News from the project

The PhD projects are part of the International Max Planck Research School for Global Biogeochemical Cycles (IMPRS-gBGC) at the Max-Planck-Institute for Biogeochemistry in Jena, Germany. The focus on plant traits in tropical trees (project 1) and organic markers and seasonal metabolims (project 2). Apply by September 6.
AGU Fall Meeting 2020 meeting will be held virtually during the original 7-11 December dates. We want to draw your attention to one session in particular: Tropical forests under a changing environment. Abstract submission deadline is 29 July.
Two Amazonian local activists Natalina do Carmo and Milena Raquel Tupinambá, visited ATTO last year. Brazilian filmmaker Barbara Marcel went with them to capture the exchange between the scientists, who study the forest, and the communities who call the forest their home. You can now see what she discovered in a video installation called “Ciné-Cipó - Cine Liana” in the virtual exhibition "Critical Zones - Observatories for Earthly Politics" by the ZKM (Zentrum für Kunst und Medien) Karlsruhe.
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.
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).
When forests burn those fires produce a lot of smoke. And that smoke usually contains soot, also called “black carbon”. Black carbon particles are aerosols that absorb radiation and as such can warm the Earth’s atmosphere and climate. But we still have much to learn about aerosols, their properties, and distribution in the atmosphere. One of those things is the question of how black carbon emitted from biomass burning in Africa (i.e. forests, grasslands, savannas etc.) is transported across the Atlantic and into the Amazon basin, and what role it plays there. Bruna Holanda and her co-authors tackled this in their new study published in ACP.
The April newsletter includes a few important announcements, including one about the plans for this year's ATTO workshop! All regular formats, such as New Publications and Meet the Team are back of course.
We have minimized our field activities at ATTO due to COVID-19 since last week. Researchers will not travel to ATTO to collect samples or make measurements until further notice. For now, a small core team will continue taking care of our long-term measurements.
The EGU is officially announcing the cancellation of the physical EGU General Assembly 2020 in Vienna, Austria. Instead "Sharing Geoscience Online" will allow abstract authors to share presentation materials and open these for live discussion as well as participate in a selection of online networking events. We are also planning additional activities that will extend into the rest of the year and will provide more information about all of these events in the coming weeks.
We have recently taken a big step to further expand our research with the INVENTA/ATTO project to study. Led by Daniel Marra and Susan Trumbore, we want to investigate wind-tree interactions in the Amazon. Our goal is to integrate research on tree architecture and bio-mechanics with atmospheric and biogeochemical processes.
You may have noticed that the front page of our website got a new look recently. This is because in addition to project news, we now also have a blog! It is called "Voices from the Amazon", and here you will hear directly from our ATTO team. You can find it right below the "News section" on the front page. We are kicking things off with a very special post for today's Day for Woman and Girls in Science.
Fungal spore emissions are an important contributor to biogenic aerosols, but we have yet to understand under what conditions fungi release their spores. Nina Löbs and co-authors developed a new technique to measure emissions from single organisms and tested this out at ATTO and with controlled lab experiments. They published their results in the Open Access Journal Atmospheric Measurement Techniques.
Convective storms often occur in the tropics and have the potential to disturb the lower part of the atmosphere. They might even improve the venting of trace gases out of the forest canopy into the atmosphere above. To better understand these processes, Maurício Oliveira and co-authors used the infrastructure at ATTO to study storm outflows during nighttime. They published the results in a new paper in the Open Access Journal Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics.
The fourth newsletter is here! Get all the latest updates from the ATTO project, such as new publications, upcoming conferences, and a media digest.

