Amazon rainforest grows best in dry season

March 21, 2006

University of Arizona scientists say they've made a surprising discovery: the undisturbed Amazon rainforest grows best during the dry season

"Most of the vegetation around the world follows a general pattern in which plants get green and lush during the rainy season and then during the dry season, leaves fall because there's not enough water in the soil to support plant growth," said lead researcher Alfredo Huete of The University of Arizona-Tucson.

"What we found for a large section of the Amazon is the opposite," said Huete. "As soon as the rains stop and you start to enter a dry period, the Amazon becomes alive. New leaves spring out, there's a flush of green growth and the greening continues as the dry season progresses."

Huete, a professor of soil, water and environmental science, says the finding holds true only for the undisturbed portion of the rainforest. Areas in which the primary forest has been converted to other uses or disturbed, "brown down" during the dry season.

The study appears in the March 22 issue of Geophysical Research Letters.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

Explore further: Vicious circle of drought and forest loss in the Amazon

Related Stories

Vicious circle of drought and forest loss in the Amazon

March 13, 2017

Logging that happens today and potential future rainfall reductions in the Amazon could push the region into a vicious dieback circle. If dry seasons intensify with human-caused climate change, the risk for self-amplified ...

Recommended for you

Water is surprisingly ordered on the nanoscale

May 24, 2017

Nanometric-sized water drops are everywhere—in the air as droplets or aerosols, in industrially produced medications, and within rocks and oil fields. To understand the behavior of these drops, it is necessary to know how ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.