Daniel Curtis Nepstad

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Amazon forests are a key but poorly understood component of the global carbon cycle. If, as anticipated, they dry this century, they might accelerate climate change through carbon losses and changed surface energy balances. We used records from multiple long-term monitoring plots across Amazonia to assess forest responses to the intense 2005 drought, a(More)
Expansion of the cattle and soy industries in the Amazon basin has increased deforestation rates and will soon push all-weather highways into the region's core. In the face of this growing pressure, a comprehensive conservation strategy for the Amazon basin should protect its watersheds, the full range of species and ecosystem diversity, and the stability(More)
The Amazon Basin experiences severe droughts that may become more common in the future. Little is known of the effects of such droughts on Amazon forest productivity and carbon allocation. We tested the prediction that severe drought decreases litterfall and wood production but potentially has multiple cancelling effects on belowground production within a(More)
Severe drought episodes such as those associated with El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) events influence large areas of tropical forest and may become more frequent in the future. One of the most important forest responses to severe drought is tree mortality, which alters forest structure, composition, carbon content, and flammability, and which varies(More)
Conservation scientists generally agree that many types of protected areas will be needed to protect tropical forests. But little is known of the comparative performance of inhabited and uninhabited reserves in slowing the most extreme form of forest disturbance: conversion to agriculture. We used satellite-based maps of land cover and fire occurrence in(More)
Protected areas (PAs) now shelter 54% of the remaining forests of the Brazilian Amazon and contain 56% of its forest carbon. However, the role of these PAs in reducing carbon fluxes to the atmosphere from deforestation and their associated costs are still uncertain. To fill this gap, we analyzed the effect of each of 595 Brazilian Amazon PAs on(More)
Some model experiments predict a large-scale substitution of Amazon forest by savannah-like vegetation by the end of the twenty-first century. Expanding global demands for biofuels and grains, positive feedbacks in the Amazon forest fire regime and drought may drive a faster process of forest degradation that could lead to a near-term forest dieback. Rising(More)
About half of the Amazon rainforest is subject to seasonal droughts of 3 months or more. Despite this drought, several studies have shown that these forests, under a strongly seasonal climate, do not exhibit significant water stress during the dry season. In addition to deep soil water uptake, another contributing explanation for the absence of plant water(More)
Amazon beef and soybean industries, the primary drivers of Amazon deforestation, are increasingly responsive to economic signals emanating from around the world, such as those associated with bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE, "mad cow disease") outbreaks and China's economic growth. The expanding role of these economic "teleconnections" (coupled(More)