Leaf development and demography explain photosynthetic seasonality in Amazon evergreen forests. The analyses, conducted by Scott Saleska’s Lab at the University of Arizona, are reported in the February 26, 2016 issue of Science in a paper led by recent Saleska Lab graduate, Dr. Jin Wu, current graduate student Loren Albert, and INPA (Manaus) student Aline Lopes (advised by our INPA collaborator Bruce Nelson).
They used special tower-mounted cameras to discover that synchronization of the birth and death of leaves in evergreen forest trees across broad areas of the Brazilian Amazon is the cause of strong seasonal increases and decreases in overall tropical forest photosynthesis. These findings about how forests regulate their seasonal “breathing in” of atmospheric carbon dioxide will help scientists better understand how climate influences these forests and more accurately predict how these forests will respond to future climate change.
Their team included 5 other current and former Saleska Lab members — Natalia Restrepo-Coupe, Kenia Wiedemann (now a post-doc at Harvard), Scott Stark (faculty at MSU), Brad Christoffersen (post-doc at Los Alamos lab), and Neill Prohaska (Ph.D. student) — and an international collaborators from Brazil led by Rodrigo da Silva (UFOPa, Santarem) and Paulo Brando (IPAM).
Find the publication here: http://science.sciencemag.org/content/351/6276/972