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Drought and fire in the Amazon lead to sharp increases in forest tree mortality
Date:4/17/2014

and they are close to humans, who are the predominant source of fire in the Amazon. The researchers analyzed NASA satellite data to provide regional context for results from the experimental burns.

"In 2007, fires in Southeast Amazonia burned 10 times more forest than in an average climate year -- an area equivalent to a million soccer fields," said Douglas Morton, NASA.

"These smaller forest fragments have more edges than large blocks of forest, which exposes them to the hotter, dryer conditions in the surrounding landscape and makes them more vulnerable to escaped fires," said co-author Marcia Macedo, Woods Hole Research Center.

By 2011, around 8 percent of Southeast Amazonia's forests were less than 328 feet from an agricultural or pasture clearing. This lattice-like network of degraded forest edges is now extremely susceptible to future fire.


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Contact: A'ndrea Elyse Messer
aem1@psu.edu
814-865-9481
Penn State
Source:Eurekalert  

Page: 1 2 3

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