The importance of forest structure for carbon fluxes of the Amazon rainforest

Precise descriptions of forest productivity, biomass, and structure are essential for understanding ecosystem responses to climatic and anthropogenic changes. However, relations between these components are complex, in particular for tropical forests. We developed an approach to simulate carbon dynamics in the Amazon rainforest including around 410 billion individual trees within 7.8 million km. We integrated canopy height observations from space-borne LIDAR in order to quantify spatial variations in forest state and structure reflecting small-scale to large-scale natural and anthropogenic disturbances.

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