Environmental Monitoring Super Site

The Santa Rosa National Park, Environmental Monitoring Super Site (Guanacaste, Costa Rica) is a unique site in Latin America dedicated to understand the dynamics of secondary tropical dry forests at different spatial and temporal scales in the context of climate change.

Our long-term goals are:

(1) To study the links between ecological processes (e.g. forest succession) and remote sensing at different temporal and spatial scales; and
(2) To investigate how tropical dry forests may function under climate change conditions.

Short-term goals of our research program at the Santa Rosa Environmental Monitoring Super Site focus on three specific research areas:

(1) Characterization of the spectral reflectance of lianas and trees in the long-wave thermal infrared: We work on expanding our past work at the leaf level into the long-wave thermal infrared (TIR: 7.5µm to 12.5µm) to explore differences between lianas and trees and the mechanisms that control the reflectance in TIR;

(2) Quantifying Tropical Dry Forest response to climate change: This component of our work aims to determine if TDFs are nearing high temperature thresholds that would affect their CO2 uptake as well as their phenological response using key variables such as CO2/H2O fluxes and the Fraction of Photosynthetically Active Radiation (FPAR); and

(3) Quantifying the impact of lianas on TDFs’ structure: As lianas become more dominant in tropical environments, we work on examining — using ground LiDAR derived technologies — the impact that lianas have on TDFs’ structure across different levels of ecological succession.