Selective Logging and Carbon and Energy Exchange in a Tropical Rainforest

View from top of eddy flux tower in Tapajos National Forest, Para, Brazil. (photo Marcy Litvak)

Mike Goulden, University of California, Irvine
Humberto Rocha, University of Sao Paulo, Brazil

We measured the exchange of carbon dioxide, heat, water vapor, and momentum between an Amazonian rainforest and the atmosphere continuously for approximately 4 years beginning in 2000. The measurements were made from a 65 m tall tower in the Tapajos National Forest, in the state of Para, Brazil. The vertical profile of carbon dioxide was also measured between the forest floor and the tower top. These measurements allow us to calculate the net carbon exchange, or Net Ecosystem Exchange (NEE), between the forest and the atmosphere. The measurements began when the forest was still intact (primary). After the first year of measurements, the forest was selectively logged, removing 2-3 trees per hectare, about 15% of the large trees (with Diameter at Breast Height DBH>35 cm). The equipment remained in place during the logging, and we are monitoring how the removal of the trees has affected the CO2 and H2O exchange. Our team includes researchers from USP (Sao Paulo, Brazil) with whom we collaborate closely. See publications list. Data can be downloaded from the LBA-ECO data server (Beija-Flor,

This research supported by NASA LBA-ECO (the Large-Scale Biosphere-Atmosphere Experiment in Amazonia).

For a description of ecosystems and carbon cycling, see Wikipedia: Ecosystem_ecology.

For a description of the global flux tower network, see Wikipedia: FluxNet.

Please refer to the Publications page. Search for the keyphrase "Amazon, tropical rainforest, LBA"