Amazon Forest Inventory Network

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Venezuela

  • March - April 2004
Venezuela

Although delayed by events beyond our control, happily, RAINFOR was able to head north of the equator and visit a number of important forest sites in Venezuela. Through the efforts of Rafael Herrera to organise the logistics and permits, Jon Lloyd, Sandra Patino, Tim Baker, Michael Schwarz, Joonas Merikanto, Kuo Jung Chao, Luis Marcano Berti and Rafael headed in a series of small planes to San Carlos de Rio Negro to resample plots set up 30 years ago. Remarkably, despite the lack of original tree numbers, with excellent plot maps and the help of Pedro Maquirino it was possible to effectively relocate the vast majority of the original trees. A large range of forest types are associated with different edaphic conditions in this area, which are botanically very distinctive from other RAINFOR sites.
Sandra Patino, Rafael Herrera, Kuo-Jung Chao, Carlos Alberto Quesada and Joonas Merikanto later joined a group from Universidad de los Andes coordinated by Armando Torres to work on three of the long-term sites started by Prof. Veillon in Rio Grande and Km 95 and Km 98, El Dorado. Luis Marcano Berti, Hirma Ramirez Angulo, Pedro Salcedo, Luis Serrano, Rodrigo Barros and Emilio Vilanova also joined the group. The site in Rio Grande is a protected area in an extensive logging operation complex in a transitional dry-to rain forest area. Evidences of recurring fires were found as soil charcoal. The sites south of El Dorado were in the slopes close to a diabase outcrop in the lowlands just before climbing to the high plateau of the Canaima National Park.