The distribution of rainfall and vegetation are closely interconnected in the Amazon region. On the one hand, rainforests maintain atmospheric humidity by evapotranspiration, which contributes to regional rainfall. On the other hand, high rainfall maintains resilience of rainforests.
Under the supervision of Prof. Anja Rammig, I developed a novel methodological framework based on complex networks to quantify cascading eﬀects in the Amazonian forest-rainfall system.
We first showed the importance of cascading moisture recycling, which describes atmospheric moisture transport involving re-evaporation cycles along the way.
Climate change, in particular increasing dry season, could disturb these vegetation-rainfall interactions. We showed that this would amplify the drought, and threaten the Amazon forest even more.
Similarly, continued deforestation will alter the climate and reduce the ecological integrity of the entire Amazon forest.
But there is hope ! By mapping which areas contributes most to the stability of the Amazon system, we can put priority in protecting these areas that would keep the forest-rainfall feedback loops alive.
See here the publications.