Forest responses to environmental changes

How do forest canopies change with climate change?

Many researchers have investigated forest responses to climate in the past decades and delivered intriguing answers. We are now using a novel approach through the use of a Terrestrial Laser Scanner (TLS) to understand how trees shed their leaves and canopies change at very fine details. We obtained TLS measurements in transects of the well established "Biological Dynamics of Forest Fragments Project" in central Amazonia every 15 days from April to October 2019. Measurements near the forest edges and interior of fragments may reveal how trees shed and flush their leaves with seasonality and how fragmentation may interact with climate - two of the biggest drivers of global change in the tropics - and affect forest structure.

A 3D reconstruction of Amazonian forests from the TLS point cloud

Mountains also inhabits species with different life strategies due to the intrinsic climatic variation from bottom to top, with the upper parts reaching very low temperatures and the presence of clouds shaping species occurence. How do trees adapt to new altitudal-related climatic conditions? We also used TLS to investigate forest canopy traits and tree architecture along altitudinal-climatic gradients on different mountains in the Eastern Arc Mountains of Kenya (e.g. MountKenya, Taita Hills, Kasigau) and collated continuous microclimate measurements to investigate how forest canopies buffer the local climate at different altitudes.