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Imaging spectroscopy reveals the effects of topography and logging on the leaf chemistry of tropical forest canopy trees

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Title: Imaging spectroscopy reveals the effects of topography and logging on the leaf chemistry of tropical forest canopy trees
Authors: Swinfield, T
Both, S
Riutta, T
Bongalov, B
Elias, D
Majalap-Lee, N
Ostle, N
Svatek, M
Kvasnica, J
Milodowski, D
Jucker, T
Ewers, RM
Zhang, Y
Johnson, D
Teh, YA
Burslem, DFRP
Malhi, Y
Coomes, D
Item Type: Journal Article
Abstract: Logging, pervasive across the lowland tropics, affects millions of hectares of forest, yet its influence on nutrient cycling remains poorly understood. One hypothesis is that logging influences phosphorus (P) cycling, because this scarce nutrient is removed in extracted timber and eroded soil, leading to shifts in ecosystem functioning and community composition. However, testing this is challenging because P varies within landscapes as a function of geology, topography and climate. Superimposed upon these trends are compositional changes in logged forests, with species with more acquisitive traits, characterized by higher foliar P concentrations, more dominant. It is difficult to resolve these patterns using traditional field approaches alone. Here, we use airborne light detection and ranging‐guided hyperspectral imagery to map foliar nutrient (i.e. P, nitrogen [N]) concentrations, calibrated using field measured traits, over 400 km2 of northeastern Borneo, including a landscape‐level disturbance gradient spanning old‐growth to repeatedly logged forests. The maps reveal that canopy foliar P and N concentrations decrease with elevation. These relationships were not identified using traditional field measurements of leaf and soil nutrients. After controlling for topography, canopy foliar nutrient concentrations were lower in logged forest than in old‐growth areas, reflecting decreased nutrient availability. However, foliar nutrient concentrations and specific leaf area were greatest in relatively short patches in logged areas, reflecting a shift in composition to pioneer species with acquisitive traits. N:P ratio increased in logged forest, suggesting reduced soil P availability through disturbance. Through the first landscape scale assessment of how functional leaf traits change in response to logging, we find that differences from old‐growth forest become more pronounced as logged forests increase in stature over time, suggesting exacerbated phosphorus limitation as forests recover.
Issue Date: 17-Dec-2019
Date of Acceptance: 3-Oct-2019
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10044/1/83274
DOI: 10.1111/gcb.14903
ISSN: 1354-1013
Publisher: Wiley
Start Page: 989
End Page: 1002
Journal / Book Title: Global Change Biology
Volume: 26
Issue: 2
Copyright Statement: © 2019 The Authors. Global Change Biology published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Sponsor/Funder: Rainforest Research Sdn Bhd
Funder's Grant Number: LBEE_P34395
Keywords: Science & Technology
Life Sciences & Biomedicine
Biodiversity Conservation
Ecology
Environmental Sciences
Biodiversity & Conservation
Environmental Sciences & Ecology
imaging spectroscopy
leaf traits
logging
nutrient availability
phosphorus
specific leaf area
topography
tropical forest
RAIN-FOREST
SPECIES DISTRIBUTIONS
PHOSPHORUS LIMITATION
NUTRIENT LIMITATION
SQUARES REGRESSION
CHEMICAL TRAITS
MOUNT KINABALU
NITROGEN
DIVERSITY
RESPONSES
imaging spectroscopy
leaf traits
logging
nutrient availability
phosphorus
specific leaf area
topography
tropical forest
Borneo
Ecosystem
Forests
Spectrum Analysis
Trees
Tropical Climate
Trees
Spectrum Analysis
Ecosystem
Tropical Climate
Borneo
Forests
Science & Technology
Life Sciences & Biomedicine
Biodiversity Conservation
Ecology
Environmental Sciences
Biodiversity & Conservation
Environmental Sciences & Ecology
imaging spectroscopy
leaf traits
logging
nutrient availability
phosphorus
specific leaf area
topography
tropical forest
RAIN-FOREST
SPECIES DISTRIBUTIONS
PHOSPHORUS LIMITATION
NUTRIENT LIMITATION
SQUARES REGRESSION
CHEMICAL TRAITS
MOUNT KINABALU
NITROGEN
DIVERSITY
RESPONSES
Ecology
05 Environmental Sciences
06 Biological Sciences
Publication Status: Published
Online Publication Date: 2019-12-17
Appears in Collections:Faculty of Natural Sciences



This item is licensed under a Creative Commons License Creative Commons