Skip to page content
USDA Forest Service

Research & Development Treesearch

Treesearch Home
About Treesearch
Contact Us
Research & Development
Forest Products Lab
International Institute of Tropical Forestry
Pacific Northwest
Pacific Southwest
Rocky Mountain
Southern Research Station
Help - We Participate  Government Made Easy

Global Forest Information Service

US Forest Service
P.O. Box 96090
Washington, D.C.

(202) 205-8333

You are here: Home / Search / Publication Information
Bookmark and Share

Publication Information

View PDF (1.3 MB)

Title: The impact of annual and seasonal rainfall patterns on growth and phenology of emergent tree species in Southeastern Amazonia, Brazil

Author: Grogan, James; Schulze, Mark;

Date: 2012

Source: Biotropica. 44(3):331-340.

Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)

Description: Understanding tree growth in response to rainfall distribution is critical to predicting forest and species population responses to climate change. We investigated inter-annual and seasonal variation in stem diameter by three emergent tree species in a seasonally dry tropical forest in southeast Pará, Brazil. Annual diameter growth rates by Swietenia macrophylla demonstrated strong positive correlation with annual rainfall totals during 1997–2009; Hymenaea courbaril growth rates demonstrated weak positive correlation, whereas Parkia pendula exhibited weak negative correlation. For both Swietenia and Hymenaea, annual diameter growth rates correlated positively and significantly with rainfall totals during the first 6 mo of the growing year (July to December). Vernier dendrometer bands monitored at 4-wk intervals during 3–5 yr confirmed strong seasonal effects on stem diameter expansion. Individuals of all three species expanded in unison during wet season months and were static or even contracted during dry season months. Stems of the deciduous Swietenia contracted as crowns were shed during the early dry season, expanded slightly as new crowns were flushed, and then contracted further during 3–5 wk flowering periods in the late dry season by newly mature crowns. The three species’ physiographic distribution patterns at the study site may partially underlie observed differences in annual and seasonal growth. With most global circulation models predicting conditions becoming gradually drier in southeast Amazonia over the coming decades, species such as Swietenia that perform best on the ‘wet end’ of current conditions may experience reduced growth rates. However, population viability will not necessarily be threatened if life history and ecophysiological responses to changing conditions are compensatory.

Keywords: big-leaf mahogany, climate change, dendrometer bands, diameter growth, fava bolota, jatobá, reproductive phenology, seasonal tropical forest, tropical timber species

Publication Notes:

  • We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
  • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.



Grogan, James; Schulze, Mark. 2012. The impact of annual and seasonal rainfall patterns on growth and phenology of emergent tree species in Southeastern Amazonia, Brazil. Biotropica. 44(3):331-340. DOI: 10.1111/j.1744-7429.2011.00825.x


 [ Get Acrobat ]  Get the latest version of the Adobe Acrobat reader or Acrobat Reader for Windows with Search and Accessibility

USDA logo which links to the department's national site. Forest Service logo which links to the agency's national site.