Photos from the Field: Fire in Seasonally Flooded Amazonian Forests
de Resende, A. F., Nelson, B. W., Flores, B. M. and de Almeida, D. R. (2014), Fire Damage in Seasonally Flooded and Upland Forests of the Central Amazon. Biotropica, 46: 643–646. doi: 10.1111/btp.12153
Neighboring upland and nutrient-poor seasonally flooded Amazon forests were penetrated by a fire in 2009, providing a natural comparative experiment of fire damage for these widespread forest types. In upland, only 16 ± 10% (±2 SEM) of stems and 21 ± 8% of basal area were lost to fire, while seasonally flooded forest lost 59 ± 13% of stems and 57 ± 13% of basal area. Drier understory contributes to greater flammability. Much of the area occupied by seasonally flooded woody vegetation (>11.5 percent of the Amazon region) is vulnerable to fire due to high flammability and slow recovery.