Large tree mortality and the decline of forest biomass following Amazonian wildfires

Jos Barlow, Carlos A. Peres, Bernard O. Lagan, Torbjorn Haugaasen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

167 Citations (Scopus)


Surface fires in Amazonian forests could contribute as much as 5% of annual carbon emissions from all anthropogenic sources during severe El Niño years. However, these estimates are based on short-term figures of post-burn tree mortality, when large thicker barked trees (representing a disproportionate amount of the forest biomass) appear to resist the fires. On the basis of a longer term study, we report that the mortality of large trees increased markedly between 1 and 3 years, more than doubling current estimates of biomass loss and committed carbon emissions from low-intensity fires in tropical forests.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6-8
Number of pages3
JournalEcology Letters
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2002

Cite this