Betampona, Madagascar
Simulating the impacts of reduced rainfall on carbon stocks and net ecosystem exchange in a tropical forest

 

Tropical forest at RNI Betampona

Tropical forest at RNI Betampona

The objective of this project is to investigate the structure and dynamics of a tropical forest in Madagascar using a local forest model. The tropical forests of Madagascar are known as hot-spots of biodiversity. Nevertheless, over the last century up to 90% of the forest area on the island has been destroyed. There is an ongoing debate how drought events influence the dynamics of tropical forests. Therefore, potential effects of reduced precipitation on carbon stocks and net ecosystem exchange are addressed in this project.

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Tropical forest at RNI Betampona

The FORMIND and the FORMIX3 model, which were applied in this study, combine the forest gap model approach with the calculation of tree growth based on a carbon balance approach. In this study, the individual-based forest model has been extended by incorporating a water cycle module, which is a precondition to analyse the effect of reduced precipitation on forest structure in a mechanistic manner. We especially focus on the question how reduced annual rainfall and soil water deficit affect aboveground biomass, primary production, carbon pools and net ecosystem exchange (NEE) in a tropical forest in Madagascar. In this way, we want to evaluate the robustness of forest dynamics and carbon cycling against changes in precipitation.

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Tree

Indri

Indri

Publication:
Fischer, R.; Armstrong, A.; Shugart, H. H. & Huth, A.
Simulating the impacts of reduced rainfall on carbon stocks and net ecosystem exchange in a tropical forest. Environmental Modelling & Software , 2014, 52, 200 – 206
http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1364815213002697

Contact: Rico Fischer