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 4 degrees 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?

30 Sep 2020

New Publication / Nueva Publicación

Photosynthetic and Respiratory Acclimation of Understory Shrubs in Response to in situ Experimental Warming of a Wet Tropical Forest


By Kelsey R. Carter, Tana E. Wood, Sasha C. Reed, Elsa C. Schwartz, Madeline B. Reinsel, Xi Yang and Molly A. Cavaleri

20 Jul 2020

Isabel Loza Rivera TRACE New Project Manager / Nueva Gerente

TRACE has a new member who has joined the team this month. Isabel has a Ph.D. in Ecology, Evolution and Systematics from the University of Missouri-St. Louis where she studied tropical plant diversity and distribution.  Welcome Isabel!

TRACE tiene una nueva integrante que se ha unido al equipo este mes. Isabel tiene un Doctorado en Ecología, Evolución y Sistemática de la Universidad de Missouri-St. Louis dónde estudió la diversidad y distribución de plantas tropicales. Bienvenida Isabel! 

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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
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