The Site

With its northern boundary located 50 km south of Santarém, Pará, Brazil, the Tapajós National Forest covers approximately 600,000 ha between the Rio Tapajós and the Santarém-Cuiabá Highway (BR-163). Established in 1974, the Tapajós National Forest is part of the Brazilian National Forest System, managed by the Instituto Brasileiro do Meio Ambiente e dos Recursos Naturais Renováveis (IBAMA).  Topographically, the forest can be divided into "flanco", westward draining, highly dissected terrain along the Tapajos river and the "planalto", or uplands, which drain to the east. 

View Map of Forest Types
View satellite image

Source: Parrotta, J. A., Francis, J. K., and R. Rolo de Almeida. 1995.
Trees of the Tapajos: A photographic field guide.
USDA Forest Service.  General Technical Report IITF 1


Characterized by large canopy emergent trees (to 50m tall), "terra firme" forests cover much of the planalto areas. Common emergent species include Couratari spp., Tabebuia spp., Manilkara huberi, Hymenaea courbaril, and Tachigalia spp.  In a typical view from below, the trunks of emergent trees are interspersed with smaller trunks of sub-canopy or canopy trees and saplings.  Rainfall in the Tapajós National Forest reaches over 2 meters annually. 


In the primary forest at km 67 along the Santarém-Cuiabá Highway, we selected a site for measurements of net ecosystem exchange (NEE) using eddy correlation methods. Fluxes of momentum, CO2, H2O, sensible heat, net radiation, and PAR, atmospheric and soil profiles of temperature, CO2 and H2O, and wind profiles are measured continuously using automated instruments on a 65 meter radio tower.  See the Eddy Flux measurements page for more information on methods. 

View diagrammatic map
of tower location.

Before:  After:
Constructed in 2000, the 65m radio tower is located deep in the forest 1 km from the nearest access road.  Instruments were installed in April 2001.
In the pre-construction image,  the pink flagging on the stake  marks the tower location.  Note the same decayed log in  the post-tower construction image.

Forest and Atmospheric Measurements
Atmospheric Sciences
Harvard University

Updated 1 March 2001