Periodic Reporting for period 1 - E FUNDIA (Ecosystem function and Diversity in Amazonia)
Reporting period: 2018-08-01 to 2020-07-31
The specific objectives of the project are:
1: Map the spatial distribution of >50 common tree species at landscape and regional scales in lowland Amazonia.
2: Determine the extent to which taxonomic diversity drives functional diversity across environmental gradients in lowland Amazonia.
3: Quantify the role of hyperdominant taxa in driving patterns of functional diversity across environmental gradients in lowland Amazonia.
Extensive fieldwork was undertaken to geolocate 50 individuals for 20 common tree species at two locations in Amazonian Peru. Initial analysis of these data showed that 2 meter resolution is likely insufficient for isolating most hyperdominant tree crowns for species mapping proposes in Amazonian forests.
UAV imagery with 2 cm spatial resolution was also collected for 100 ha of forests at each of the two field sites in lowland Amazonia. Initial analysis show that this data can be used to develop landscape scale species maps of some hyperdominant tree species, including valuable fruit producing palm species.
An alternative approach for examining the distribution of hyperdominant tree species was developed by establishing a new network of forest inventory plots across Amazonia that uniquely examined patterns of hyperdominance across Amazonian forests strata. Results from these analyses demonstrate that different tree species are dominant in different forest strata, and these dominance patterns vary among Amazonian regions. Furthermore, hyperdominant species in the understory of Amazonian forests consist of a range of species that belong to different Amazonian lineages, while those species that dominate the forest canopy are concentrated in a few key lineages.
Tree functional trait data has been assembled to characterise the key functional distributions across environmental gradients in lowland Amazonia. Additional floristic data has been assembled to quantify taxonomic diversity across the same environmental gradients. These data are currently being examined to test the extent to which taxonomic diversity drives functional diversity in lowland Amazonia.
Airborne imaging spectroscopy data has been assembled across sites in lowland Amazonia and across the global tropics more broadly. An unsupervised method for estimating taxonomic diversity from this imaging spectrscopy data has been developed and is being deployed across sites.
Functional trait data for hyperdominant tree species have been assembled. The functional trait space occupied by these hyperdominant tree species is being quantified and compared to that of entire tree communities in order to assess the role of hyperdominant tree species in driving patterns of functional tree diversity.