Tropical tree species differ in damage and mortality from lightning

Stephen P. Yanoviak, Jeannine Richards, Evan Gora, Cesar Gutierrez, Jeffrey Burchfield & Phillip Bitzer
Lightning is an important agent of mortality for large tropical trees with implications for tree demography and forest carbon budgets. We evaluated interspecific differences in susceptibility to lightning damage using a unique dataset of systematically located lightning strikes on Barro Colorado Island, Panama. We measured differences in mortality among trees damaged by lightning and related those to damage frequency and tree functional traits. Eighteen of 30 focal species had lightning mortality rates that deviated from...
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