Tropi-Dry is a collaborative research network sponsored by the Inter-American Institute for Global Change Research (IAI). Tropi-Dry’s goal is to bring together researchers in conservation biology, ecology, remote sensing and Geographic Information Systems (GIS), and environmental conservation policy analysis who are interested in tropical dry forests in Latin America.
Tropi-Dry’s research focuses on three main areas: Ecology, Remote Sensing and GIS, and Evaluation of conservation policies. Our network collaborates with local, national, and international policy-making organizations with the goal of providing information to enhance the decision-making surrounding the conservation of this fragile environment. Tropi-Dry currently includes researchers and institutions from Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Costa Rica, Germany, Mexico, Peru, the United Kingdom, and the United States of America.
We focus our research on developing a common multi-disciplinary approach with the goal of supporting local, national, and international policy-making organizations.
We conduct our research in the nexus between Natural and Social Sciences. Specifically:
From the natural sciences perspective, Tropi-Dry has developed a comprehensive and standardized protocol for studying and comparing tropical dry forest successional stages using both ecological and remote sensing approaches. These approaches are increasingly important to characterize the secondary successional stages, which are likely to be the most frequent stage of this ecosystem’s development in the future decades. This protocol has already been widely implemented in Brazil, Costa Rica, Cuba, Colombia, and Venezuela.
Tropi-Dry’s current efforts focus on understanding changes on ecosystem structure and composition along a successional gradient. We are interested in conducting research on 1) Liana dynamics, 2) Liana infestation, and 3) Tree mortality as a result of extreme events (e.g. droughts and hurricanes).
Tropi-Dry’s remote sensing and GIS research currently focuses on four main areas: 1) Use of advanced spatio-temporal modelling techniques to understand land use/cover change dynamics in tropical dry forest regions, 2) Use of multi-temporal remote sensing databases, advanced analytics and wireless sensor networks to understand phenological responses (e.g. LAI, FPAR) to climate change, climate variability, and disturbances, 3) Use of drone based information to map tree mortality, liana infestation, and successional stages, and 4) Linkages between remote sensing and H20/CO2 fluxes using Eddy Covariance techniques at the Santa Rosa National Park Environmental Monitoring Super Site, Guanacaste, Costa Rica.
Our efforts in this important component are aimed at understanding the effectiveness of conservation and sustainable management practices on tropical dry forests. We focus our work on the use of advanced econometric approaches to both estimate conservation costs and understand the effectiveness of conservation policies on this fragile ecosystem across the Americas.