Articles | Volume 18, issue 24
Biogeosciences, 18, 6517–6531, 2021
Biogeosciences, 18, 6517–6531, 2021
Research article
20 Dec 2021
Research article | 20 Dec 2021

Strong temporal variation in treefall and branchfall rates in a tropical forest is related to extreme rainfall: results from 5 years of monthly drone data for a 50 ha plot

Raquel Fernandes Araujo et al.

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Cited articles

Aleixo, I., Norris, D., Hemerik, L., Barbosa, A., Prata, E., Costa, F., and Poorter, L.: Amazonian rainforest tree mortality driven by climate and functional traits, Nat. Clim. Change, 9, 384–388,, 2019. 
Araujo, R. F., Nelson, B. W., Celes, C. H. S., and Chambers, J. Q.: Regional distribution of large blowdown patches across Amazonia in 2005 caused by a single convective squall line: Distribution of Amazonia Blowdown Damage, Geophys. Res. Lett., 44, 7793–7798,, 2017. 
Araujo, R. F., Chambers, J. Q., Celes, C. H. S., Muller-Landau, H. C., Santos, A. P. F. dos, Emmert, F., Ribeiro, G. H. P. M., Gimenez, B. O., Lima, A. J. N., Campos, M. A. A., and Higuchi, N.: Integrating high resolution drone imagery and forest inventory to distinguish canopy and understory trees and quantify their contributions to forest structure and dynamics, PLoS ONE, 15, e0243079,, 2020. 
Araujo, R. F., Celes, C. H. S., Negrón-Juárez, R. I., and Muller-Landau, H. C.: Analysis codes and datasets: Strong temporal variation in treefall and branchfall rates in a tropical forest is related to extreme rainfall: results from five years of monthly drone data for a 50-ha plot, Zenodo [code],, 2021a. 
Araujo, R. F., Grubinger, S., Garcia, M., Dandois, J. P., and Muller-Landau, H. C.: Collection of datasets: Strong temporal variation in treefall and branchfall rates in a tropical forest is related to extreme rainfall: results from 5 years of monthly drone data for a 50-ha plot, Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, Collection, Figshare [data set],, 2021b. 
Short summary
Our study contributed to improving the understanding of temporal variation and climate correlates of canopy disturbances mainly caused by treefalls and branchfalls. We used a unique dataset of 5 years of approximately monthly drone-acquired RGB (red–green–blue) imagery for 50 ha of mature tropical forest on Barro Colorado Island, Panama. We found that canopy disturbance rates were highly temporally variable, were higher in the wet season, and were related to extreme rainfall events.
Final-revised paper