Members of the German Research Consortium met two of their many obligations: They published another high-ranking, multi-author paper and summarized their research results in a booklet for knowledge transfer. The Coordinators also describe how the research stations will operate from now on and how research will continue in a new Research Unit after the official end of the present Research Consortium.
The Science News cover a plant-frugivore network analysis and progresses towards reliable and easy to measure indicators for biodiversity, climate change and land-use alternations in the tropical mountain rainforest, as well as pine-fungi relationships and carbon stocks in Pine plantations in the Paramo ecosystem.
DOI and Download: http://dx.doi.org/10.5678/lcrs/pak823-825.cit.1510
In the mountain rainforest, tree roots and the mycorrhiza fungi respond species-specifically to nutrient manipulations. Phosphate liberating soil enzymes depend on climatic conditions and thus on the altitudinal gradient. A study of the altitudinal gradient of tree assemblages disproved the general validity of the Tropical Conservatism Hypothesis. Using water use efficiency of the leaves and the total water consumption of the tree allows determination of its daily carbon uptake. Sodium availability could play an essential role in litter decomposition. In the dry forest different tree functional types can be recognized by quantification of their water relations.
How to create a soil map for remote or less accessible areas? The Transfer News present a sampling design for digital soil mapping that closes the gap between the statistical desired quality of samples and operational applicability. The high resolution climate indicator system can be used to recognize climate change in southern Ecuador. In a workshop on the National Bird Day researchers from the Platform shared their dedication to bird diversity and seed dispersal with students from Zamora Chinchipe. Two more workshops transferred knowledge about science-directed advances in ecosystem monitoring and about the rehabilitation of abandoned areas for production and protection. More than 50% of the visits of the Data Warehouse are from outside the Research Consortium and climate data are expectedly the champions of downloads. News from the ECSF research station, the infrastructure provider NCI as well as the successful completion of three PhD thesis by Ecuadorian students round off this issue.
After the coordinators’ updating of the state of research and introducing the new name of this publication, they summarize the important elements of the program for knowledge transfer to stakeholders. The local advisory board informs about a landslide which hit research grounds. Science papers in this issue
• compare tropical montane elevation transects in Ecuador and Peru
• analyze the relationship of decomposer communities and leaf litter types
• demonstrate how fertilization influences the amount of bio-available phosphorus
• reveal that nutrient availability stimulates mineralization of dissolved organic matter
• show that image textures can supersede functional biodiversity analysis
• provide insights into the transformation from abandoned sites to valuable pasture land.
A report presents the completed construction of the last radar of the RadarNet Sur that is situated on a mountain peak and is the highest operating weather radar worldwide. The Data Warehouse manager describes the results of a survey taken to increase data quality and usability. And two workshops transferred gained knowledge on how to perform terrain analyses with the geographical in¬formation system SAGA.
Scientists working in the tropical mountain rain forest of the San Francisco Valley report first results: They depict the impacts of nutrient additions on mycorrhiza as well as on the activity of phosphomonoesterases in the organic layer. Others describe the relationship between canopy evapotranspiration and leaf transpiration derived from a novel observational approach. First research results can also be presented from the other two ecosystems under investigation: leaf phenology and tree water use was analyzed in the dry forest at Laipuna whereas the effects of roads on the avifauna were studied in the Cajas Páramo. One group explains which trees and plots are now equipped with logging band dendrometers and another provides first results on the suitability of functional biodiversity indicators. The afforestation project “Nuevos Bosques para Ecuador” also gives a report and the Data Warehouse now has expanded to Ecuador. The Newsletter rounds off describing the successful approval of the dry forest area in the provinces Loja and El Oro as an UNESCO biosphere reserve where the application initiative was mainly pushed by the non-university partner NCI, supported by the DFG-PAK scientists. It should be stressed that all three DFG-PAK research sites now belong to three different UNESCO biosphere reserves.
