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The Scientific World Journal
Volume 2012, Article ID 165067, 19 pages
Research Article

Amazon Rainforest Exchange of Carbon and Subcanopy Air Flow: Manaus LBA Site—A Complex Terrain Condition

1Universidade do Estado do Amazonas, Manaus, AM, Brazil
2State University of New York, Albany, NY, USA
3Universidade de São Paulo, Sao Paulo, SP, Brazil

Received 11 October 2011; Accepted 14 November 2011

Academic Editors: J. Dodson and C. Ottle

Copyright © 2012 Julio Tóta et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


On the moderately complex terrain covered by dense tropical Amazon Rainforest (Reserva Biologica do Cuieiras—ZF2—02°3617.1′′S, 60°1224.4′′W), subcanopy horizontal and vertical gradients of the air temperature, CO2 concentration and wind field were measured for the dry and wet periods in 2006. We tested the hypothesis that horizontal drainage flow over this study area is significant and can affect the interpretation of the high carbon uptake rates reported by previous works at this site. A similar experimental design as the one by Tóta et al. (2008) was used with a network of wind, air temperature, and CO2 sensors above and below the forest canopy. A persistent and systematic subcanopy nighttime upslope (positive buoyancy) and daytime downslope (negative buoyancy) flow pattern on a moderately inclined slope (12%) was observed. The microcirculations observed above the canopy (38 m) over the sloping area during nighttime presents a downward motion indicating vertical convergence and correspondent horizontal divergence toward the valley area. During the daytime an inverse pattern was observed. The micro-circulations above the canopy were driven mainly by buoyancy balancing the pressure gradient forces. In the subcanopy space the microcirculations were also driven by the same physical mechanisms but probably with the stress forcing contribution. The results also indicated that the horizontal and vertical scalar gradients (e.g., CO2) were modulated by these micro-circulations above and below the canopy, suggesting that estimates of advection using previous experimental approaches are not appropriate due to the tridimensional nature of the vertical and horizontal transport locally. This work also indicates that carbon budget from tower-based measurement is not enough to close the system, and one needs to include horizontal and vertical advection transport of CO2 into those estimates.