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Title: The inverted forest: aboveground and notably large belowground carbon stocks and their drivers in Brazilian savannas
Keywords: Ecosystem services
Carbon pools
Root carbon
Soil carbon
Issue Date: Apr-2023
Publisher: Elsevier
Citation: TERRA, M. C. N. S. et al. The inverted forest: aboveground and notably large belowground carbon stocks and their drivers in Brazilian savannas. Science of The Total Environment, [S.l.], v. 867, Apr. 2023.
Abstract: Savannas contribute to ca. 30 % of the total terrestrial net primary productivity and are responsible for significant carbon storage. Savannas in South America are mostly found within the Cerrado Domain, which is very threatened and presents remarkable carbon pools. Herein, we used a unique dataset of 21 Cerrado sites spanning 144 permanent field plots in Southeastern Brazil to assess the general patterns of above and belowground carbon stocks. We identified the main environmental and tree diversity drivers of aboveground wood carbon and productivity, belowground carbon stocks (roots and soil), carbon ratios (root:shoot and above:below) and total carbon stocks in the Cerrado through a combination of climatic estimates, fire frequency data, field measurements of vegetation, roots, soil carbon, nutrients and texture, and assessment of different components of diversity (species, functional and phylogenetic). Our findings reveal average aboveground, root, and soil carbon stocks of 20.4, 14.24, and 123.13 Mg.ha−1, respectively. Average Root:Shoot and Above:Below confirm the “inverted forest” concept with values of 1.58 and 0.21, respectively. Total carbon was 145.62 Mg.ha−1, reinforcing the great amount of carbon storage in the Cerrado and its role in the carbon cycle and dynamics. Tree diversity variables (mainly species diversity and functional composition variables) had more significant effects over aboveground variables, whereas environmental variables had more significant effects over belowground variables. Ratios and total carbon mixed up these effects. The impressive values of carbon storage, especially belowground, point out the need to better manage and protect the Cerrado. Moreover, our findings might be particularly relevant for discussions on restoration programs focused on the trees-for‑carbon idea that do not consider species diversity and belowground carbon stocks.
Appears in Collections:DCF - Artigos publicados em periódicos

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