Oliver Lawrence Phillips

Oliver Lawrence Phillips
University of Leeds ·  Ecology and Global Change Group (EGC)

PhD

About

626
Publications
386,976
Reads
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65,021
Citations
Additional affiliations
May 1995 - present
University of Leeds
Position
  • Chair of Tropical Ecology
September 1993 - April 1995
Missouri Botanical Garden
Position
  • PostDoc Position
September 1988 - August 1993
Washington University in St. Louis
Position
  • PhD Student

Publications

Publications (626)
Article
Full-text available
Tropical forests are some of the most biodiverse ecosystems in the world, yet their functioning is threatened by anthropogenic disturbances and climate change. Global actions to conserve tropical forests could be enhanced by having local knowledge on the forestsʼ functional diversity and functional redundancy as proxies for their capacity to respon...
Article
Full-text available
Background Many significant ecosystems, including important non-forest woody ecosystems such as the Cerrado (Brazilian savannah), are under threat from climate change, yet our understanding of how increasing temperatures will impact native vegetation remains limited. Temperature manipulation experiments are important tools for investigating such im...
Article
Full-text available
Sustainable management of intact tropical peatlands is crucial for climate change mitigation, for biodiversity conservation and to support the livelihoods of local communities. Here, we explore whether sustainable fruit harvesting from Mauritia flexuosa palms could support these linked goals by increasing fruit production and incomes across the 2.8...
Article
Full-text available
Evidence exists that tree mortality is accelerating in some regions of the tropics1,2, with profound consequences for the future of the tropical carbon sink and the global anthropogenic carbon budget left to limit peak global warming below 2 °C. However, the mechanisms that may be driving such mortality changes and whether particular species are es...
Preprint
Purpose We investigated if, in transitional region between the South American savanna (Cerrado) and Amazon Biomes, the facilitation process help drive this development of forest trees in open-canopy and small-treed savannas (‘Typical Cerrado’) in Brazil. Methods In multiple permanent plots, we recorded all trees (focal plants) with a diameter at gr...
Article
Fire has a historical role in tropical forests related to past climate and ancient land use spanning the Holocene; however, it is unclear from charcoal records how fire varied at different spatiotemporal scales and what sampling strategies are required to determine fire history and their effects. We evaluated fire variation in structurally intact,...
Article
Full-text available
Fire has a historical role in tropical forests related to past climate and ancient land use spanning the Holocene; however, it is unclear from charcoal records how fire varied at different spatiotemporal scales and what sampling strategies are required to determine fire history and their effects. We evaluated fire variation in structurally intact,...
Article
Water availability is the major driver of tropical forest structure and dynamics. Most research has focused on the impacts of climatic water availability, whereas remarkably little is known about the influence of water table depth and excess soil water on forest processes. Nevertheless, given that plants take up water from the soil, the impacts of...
Article
Data on tropical forests are in high demand. But ground forest measurements are hard to sustain and the people who make them are extremely disadvantaged compared to those who use them. We propose a new approach to forest data that focuses on the needs of data originators, and ensures users and funders contribute properly.
Article
Full-text available
Despite increasing attention for relationships between species richness and ecosystem services, for tropical forests such relationships are still under discussion. Contradicting relationships have been reported concerning carbon stock, while little is known about relationships concerning timber stock and the abundance of non-timber forest product p...
Article
Full-text available
Over the past decade, several global maps of above-ground biomass (AGB) have been produced, but they exhibit significant differences that reduce their value for climate and carbon cycle modelling, and also for national estimates of forest carbon stocks and their changes. The number of such maps is anticipated to increase because of new satellite mi...
Article
Full-text available
The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer Vegetation Continuous Fields (MODIS VCF) Earth observation product is widely used to estimate forest cover changes and to parameterize vegetation and Earth system models and as a reference for validation or calibration where field data are limited. However, although limited independent validations o...
Article
Full-text available
The relationships between climate and forest dynamics can help us to interpret patterns of ecosystem carbon and to predict how forests react to climatic changes. We report mass dynamics of deadwood (necromass) from tropical forest ecosystems subject to some of the highest frequency of tropical cyclones in the world and to regular, persistent season...
Article
Full-text available
Experiments show that elevated atmospheric CO2 (eCO2) often enhances plant photosynthesis and productivity, yet this effect varies substantially and may be climate sensitive. Understanding if, where and how water supply regulates CO2 enhancement is critical for projecting terrestrial responses to increasing atmospheric CO2 and climate change. Here,...
Article
Full-text available
NASAs Global Ecosystem Dynamics Investigation (GEDI) is collecting space-borne full waveform lidar data with a primary science goal of producing accurate estimates of forest aboveground biomass density (AGBD). This paper presents the development of the models used to create GEDIs footprint-level (~25 m) AGBD (GEDI04_A) product, including a descript...
Article
Full-text available
Tree mortality rates and the modes of tree death have recently been extensively investigated in the Amazon. However, efforts to describe these processes have not been well distributed across the basin. No study has yet investigated in depth tree mortality process in the unique low, open, bamboo-dominated forests of southwestern Amazonia, a region w...
Article
Full-text available
The impacts of enhanced nitrogen (N) deposition on the global forest carbon (C) sink and other ecosystem services may depend on whether N is deposited in reduced (mainly as ammonium) or oxidized forms (mainly as nitrate) and the subsequent fate of each. However, the fates of the two key reactive N forms and their contributions to forest C sinks are...
Article
Full-text available
One of the most fundamental questions in ecology is how many species inhabit the Earth. However, due to massive logistical and financial challenges and taxonomic difficulties connected to the species concept definition, the global numbers of species, including those of important and well-studied life forms such as trees, still remain largely unknow...
Article
Full-text available
One of the most fundamental questions in ecology is how many species inhabit the Earth. However, due to massive logistical and financial challenges and taxonomic difficulties connected to the species concept definition, the global numbers of species, including those of important and well-studied life forms such as trees, still remain largely unknow...
Article
Full-text available
For monitoring and reporting forest carbon stocks and fluxes, many countries in the tropics and subtropics rely on default values of forest aboveground biomass (AGB) from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Guidelines for National Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Inventories. Default IPCC forest AGB values originated from 2006, and are relativ...
Article
Full-text available
Tree death is a key process for our understanding of how forests are and will respond to global change. The extensive forests across the southern Amazonia edge—the driest, warmest and most fragmented of the Amazon regions—provide a window onto what the future of large parts of Amazonia may look like. Understanding tree mortality and its drivers her...
Article
Tree mortality rates and the modes of tree death have recently been extensively investigated in the Amazon. However, efforts to describe these processes have not been well distributed across the basin. No study has yet investigated in depth tree mortality process in the unique low, open, bamboo-dominated forests of southwestern Amazonia, a region w...
Article
is collecting spaceborne full waveform lidar data with a primary science goal of producing accurate estimates of forest aboveground biomass density (AGBD). This paper presents the development of the models used to create GEDI's footprint-level (~25 m) AGBD (GEDI04_A) product, including a description of the datasets used and the procedure for final...
Article
In central Brazil, there are strong gradients and discontinuities in vegetation structure and composition between the forests of southern Amazonia and the open savannas of South America's Cerrado. These transitions are often controlled by disturbance processes, and the ability of vegetation to respond to climatic and environmental changes may depen...
Article
Full-text available
We report large-scale estimates of Amazonian gap dynamics using a novel approach with large datasets of airborne light detection and ranging (lidar), including five multi-temporal and 610 single-date lidar datasets. Specifically, we (1) compared the fixed height and relative height methods for gap delineation and established a relationship between...
Chapter
Full-text available
Amazonian lowland tropical rainforests cover ~5.79 million km2. Based on geology, the Amazon lowland forest area can be divided into six regions. The Guiana Shield and Brazilian Shield (in the southern Ama- zon) are on very old, nutrient-poor soils, while the Western Amazonian regions (northern and southern) and the regions along the Amazon River a...
Chapter
This Report provides a comprehensive, objective, open, transparent, systematic, and rigorous scientific assessment of the state of the Amazon’s ecosystems, current trends, and their implications for the long-term well-being of the region, as well as opportunities and policy relevant options for conservation and sustainable development.
Article
The impacts of enhanced nitrogen (N) deposition on the global forest carbon (C) sink and other ecosystem services may depend on whether N is deposited in reduced (mainly as ammonium) or oxidized forms (mainly as nitrate) and the subsequent fate of each. However, the fates of the two key reactive N forms and their contributions to forest C sinks are...
Article
Full-text available
A better understanding of how climate affects growth in tree species is essential for improved predictions of forest dynamics under climate change. Long-term climate averages (mean climate) drives spatial variations in species’ baseline growth rates, whereas deviations from these averages over time (anomalies) can create growth variation around the...
Article
Full-text available
Tropical tree species span a range of life history strategies within a fast‐slow continuum. The position of a species within this continuum is thought to reflect a negative relationship between growth and storage, with fast‐growing species allocating more carbon to growth and slow‐growing species investing more in storage. For tropical species, the...
Article
Full-text available
Assessing biodiversity status and trends in plant communities is critical for understanding, quantifying and predicting the effects of global change on ecosystems. Vegetation plots record the occurrence or abundance of all plant species co‐occurring within delimited local areas. This allows species absences to be inferred, information seldom provid...
Article
Full-text available
Tropical forests store 40-50% of terrestrial vegetation carbon. Spatial variations in aboveground live tree biomass carbon (AGC) stocks remain poorly understood, in particular in tropical montane forests. Because of climatic and soil changes with increasing elevation, AGC stocks are lower in tropical montane compared to lowland forests. Here we ass...
Article
Full-text available
Tropical forests store 40–50 per cent of terrestrial vegetation carbon1. However, spatial variations in aboveground live tree biomass carbon (AGC) stocks remain poorly understood, in particular in tropical montane forests2. Owing to climatic and soil changes with increasing elevation3, AGC stocks are lower in tropical montane forests compared with...
Article
Full-text available
