fire, drought or wind, their decay also releases carbon back into the atmosphere, making it critical to quantify tree mortality in order to understand the role of forests in the global climate system. Tropical old-growth forests may play a large role in this absorption service, yet tree mortality patterns for these forests are not well understood.
For more information see also the news from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory