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Data and code associated with: Gora, E.M., Schnitzer, S.A., Bitzer, P.M., Burchfield, J.C., Gutierrez, C. and Yanoviak, S.P. (2023), Lianas increase lightning-caused disturbance severity in a tropical forest. New Phytol, 238: 1865-1875

Version 2 2023-12-04, 21:12
Version 1 2023-02-27, 18:41
dataset
posted on 2023-12-04, 21:12 authored by Evan Gora, Stefan Schnitzer, Phillip Bitzer, Jeffrey Burchfield, Cesar Gutierrez, Stephen P. Yanoviak

Abstract:

Lightning is an important agent of plant mortality and disturbance in forests. Lightning-caused disturbance is highly variable in terms of its area of effect and disturbance severity (i.e., tree damage and death), but we do not know how this variation is influenced by forest structure and plant composition. We used a novel lightning detection system to quantify how lianas influenced the severity and spatial extent (i.e., area) of lightning disturbance using 78 lightning strikes in central Panama. The local density of lianas (measured as liana basal area) was positively associated with the number of trees killed and damaged by lightning, and patterns of plant damage indicated that this occurred because lianas facilitated more electrical connections from large to small trees. Liana presence, however, did not increase the area of the disturbance. Thus, lianas increased the severity of lightning disturbance by facilitating damage to additional trees without influencing the footprint of the disturbance. These findings indicate that lianas spread electricity to damage and kill understory trees that otherwise would survive a strike. As liana abundance increases in tropical forests, their negative effects on tree survival with respect to the severity of lightning-related tree damage and death is likely to increase.

File list:

current_transfer_bystrike.csv

perstrike_lianas_chars.csv

Gora_etal_2023_ReadMe.csv - contains metadata for CSV files, including variable definitions.

electric_current_transfer.R

lianas_predict_lightning.R


Funding

NSF GRF-2015188266

Collaborative Research: Lightning-caused disturbance and patterns of recovery in tropical forests

Directorate for Biological Sciences

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National Geographic Society 9703-15

Earl S. Tupper Postdoctoral Fellowship, Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute

Collaborative Research: The biology of lightning in tropical forests

Directorate for Biological Sciences

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Collaborative Research: Lightning as an agent of tropical tree mortality

Directorate for Biological Sciences

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Collaborative Research: Lightning-caused disturbance and patterns of recovery in tropical forests

Directorate for Biological Sciences

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Collaborative Research: The biology of lightning in tropical forests

Directorate for Biological Sciences

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Collaborative Research: Lightning as an agent of tropical tree mortality

Directorate for Biological Sciences

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Collaborative Research: Lightning-caused disturbance and patterns of recovery in tropical forests

Directorate for Biological Sciences

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Do Lianas Cause Chronic Disturbance and Alter Successional Trajectories in Tropical Forests?

Directorate for Biological Sciences

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Determining the Functional Basis for Increasing Liana Abundance in Neotropical Forests

Directorate for Biological Sciences

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History

Geographic coordinates

9.210°N, 79.745°W

Time period

May 2015-August 2021

Taxonomic species or groups

Woody plants (trees and lianas)

Software

https://www.r-project.org/

Secondary Data Contact

datamanagement@caryinstitute.org

Data Sharing Statement

The Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies furnishes data under the following conditions: The data have received quality assurance scrutiny, and, although we are confident of the accuracy of these data, Cary Institute will not be held liable for errors in these data. Data are subject to change resulting from updates in data screening or models used. Data Citation: Click on the Cite button on this page.

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