Historical fire in Amazonia: charcoal, soil, and plant functional traits

Oxford Centre for Tropical Forests seminar followed by drinks – all welcome, booking required

Amazonian forests have experienced past periods of reduced precipitation and potentially some degree of pre-Columbian human impact. These historical events may have resulted in fire regimes that differ from those found today, leaving a legacy on forest soils and vegetation. While fire is rare in undisturbed moist tropical forests, this is rapidly changing with forest degradation, fragmentation and deforestation. Understating the past impacts of fire is critical to estimate forest response to contemporary fire. Ted will present results on the spatial variation in historical fire, charcoal, and legacy effects on vegetation through a systematic evaluation of centennial-scale fire and modern vegetation across Amazonia.

Ted Feldpausch is a Senior Lecturer in Geography at the University of Exeter and an affiliated professor at the National Institute for Amazonian Research (INPA) and UNEMAT, Brazil. He was a post-doc at the University of Leeds under several NERC projects studying the drivers of change in pantropical forests and savannas, assisting in the development of the Amazon Forest Inventory Network (RAINFOR). He completed his MSc and PhD in forest ecology and soil science at Cornell University studying secondary forests and logging in Amazonia.