The Tropical Responses to Altered Climate Experiment has started the experimental treatments!
Project manager Aura Alonso cleans the heaters from debris prior to starting the experiment.
We have successfully begun warming our 12m2 experimental plots to 4 degrees Celsius higher than ambient temperature. This was possible after many years of hard collaborative work, dedication and perseverance amidst a variety of unexpected challenges, such as: the most severe drought in more than twenty years, endless technical problems ranging from short circuits to humidity and insects invading the inside of our electrical equipment, difficult scientific decisions related to working inside such small plots, as well as budget and labor limitations.
Sending the Start-up program to the heaters!
This is the first experiment of this kind in any tropical forest. The long term experimental warming of the understory of a tropical rainforest will allow scientists to better predict how tropical forests will respond to increases in global temperatures due to climate change. We will be monitoring numerous effects on understory plants, soil, roots, microbes and nutrient cycling.
4degC difference between control and warmed plots is achieved!
The Start-Up story was covered by The Guardian newspaper. Stay tuned for more news as this amazing project continues!