The first MRp|SE Newsletter offers research and knowledge transfer results: The test of models for small scale plant distributions shows the advantages of ensemble approaches. This result as well as a new method to analyze canopy evapotranspriation and leaf photosynthesis were awarded with poster prizes. A medical technique helps to study wood anatomy. In contrast to previous data the analysis of fertilized phosphorus revealed that it is not only retained in above-ground biomass and the organic layer but also enters the mineral soil. Mean transit times of water in the catchment and transit time distribution functions where modeled and can be related to land use effects. The Newsletter also explains the usefulness of digital soil maps and the prerequisites for developing local climate indicators. The designs of research plots and new research infrastructures are introduced and the characteristics of the second radar in the Radar Net Sur are summarized. Four of the SENESCYT Bundle Projects describe their research objectives. New in the Data Warehouse are a tool for control of funds consumption and a new booking tool. NCI already awaits researchers at the new Laipuna station.
20 groups of scientists representing a multitude of scientific disciplines summarize major results of their research in this last issue of the TMF Newsletter: They report about science-directed and sustainable land-use systems and present protocols for optimization of sustainable forest and pasture management. Specific reactions of species and of the ecosystem tropical mountain forest (TMF) to increasing loads of nutrient input are shown. The researchers also summarize effects of altered precipitation and temperatures on nitrogen fluxes as well as on plant and animal diversity. They furthermore improved their hydrological models of water fluxes. Landscape parameters and forest dynamics were analyzed to improve landslide models. New animal species and mycorrhiza types are presented, mycorrhiza biomass were determined, and it was analyzed which mycorrhizae foster young trees. How environmental change influences climate and the ecosystem is demonstrated. The milestones achieved in the data warehouse are visualized. The researchers also offer new methods and introduce species to successfully monitor global change impacts.
The speakers give a glimpse on the complex on-site review procedure of the projects which constitute the German part of the new Platform for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Monitoring and Research in South Ecuador. They also report about the Status Symposium which enjoyed a numerous audience.
NCI reports about the application to the UNESCO for the first biosphere reserve in the Ecuadorian Western Cordillera comprising the entire ecological gradient from the Paramo to the Pacific.
The Science News present an investigation of the famers' preferences of land use options for the recultivation of abandoned agricultural areas. An analysis of nitrogen fixation shows why nutrient budgets should include the canopy.
The data manager and the webmaster analyze the usage of the RU's data warehouse.
The Newsletter no 17 presents a summary of five years of research (Speakers’ Corner) and provides insight in latest results of the nutrient addition experiments, the competition between bracken and pasture grass, mycorrhization, climate change research and recent modelings, the advances of the data warehouse and the Laser Scanning Mission as well as achievements in afforestation experiments (Science News). This issue also informs about recent progress of the foundation NCI, the status of the two transfer projects and the biodiversity results of the cooperating partner project.
The vast biodiversity of the tropical mountain forests once attracted German scientists to start the interdisciplinary research in the remote area of the Ecuadorian Rio San Francisco Valley. Now, after a total of 15 years of German-Ecuadorian research, they have unveiled features hitherto unknown regarding ecosystem constitution, functioning, and services. As they observed this unique ecosystem is locally threatened by non-sustainable land uses like pasture farming. Therefore they developed a science-directed sustainable land use portfolio based on their results and the resilience of the ecosystem against environmental changes. Their recommendations after five years of research in the scope of FOR816 include intensification, diversification, restoration and conservation, and to monitor the impacts of ongoing environmental change.
The new structure of the planned research platform is visualized. For the first time scientists report about the income of small farms as well as about their plant and land use which were analyzed by thorough interviews. Members of the Research Unit show how the forest responds to elevated nitrogen deposition and display nitrogen, nitrous oxide and nitric oxide fluxes. They also explain climate-growth-relationships in trees, and describe the factors which are affecting the spatial distribution of trees. The data warehouse manager introduces how to filter and aggregate tabular values. Our partner NCI reports about a mayor breakthrough in the conservation of people and biodiversity in Perú. EDIT partners analyzed the distribution of ants and partners from the UTPL introduce a study that will be conducted to sample geo-information in South Ecuador.