ATTO at AGU 2019

Again this year, we will be present at the AGU Fall Meeting 2019 with some interesting presentations that cover a range of topics! If you are in San Francisco next week, you can learn out more about the latest Amazon research from ATTO make sure to put the following items on your schedule:
We are once again inviting you to bring the Amazon rainforest, or rather your Amazon research to the EGU General Assembly 2020! We are convening the session “Amazon forest – a natural laboratory of global significance” – a place for a vivid and scientifically fruitful exchange between many researchers from many groups and projects on the Amazon forests – including ATTO.
In a new study, Nathan Gonçalves and co-authors now wanted to find out if extreme climate events such as droughts influence leaf flushing, and thereby the average leaf age and photosynthetic capacity of the forest, and if is it possible to monitor more subtle changes associated with extreme events (compared to season changes) with satellites?
In a new study, Dr. Haijie Tong and co-authors studied a subset of PM2.5, the so-called highly oxygenated molecules (HOMs) and its relationship with radical yield and aerosol oxidative potential. They analyzed fine particulate matter in the air in multiple locations. This including the highly polluted megacity Bejing and in the pristine rainforest at ATTO. They wanted to get insights into the chemical characteristic and evolutions of these HOM particles. In particular, they wanted to find out more about the potential of HOMs to form free radicals. These are highly reactive species with unpaired electrons.
In September, scientists of the ATTO project met in Manaus for our 2019 workshop. To our delight, representatives of the German Aerospace Center (DLR), project manager on the German side, and of the Brazilian Ministry for Science could join us for the entire week. During the workshop, we dedicated a large amount of time to poster sessions in a relaxed atmosphere. That way, many participants had the opportunity to present their work and had time for personal exchange with project partners. In addition, we placed another emphasis on interdisciplinary breakout sessions for topics where the research questions of different working groups overlap.
The third ATTO newsletter is here! It features announcements regarding the ATTO workshop a new talk series for ATTO scientists at INPA and a breakdown of new publications. The “Meet the team” series is also back, bigger and better, now including project veterans and newbies alike!
Christopher Pöhlker and co-authors published an extensive new paper, characterizing the footprint region of ATTO. They hope that fellow researchers in the Amazon region can use this publication as resource and reference work to embed ATTO observations into a larger context of Amazonian deforestation and land-use change. Pöhlker et al. published the paper Open Access in Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics Volume 19.
We are looking for a postdoctoral researcher to support our team with the challenging and exciting operation of the aerosol measurements at the ATTO site as well as the analysis and publication of the unique measurement data. The successful candidate
We’re pleased to announce that for this year’s ATTO Meeting registration is NOW OPEN! INPA will be our host in Manaus on September 16 – 18. We kindly ask you to please to use the short registration form in time
We hear a lot about particulate matter these days, mostly in the context of air pollution in inner cities. But what about particulate matter in the Amazon rainforest? Well, the short answer is that particulate matter is present in the air above the Amazon, too. And although its concentrations are lower than those in large cities, urbanization and deforestation fires have a significant impact. To find out what that impact exactly is, was the aim of a new study by Suzane de Sá and co-authors.
Felipe Souza and co-authors now collected bioaerosols at our ATTO site. Then they extracted and analyzed the DNA to determine the communities present. This is the first study that described the community of microorganisms within aerosols in the Amazon. They found many different types of bacteria and fungi. Some were cosmopolitan taxa, but they also identified many that are specific to certain environments such as soil or water. This suggests that the atmosphere may act as an important gateway for bacteria to be exchanged between plants, soil, and water.
The Amazon rainforest interacts with the atmosphere by exchanging many substances. Many of these, such as carbon dioxide, methane, ozone, and organic compounds, are produced by the vegetation. They are very influential in both the regional and global climates. Until now, the estimates of their emission and absorption rates are based on classical theories. But those were developed over relatively short vegetation and are valid for the so-called “inertial sublayer.”
We’re excited to announce that this year our annual ATTO meeting takes place on September 16-18 and will be hosted by INPA in Manaus. The meeting is open to all consortium member and invited guests and we can’t wait to see everyone
We just released the second ATTO newsletter. It features new team members, the big ATTO presence at the EGU 2019, infrastructure updates at the site and more. To receive the newsletter, please subscribe to our mailing list, subscribe to the RSS

ATTO at EGU 2019

EGU 2019 is shining a light on Amazon research. Jošt Lavrič, Beto Quesada, Alessandro Araújo and Matthias Sörgel are chairing a session titled „Intact Amazon forest – a natural laboratory of global significance“. We‘re excited that, in addition to many of our
Science is a lot like life: Things don’t always turn out the way you thought they would. Recently, Eva Pfannerstill and her team wanted to find out how Amazonian plants react to ecological stresses, such as heat and drought. They wondered if
You have probably heard a lot about air pollution recently, be it because of the massive wildfires in California, smog in India or the diesel emission scandal in Germany. So let’s look into air pollution in the Amazon. Most air
The AGU Fall Meeting 2018 is approaching fast. Before you all finish up your schedules, we want to draw your attention to the presentations from our ATTO team! Tuesday, 11 December Damien Guinoiseau will present a poster on “Dust source identification

EGU 2019

Are you heading to the EGU 2019? If the answer is ‘yes’ we might have just the right session for you! Next year, some members of the ATTO team are convening a session at next years EGU titled “Intact Amazon
The first edition of our new ATTO Newsletter was just released. Four times a year, the newsletter will keep you up-to-date on everything that happened in the past several months, such as new scientific articles that have been published, infrastructural
One of our major goals at ATTO is understanding how the Amazon rainforest interacts with the atmosphere above. This includes studying how the characteristics of the air change within and above the tree canopy in terms of atmospheric turbulence. The
We are currently in the middle of the dry season in the central Amazon basin, where ATTO is located. This time of year is always characterized by lots of biomass burnings, both natural and anthropogenic. Fires produce aerosols, such as
The properties and dynamics of clouds are strongly dependent on the types and amounts of aerosol particles in the atmosphere. They act as so-called cloud condensation nuclei as they initiate the formation of cloud droplets. Therefore, it is crucial to
One of the objectives of ATTO is to study the long-range transport of particles, such as sulfate, across the Atlantic to the Amazon rainforest and to better understand atmospheric cycling. A good opportunity for that arose in 2014. Some of
Scientists from our Aerosol group published a new “Long-term study on coarse mode aerosols in the Amazon rainforest with the frequent intrusion of Saharan dust plumes”. They analyzed the coarse fraction of aerosols (those that are at least 1 micrometer


Welcome to our website for ATTO, the Amazon Tall Tower Observatory – an Amazon research project. This research site is located in the middle of the Amazon rainforest in northern Brazil, about 150 km north of Manaus. It is run together