Contrasting effects of defaunation on aboveground carbon storage across the global tropics.
|Title||Contrasting effects of defaunation on aboveground carbon storage across the global tropics.|
|Publication Type||Journal Article|
|Year of Publication||2016|
|Authors||Osuri AM, Ratnam J, Varma V, Alvarez-Loayza P, Astaiza JHurtado, Bradford M, Fletcher C, Ndoundou-Hockemba M, Jansen PA, Kenfack D, Marshall AR, Ramesh BR, Rovero F, Sankaran M|
Defaunation is causing declines of large-seeded animal-dispersed trees in tropical forests worldwide, but whether and how these declines will affect carbon storage across this biome is unclear. Here we show, using a pan-tropical data set, that simulated declines of large-seeded animal-dispersed trees have contrasting effects on aboveground carbon stocks across Earth's tropical forests. In our simulations, African, American and South Asian forests, which have high proportions of animal-dispersed species, consistently show carbon losses (2-12%), but Southeast Asian and Australian forests, where there are more abiotically dispersed species, show little to no carbon losses or marginal gains (±1%). These patterns result primarily from changes in wood volume, and are underlain by consistent relationships in our empirical data (∼2,100 species), wherein, large-seeded animal-dispersed species are larger as adults than small-seeded animal-dispersed species, but are smaller than abiotically dispersed species. Thus, floristic differences and distinct dispersal mode-seed size-adult size combinations can drive contrasting regional responses to defaunation.
|Alternate Journal||Nat Commun|
|PubMed Central ID||PMC4848488|