Amazon Forest Inventory Network

Jungle Scene Jungle Scene Jungle Scene Jungle Scene Jungle Scene

Andes, Peru

  • June - July 2013
  • TropiTreeNiche project
equipo de campo 2012 (photo: Kyle Dexter)

A major objective of the NERC-funded grant on “Niche Evolution of South American Trees and its Consequences” (a.k.a. TropiTreeNiche) is to expand the RAINFOR plot network into seasonally dry tropical forests (SDTFs).

Following a scouting trip in March-April 2012, and four seperate trips throughout 2012-2013, we have now completed the installation of nine 0.5 ha plots (DBH ≥ 5 cm). These new plots are found  in four areas of SDTF along the eastern base of the Andes in Peru: the Marañon valley in far northern Peru (3 plots), Tarapoto in north central Peru (2 plots), Puerto Ocopa in central Peru (2 plots), and Quillabamba in southern Peru (2 plots). These areas of SDTF are isolated and disjunct from each other and from the principal blocks of SDTF in South America (e.g. the Caatinga of northeast Brazil and the Chiquitano of eastern Bolivia). The plots will help to address fundamental ecological and evolutionary questions related to tropical plant niche evolution and community assembly, e.g. are the species found in these isolated SDTF patches coming from surrounding rain forest or from distant SDTFs via long distance dispersal and if the former, how are the species adapting to this stressful environment? In addition, the plots will allow for long-term monitoring of this key tropical biome in the face of global change. The RAINFOR plot network has typically focussed on rainforest vegetation. However, inclusion of adjacent biomes will allow us to gain a better understanding of the likelihood of different transitions that may occur with environmental change – and the implications that such transitions may have for the forest structure, function and diversity. Further information can be found on the TropiTreeNiche project  website. 

Scouting trip field team photo: in Tarapoto, from left to right: Aniceto Daza, Reynaldo Linares-Palomino, Toby Pennington, Kyle Dexter, and Jose Luis Marcelo Peña. Isau Huamantupa, not pictured, was also a key member of the team that installed the plots.

Text: Kyle Dexter

equipo de campo, TropiTreeNich, Maranon Valley, Peru (photo: Kyle Dexter 2012) Isau Huamantupta Isau la recogida de un esp├ęcimen de Vochysia (photo: Kyle Dexter)