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Lianas reduce carbon accumulation and storage in tropical forests [PNAS]

par Frédéric Magné - publié le

Tropical forests store nearly 30% of global terrestrial carbon and contribute to 40% of the global terrestrial carbon sink. By affecting tree growth and survival, lianas impact the carbon balance of these forests. Here we demonstrate with a 3-y experiment that lianas substantially reduce forest-level carbon uptake and storage. This study is, to our knowledge, the first direct demonstration of liana effects at the ecosystem scale and illustrates the important role of lianas in tropical forests, particularly with respect to carbon budgets. Lianas are increasing in biomass and productivity throughout the tropics, and thus our findings have even greater relevance in terms of the fate of the tropical carbon balance, as well as for global atmospheric CO2 levels, in a changing climate.

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