NCEAS Project 5240

A collaborative research effort in climate change and biodiversity for the Tropical Andes (Hosted by NCEAS)

  • Lee Hannah
  • Jason Bradford

ActivityDatesFurther Information
Meeting8th—10th January 2002Participant List  

Abstract
Despite the biodiversity importance of the Andes, our actual understanding of biodiversity patterns and potential impacts of climate and atmospheric changes is hampered by poor coordination among research groups, both within and among disciplines. For example, researchers studying forest composition and dynamics using permanent plots are not all linked to a common database framework although most use similar methods. Climatologists working in Brazil and elsewhere to model Andean climate change are not coordinating their studies with on-ground monitoring efforts. In some cases palaeobotanists and vegetation ecologists are coordinating study sites, but this is not universal. Remote sensing is used extensively by some groups but not others. Taxonomic databases are not linked to plot data, making it expensive and difficult to update determinations and hampering efforts to perform large-scale analyses due to poor understanding of data quality among groups. A major set of institutions and research groups operating in the Andes has decided to explore coordination of their activities to overcome organizational obstacles and agree upon questions and strategies to address in a coordinated research effort. The hope is that such a process will lead not only to better analyses of existing data, but also enable a targeted intensification of research in places that are changing very quickly. We are proposing an initial organizational meeting at NCEAS January 8-10, 2002. Our product will be a model for discussion of a research blueprint that can be readily implemented by collaborative teams working in other areas of the Andes, and a plan of follow-up action to implement the blueprint for interested collaborators.