Windthrows increase soil carbon stocks in a Central Amazon forest

  • Santos L
  • Magnabosco Marra D
  • Trumbore S
  • et al.
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Windthrows change forest structure and species composition in Central Amazon forests. However, the effects of widespread tree mortality associated with wind-disturbances on soil properties have not yet been described. In this study, we investigated short-term effects (seven years after disturbance) of a windthrow event on soil carbon stocks and concentrations in a Central Amazon terra firme forest. The soil carbon stock (averaged over a 0–30 cm depth profile) in disturbed plots (61.4 ± 4.18 Mg ha−1, mean ± standard error) was marginally higher (p = 0.009) than that from undisturbed plots (47.7 ± 6.95 Mg ha−1). The soil organic carbon concentration in disturbed plots (2.0 ± 0.08 %) was significantly higher (p r = 0.575 and p = 0.019) and with tree mortality intensity (r = 0.493 and p = 0.045). Our results indicate that large inputs of plant litter associated with large windthrow events cause a short-term increase in soil carbon content, and the degree of increase is related to soil clay content and tree mortality intensity. Higher nutrient availability in soils from large canopy gaps created by wind disturbance may increase vegetation resilience and favor forest recovery.




Santos, L. T. dos, Magnabosco Marra, D., Trumbore, S., Camargo, P. B., Chambers, J. Q., Negrón-Juárez, R. I., … Higuchi, N. (2016). Windthrows increase soil carbon stocks in a Central Amazon forest. Biogeosciences, 13, 1299–1308.

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