Earth system model (ESM) representations of tropical forests currently rely on very limited datasets and understanding of these highly diverse and dynamic ecosystems. NGEE-Tropics is prioritizing field observations that are most critical to improving parameterizations in existing models, such as FATES, developing robust new process representations, and evaluating model simulations. While Phase 1 focuses on synthesis of existing data and uncertainty assessments to prioritize new field efforts for Phase 2, Phase 1 also includes an initial set of field activities organized around known model needs in collaboration with key field science partners.
Field Pilot Studies
We have initiated three Integrated Field Pilot Studies that include data synthesis, model development and new observations. These studies address important tropical forest processes poorly represented in current ESMs and are testing methodologies for wider use in Phases 2 and 3.
- Puerto Rico Pilot Study on land use-nutrient cycling interaction
- Manaus, Brazil Pilot Study on hydrology-carbon interactions from trees to landscapes
- Panama Pilot Study on plant trait filtering along moisture gradients
Tree Mortality Baseline Study
To test new methods and establish a baseline for long-term observations of tree mortality, we are implementing a Tree Mortality Baseline Study across pantropical ForestGEO plots.
Pantropical Representative Analysis of Field Sites
To help us identify additional field sites that are representative of major tropical forests and suitable for further field work in Phases 2 and 3, we are also conducting a Pantropical Representativeness Analysis of tropical field sites.