Amazon forests store and cycle globally significant amounts of atmospheric CO2. Dense, closed canopy Amazon forests are structurally complex—one of the hallmark characteristics of biodiverse tropical forests. Forest structure contributes to diurnal and seasonal changes in shadowing and illumination of Amazon forest canopies. However, ecosystem models rarely consider the influence of forest structure on photosynthetic activity at the leaf scale. In this talk, I will highlight several forthcoming studies that use airborne lidar data to characterize the role of Amazon forest structure on light utilization, forest dynamics, and productivity. This research combines field and lidar data in radiative transfer and ecosystem models to explore seasonal and interannual dynamics of Amazon forest productivity.