Water and light drive photosynthetic activity of Amazonian mosses

A new study by Löbs et al. in Biogeosciences documents the microclimatic conditions for tropical mosses as a baseline for studies on their overall relevance on biogeochemical cycling. They found that water and light are overall the most important requirements for them to become photosynthetically active. However, their habitat determines which of the two plays the bigger role.

Publication: Are termites an unknown source for BVOCs?

Nora Zannoni and her colleagues measured BVOC emissions at the ATTO tall tower in several heights. Specifically, they looked at one particular BVOC called α-pinene. They found that chiral BOVs at ATTO are neither equally abundant nor is the ratio of the two forms constant over time, season, or height. Surprisingly, they also discovered that termites might be a previously unknown source for BVOCs.

New Publication: Tree mortality in Amazonian floodplains

Recently we mentioned that drowned trees along the Uatumã River a likely the cause for enhanced methane emissions measured at ATTO. Now Angélica Resende and her co-authors investigated how changes in flooding regimes impact tree mortality in floodplains. They compared two sites in the Amazon basin. Along the Jaú River, the floodplain environment is still largely undisturbed. Along the Uatumã near ATTO, on the other hand, the flooding regime has been altered by the implementation of the Balbina hydroelectric plant further upstream.

Understanding nighttime methane emissions

Santiago Botía and his co-authors analyzed methane in the atmosphere at ATTO. Over the course of five years, they measured methane along with other properties, such as wind speed, wind direction and the stratification of the atmosphere. They noticed frequent pulses of methane emissions during the night, but only under certain conditions. Surprisingly, these nighttime events mostly occurred in the months of July to September – the dry season in the Amazon. Botía et al published the study Open Access in Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, Issue 20: Understanding nighttime methane signals at the Amazon Tall Tower Observatory (ATTO).