The contributions of lightning to biomass turnover, gap formation, and plant mortality in a tropical forest

Evan Gora, Phillip Bitzer, Jeffrey Burchfield, Cesar Gutierrez & Stephen Yanoviak
Lightning is a common source of disturbance, but its ecological effects in tropical forests are largely undescribed. Here we quantify the contributions of lightning strikes to forest turnover and plant mortality in a lowland Panamanian forest using a real-time lightning monitoring system. We examined 2195 lightning-damaged trees distributed among 93 different strikes. None exhibited scars or fires. On average, each strike disturbed 451 m2 (95% CI: 365-545 m2), created canopy gaps of 304 m2 (95%...
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6 downloads reported since publication in 2021.

These counts follow the COUNTER Code of Practice, meaning that Internet robots and repeats within a certain time frame are excluded.
What does this mean?