The special issue of the TMF-Newsletter summarizes past achievements of 14 years of ecosystem and biodiversity research in South Ecuador and outlines future plans for a joint German- Ecuadorian research program starting in 2013. It lists all steps and deadlines for projects on the planned “platform for biodiversity and ecosystem monitoring and research in South Ecuador”. This newsletter by Jörg Bendix and Erwin Beck calls for project proposals. esw
Two scientists are honored for research and one received a conservation award. The 14th Newsletter also reports about the progresses in the new research platform, the Status Symposium, and the inauguration of the first reforestation project. The rubric Science News offers insight into a new convective cloud development, the disconnection of soil microbial structure and function, the three seasons that occur around Loja, the driving factors of decomposition, and the biodiversity of flies and arachnids. New search features in the data warehouse are introduced and a map displays the dimension of the fire that destroyed reforestation areas near the research station.
Precipitation dynamics are summarized in the second habilitation elaborated in this Research Unit. The Newsletter also covers reports of recent progress concerning the planned book and publications as well as the new research platform. High ranking delegations visited the research station. Progress in the creation of a Bioshere Reserve around Cajas National Park is outlined. The Science News include the fate of epiphytes, forest dynamics and fertilization experiments, water flow patterns as well as biomarkers for carbon sequestration. Counterparts from the Technical University of Loja offer their few on the planned research platform.
A delegation of the Germany Science Foundation (DFG) visited our RU and met people and organizations to take the next steps towards the new Research Platform to monitor global change. News in the science section offer insights into fungi inventories, mycorrhiza communities and bracken compositions, long term climate measurements, pollen rain calibrations, and into the evolution of moths megadiversity, which took place much earlier than previously supposed. One partner from EDIT reports that for some ants habitat may be more important than food. Further topics are how FOR816 datasets should be cited, new members of the RU and an exhibition in which research results of the RU will be displayed in several places in Germany.
The tasks and challenges of the RU in 2011, a summary of the successes of the last year and the visit at a feasible new research site are among the topics. Others cover the fire that destroyed the reforestation plots, science news about precipitation and nutrient availability, effects of transformations from forests to pastures on soils as well as “canopy wetlands” as a novel source of methane. The web-based planning tool “MapViewer” is introduced. News about cooperating partners as well as new people and staff members round off the 11th issue of the TMF-Newsletter.
The tenth TMF Newsletter summarizes what’s new at the approaching Symposium of the Research Unit (RU). It describes how the research permits for the study area in Ecuador may be influenced by the upcoming CBD conference in Nagoya, Japan. NCI informs about a 1.5 Million fund for conservation and bioknowledge. One research group illuminates the competition between bracken fern and Setaria grass. Another group calculated the price which may be able to prevent further deforestation. And the warehouse managers explain how the RU’s database is interrelated with databases from other ecologists and the World Wide Web.
Five groups of the Research Unit (RU) report about their latest results: the transformation of nitrogen, mycorrhizas and reforestation, land use and erosion, modelling and remote sensing and mycorrhizas in seedling development. The ninth TMF Newsletter also summarizes news around the research station, new DFG-cooperation projects, and describes why the RU can be viewed as a model to update the Access and Benefit-Sharing (ABS) protocols of the Convention on Biological Biodiversity (CBD). New cooperation partners from the ABA ECUADOR initiative are about to start field work. And a project plan is introduced to overcome ecological and institutional barriers for restoration of biodiversity and forest utilization potentials.
The 8th TMF Newsletter informs about: Visiting DFG officials, the new structure
during the second phase of the Research Unit, NCI proposes a bioknowledge
program, new mycobiotns of orchids discovered, cooperation with scientists from
EDIT who explore ants, beetles and flies in the RBSF area and amongst others
data warehouse news as well as new people and staff members.
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In this issue 14 working groups from several scientific disciplines provide an insight into their latest research results uncovered in the diverse ecosystem of the tropical mountain rainforest. The Tumbesian dry forest is introduced and hints at success and moving of people from the Research Unit are given.
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