Peatland pole forest is the most carbon-dense ecosystem in Amazonia, but its spatial distribution and species composition are poorly known. To address this knowledge gap, we quantified variation in the floristic composition, peat thickness, and the amount of carbon stored above and below ground of 102 forest plots and 53 transects in northern Peruv...
Article
Full-text available
Understanding how the richness, diversity, and carbon monitoring vary and are distributed through altitudinal gradients in Andean montane forests is essential to understand how these forests are adapting to global warming effects. Botanical explorations and general collections were carried out within the limits of the Historic Sanctuary of Machu Pi...
Preprint
Full-text available
A better understanding of how climate affects growth in tree species is essential for improved predictions of forest dynamics under climate change. Long-term climate averages (mean climate) and short-term deviations from these averages (anomalies) both influence tree growth, but the rarity of long-term data integrating climatic gradients with tree...
Article
Full-text available
The forests of Amazonia are among the most biodiverse plant communities on Earth. Given the immediate threats posed by climate and land-use change, an improved understanding of how this extraordinary biodiversity is spatially organized is urgently required to develop effective conservation strategies. Most Amazonian tree species are extremely rare...
Article
Full-text available
The responses of tropical forests to environmental change are critical uncertainties in predicting the future impacts of climate change. The positive phase of the 2015–2016 El Niño Southern Oscillation resulted in unprecedented heat and low precipitation in the tropics with substantial impacts on the global carbon cycle. The role of African tropica...
Article
Full-text available
Aims Understanding variation and coordination of leaf traits at cell-, tissue-, and organ-scale along elevational gradients can help predict the likely responses of dominant tree species to climate change. We seek to determine the extent to which variation in leaf stomatal, anatomical and morphological traits is associated with environmental factor...
Article
Tropical forests are the most diverse and productive ecosystems on Earth. While better understanding of these forests is critical for our collective future, until quite recently efforts to measure and monitor them have been largely disconnected. Networking is essential to discover the answers to questions that transcend borders and the horizons of...
Article
Full-text available
Non-structural carbohydrates (NSC) are major substrates for plant metabolism and have been implicated in mediating drought-induced tree mortality. Despite their significance, NSC dynamics in tropical forests remain little studied. We present leaf and branch NSC data for 82 Amazon canopy tree species in six sites spanning a broad precipitation gradi...
Article
Full-text available
It is largely unknown how South America's Andean forests affect the global carbon cycle, and thus regulate climate change. Here, we measure aboveground carbon dynamics over the past two decades in 119 monitoring plots spanning a range of >3000 m elevation across the subtropical and tropical Andes. Our results show that Andean forests act as strong...
Preprint
Full-text available
In a time of rapid global change, the question of what determines patterns in species abundance distribution remains a priority for understanding the complex dynamics of ecosystems. The constrained maximization of information entropy provides a framework for the understanding of such complex systems dynamics by a quantitative analysis of important...
Article
Full-text available
Global changes, e.g., global warming, elevated nitrogen deposition, and shifts of precipitation regime, exert a major influence on forests via affecting plant water use efficiency (WUE) and plant nitrogen (N) availability. Large-scale ecological sampling can help us to better understand variation across regions and provide opportunities to investig...
Article
Ecologists and conservation biologists conducting long-term research programs in the tropics must confront serious ethical challenges that revolve around economic inequalities, cultural differences, supporting the local communities as much as possible, and sharing the knowledge produced by the research. In this collective article, researchers share...
Article
The forests of Amazonia are among the most biodiverse plant communities on Earth. Given the immediate threats posed by climate and land-use change, an improved understanding of how this extraordinary biodiversity is spatially organized is urgently required to develop effective conservation strategies. Most Amazonian tree species are extremely rare...
Article
The effects of nitrogen (N) deposition on forests largely depend on its fate after entering the ecosystem. While several studies have addressed the forest fate of N deposition using ¹⁵N tracers, the long‐term fate and redistribution of deposited N in tropical forests remains unknown. Here, we applied ¹⁵N tracers to examine the fates of deposited am...
Article
Full-text available
We report large-scale estimates of Amazonian gap dynamics using a novel approach with large datasets of airborne light detection and ranging (lidar), including five multi-temporal and 610 single-date lidar datasets. Specifically, we (i) compared the fixed height and relative height methods for gap delineation and established a relationship between...
Article
Full-text available
A Correction to this paper has been published: https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-020-20537-x
Article
Full-text available
Tropical forest ecosystems are undergoing rapid transformation as a result of changing environmental conditions and direct human impacts. However, we cannot adequately understand, monitor or simulate tropical ecosystem responses to environmental changes without capturing the high diversity of plant functional characteristics in the species-rich tro...
Article
A rich understanding of the productivity, carbon and nutrient cycling of terrestrial ecosystems is essential in the context of understanding, modelling and managing the future response of the biosphere to global change. This need is particularly acute in tropical ecosystems, home to over 60% of global terrestrial productivity, over half of planetar...