Welcome!

TRACE is an in-situ field warming experiment located in the eastern part of Puerto Rico, in the Luquillo Experimental Forest. Our main goal is to study the effects of climate change on tropical forests, particularly effects on carbon and nutrient cycling.  


The warming experiment officially started on September 28, 2016 with a full year 4o C warming above ambient temperatures, which was interrupted due to the passing of Hurricanes Irma and Maria in September 2017. Warming was reestablished September 2018 after a year of reconstruction and adaptation.  


We have now adapted the experiment to be one of its kind in the study of warmer temperatures effects on tropical forests in combination with hurricane disturbance.  

One of the TRACE warming plots in the Luquillo Experimental Forest, PR. Nov 2018

One of the TRACE warming plots in the Luquillo Experimental Forest, PR. Nov 2018.

Photo by Maxwell Farrington. 

What's new?

20 Jul 2020

New Publication / Nueva Publicacón

Tropical understory herbaceous community responds more strongly to hurricane disturbance than to experimental warming. 

By Deborah K. Kennard, David Matlaga, Joanne Sharpe, Clay King, Aura M. Alonso‐Rodríguez, Sasha C. Reed, Molly A. Cavaleri, Tana E. Wood

05 May 2020

TRACE is looking for a Project Manager, to manage the day-to-day research activities, work with the Principal Investigators for the project, collect data both in the laboratory and in the field, manage a site with high voltage electricity and a canopy access tower, coordinate with students, collaborators, and the USDA Forest Service International Institute of Tropical Forestry (IITF).

TRACE busca un Gerente de Proyecto, para manejar las actividades de investigación diarias, trabajar con las Investigadoras principales para el proyecto, colectar datos en el laboratorio y el campo, manejar un sitio de estudio con electricidad de alto voltaje y una torre de acceso al dosel, coordinar con estudiantes, colaboradores y el International Institute of Tropical Forestry del Servicio Forestal del USDA

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About the project

Tropical forests take in and store more carbon dioxide than any other biome around the world, but climate change may pose a threat to this invaluable service. Scientists from various governmental agencies and universities are working together to measure the potential impacts of climate change- particularly temperature increase- on soil structure, carbon cycling, and plant physiology. The TRACE experiment consists of using infrared heat to warm the soil and plants of the understory, as well as individual leaves and branches in the forest canopy. 

On this website, you can learn about our project and join us in our efforts to better understand how tropical rainforests will behave in a warmer future. This experiment will help improve conservation strategies for these irreplaceable ecosystems and all the biodiversity and natural resources they sustain.

Dr. Tana Wood talks about TRACE with
UPR Diálogo Digital

Support for this research is provided by: 

  • @forestwarming
  • Twitter

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