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Forests 2017, 8(4), 101; doi:10.3390/f8040101

Trailblazing the Carbon Cycle of Tropical Forests from Puerto Rico

1
Winrock International, Little Rock, AR 72202, USA
2
USDA Forest Service International Institute of Tropical Forestry, Río Piedras, Puerto Rico 00926, USA
Deceased on 13 February 2017.
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Timothy A. Martin
Received: 14 February 2017 / Revised: 15 March 2017 / Accepted: 23 March 2017 / Published: 29 March 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Tropical Forest Ecology and Management for the Anthropocene)
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Abstract

We review the literature that led to clarifying the role of tropical forests in the global carbon cycle from a time when they were considered sources of atmospheric carbon to the time when they were found to be atmospheric carbon sinks. This literature originates from work conducted by US Forest Service scientists in Puerto Rico and their collaborators. It involves the classification of forests by life zones, estimation of carbon density by forest type, assessing carbon storage changes with ecological succession and land use/land cover type, describing the details of the carbon cycle of forests at stand and landscape levels, assessing global land cover by forest type and the complexity of land use change in tropical regions, and assessing the ecological fluxes and storages that contribute to net carbon accumulation in tropical forests. We also review recent work that couples field inventory data, remote sensing technology such as LIDAR, and GIS analysis in order to more accurately determine the role of tropical forests in the global carbon cycle and point out new avenues of carbon research that address the responses of tropical forests to environmental change. View Full-Text
Keywords: biomass; allometry; volume expansion factors; soil organic carbon; tropical forest area; forest inventory data; novel forests; tree plantations; secondary forests; mature forests biomass; allometry; volume expansion factors; soil organic carbon; tropical forest area; forest inventory data; novel forests; tree plantations; secondary forests; mature forests
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Brown, S.; Lugo, A.E. Trailblazing the Carbon Cycle of Tropical Forests from Puerto Rico. Forests 2017, 8, 101.

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