ForestGEO (Forest Global Earth Observatory) is a global network of forest research sites and scientists dedicated to the study of tropical and temperate forest function and diversity. The multi-institutional network comprises over 75 forest research plots across the Americas, Africa, Asia, and Europe, with a strong focus on tropical regions. ForestGEO monitors the growth and survival of more than 6 million trees and 12,000 species. ForestGEO’s mission—advancing long-term research on the world’s forests—goes hand in hand with its capacity-building goals. The network recognizes that the future of forests depends on places where forests remain. In countries like Ecuador, Cameroon, Malaysia and other regions in the tropical belt, forests contain the majority of the planet’s terrestrial diversity. Tropical trees are disproportionally responsible for storing atmospheric carbon dioxide in their wood. Partnering with institutions in countries in the tropics is crucial for strengthening science capacity for the people who manage these forests in the era of climate change.
There is a unique diversity of forests in the network. The network works in everything from savannahs in Africa to Borneo’s great, giant forests, the redwoods of California, and the Atlantic coastal forests in Brazil. In many places, the forest research sites in the network are deliberately located so as to study increasingly rare, old-growth and native species. Most important, however, is that the network is an incredibly diverse mix of people, representing 28 countries, ranging from students and postdocs to senior researchers in a wide range of scientific fields. ForestGEO brings us together and creates opportunities, particularly for younger scientists, to learn new skills and gain access to a vast network of data and shared expertise.
ForestGEO provides a framework for long term forest research. Field protocols, data protocols including a data model, data entry software and a complete guide are all available from this site.
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Click here to contribute to ForestGEO!
Since 1981, ForestGEO has grown into a network of thousands of international scientists collaborating in the study of over 75 forests around the world, enabling comparisons across continents to understand how forest ecosystems function. Your gift supports our unprecedented ability for scientific training and global forest research to sustain the world’s forests.
ForestGEO requires that all sites are large-scale (>15 ha) and have alive/dead stems measured to >1cm dbh. ForestGEO requires a formal policy articulating about data access and sharing. All new sites have a clear access policy like that established, and linked from the website. Please send a short description of your site with the Principal Scientists associated to ForestGEO@si.edu.