brings together researchers who maintain permanent sample plots
in African tropical forests. By compiling and comparing these
studies on a regional scale new information becomes available,
that may provide vital insights into the mechanisms underlying
the current responses of tropical ecosystems to climate and
the possible future of African forests under climate and other
environmental changes scenarios.
tropical forest ecology and biogeochemistry.
The aims of
AfriTRON are to investigate six areas of interest:
the carbon stocks of African tropical forest.
How much carbon do African tropical forest store?
the carbon balance of African tropical forest.
For example, have old-growth African tropical forests been increasing
in aboveground carbon storage? And if so by how much?
changes in biodiversity.
Given changes in the global environment which tree species are
the winners and which are the losers?
the linkages between biodiversity and forest function.
For example, as different species process and store different
amounts of carbon, how will biodiversity change impact on forest
functions such as carbon storage and productivity?
hypotheses and results from other areas of the tropics, notably
results from the RAINFOR network of plots across South America.
For example, are Amazonian and African forests showing concerted
changes in structure, function and biodiversity? Can we generalise
predictions of future forest change to the biome?
For example the relationships between productivity, diversity, mortality and biomass,
and their dependency on soil properties and climate.