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19 August 2015
Article (Scientific journals)
Seeing Central African forests through their largest trees
Bastin, Jean-François  ; Barbier, Nicolas; Réjou-Méchain, Maxime et al.
2015 • In Scientific Reports, 5, p. 13156
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Abstract :
[en] Large tropical trees and a few dominant species were recently identified as the main structuring elements of tropical forests. However, such result did not translate yet into quantitative approaches which are essential to understand, predict and monitor forest functions and composition over large, often poorly accessible territories. Here we show that the above-ground biomass (AGB) of the whole forest can be predicted from a few large trees and that the relationship is proved strikingly stable in 175 1-ha plots investigated across 8 sites spanning Central Africa. We designed a generic model predicting AGB with an error of 14% when based on only 5% of the stems, which points to universality in forest structural properties. For the first time in Africa, we identified some dominant species that disproportionally contribute to forest AGB with 1.5% of recorded species accounting for over 50% of the stock of AGB. Consequently, focusing on large trees and dominant species provides precise information on the whole forest stand. This offers new perspectives for understanding the functioning of tropical forests and opens new doors for the development of innovative monitoring strategies.
Disciplines :
Environmental sciences & ecology
Author, co-author :
Bastin, Jean-François  ;  Université de Liège - ULiège > Doct. sc. agro. & ingé. biol.
Barbier, Nicolas
Réjou-Méchain, Maxime
Fayolle, Adeline  ;  Université de Liège > Ingénierie des biosystèmes (Biose) > Gestion des ressources forestières et des milieux naturels
Gourlet-Fleury, Sylvie
Maniatis, Danae
de Haulleville, Thalès ;  Université de Liège > Ingénierie des biosystèmes (Biose) > Biodiversité et Paysage
Baya, F
Beeckman, Hans
Beina, D
Couteron, Pierre
Chuyong, G.
Dauby, Gilles
Doucet, Jean-Louis ;  Université de Liège > Ingénierie des biosystèmes (Biose) > Laboratoire de Foresterie des régions trop. et subtropicales
Droissart, Vincent
Dufrêne, Marc  ;  Université de Liège > Ingénierie des biosystèmes (Biose) > Biodiversité et Paysage
Ewango, Corneille
Gillet, Jean-François
Gonmadje, Christelle
Hart, Thérèse
Kavali, Thoms
Kenfack, David
Libalah, Moses
Malhi, Yadvinder
Makana, Jean-Rémy
Pélissier, Raphaël
Ploton, Pierre
Serckx, Adeline ;  Université de Liège > Département de Biologie, Ecologie et Evolution > Biologie du comportement - Ethologie et psychologie animale
Sonké, Bonaventure
Stévart, Tariq
Thomas, Duncan
De Cannière, Charles
Bogaert, Jan  ;  Université de Liège > Ingénierie des biosystèmes (Biose) > Biodiversité et Paysage
More authors (23 more) Less
Language :
English
Title :
Seeing Central African forests through their largest trees
Publication date :
17 August 2015
Journal title :
Scientific Reports
eISSN :
2045-2322
Publisher :
Nature Publishing Group, London, United Kingdom
Volume :
5
Pages :
13156
Peer reviewed :
Peer Reviewed verified by ORBi

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