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27 November 2013 12:59 pm ,
Vol. 342 ,
Science has exposed a thriving academic black market in China involving shady agencies, corrupt scientists, and...
Paper-selling agencies flourish in the aura of reputable businesses. For some scientists, it may be difficult to tell...
The new head of the National Center for Science Education promises to "fight the good fight" against attacks on...
Analyses of the H7N9 strains isolated from four new cases show that the virus is evolving rapidly, heightening anxiety...
In 2009, Jack Szostak shared a Nobel Prize for his part in discovering the role of telomeres, the end bits of...
Featuring the first lunar rover in 40 years, Chang'e-3 is seen as an important milestone on China's quest to send a...
Data collected by satellites and floating probes have chronicled a 2-decade rise in the temperature and thickness of a...
Cholesterol, the artery-clogging molecule that contributes to cardiovascular disease, has another nasty trick up its...
- 27 November 2013 12:59 pm , Vol. 342 , #6162
- About Us
Taking Stock of Trees
12 February 2007 (All day)
A research center devoted to long-term studies of rainforests received an $8 million grant today to expand its studies on climate change and biodiversity and to include temperate forests in its analyses. HSBC, an international banking and financial services company based in London, provided this 5-year grant to the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI) in Panama, which has studied Panamanian forests for almost a century. The largest corporate donation ever to STRI, the grant comes on the heels of $3 million raised last year for an endowment for forest research and a $5 million grant with Yale University to put forest science into the hands of policy makers.
Over the 25 years, STRI's Center for Tropical Forest Science has expanded beyond Panama's borders and now oversees a 5-year standardized census across a network of 20 study plots in 15 countries. As part of the HSBC grant, a subset of the 3 million trees--7500 species--in these plots will be measured annually to provide a finer-scale picture of variability in the growth of these forests. At the same time, researchers will collect and weigh leaf litter and measure soil carbon content at various depths to learn how increased atmospheric carbon dioxide is affecting the carbon cycle in rainforests.
In addition, the center's scientists will set up a large-scale watershed experiment in Panama in which they will look at what happens to water as it enters and exits forests, plantations, and grasslands. "We want to work out what role the forests play," in the water cycle, says ecologist Stuart Davies, director of the center. Finally, the grant will enable the center to help set up temperate forest plots in the United States and China to learn how temperate and tropical forests differ in their responses to climate change. The goal, says Davies, is to focus on "important scientific questions that single site [studies] can't address."