"It boils down to knowing the tree species, knowing how they differ from each other, and knowing where they are," said A Better Baseline director Douglas C. Daly, Ph.D., the B. A. Krukoff Curator of Amazonian Botany and Director of the Garden's Institute of Systematic Botany. "The accurate assessment of the region's biodiversity, including the correct identification of tree species, has profound implications for the fate of the forests, from sustainable management to estimates of the carbon that is locked in the treesor released as greenhouse gases by deforestation."
The Garden's Amazon Forest Program consists of four complementary initiatives, all with the goal of helping the Brazilian National Forest Service and other Brazilian partners implement sustainable forestry practices and improve the future conservation of plant biodiversity. As part of A Better Baseline, the Garden will:
Participate in Brazil's National Forest Inventory
Scientists at the Garden and in Brazil have documented that 50 to 70 percent of the tree species in forest inventories are currently misidentified and that the tree diversity in forest plots is severely underestimated. This can lead to local extinctions as rare species are mistakenly harvested.
As Brazil begins the national inventory of its Amazon forest in 2014, Garden scientists will assist in the planning and execution of the inventory's policies and practices, help train the field teams that will conduct the inventory, help coordinate the identification of the massive number of specimens that will be collected, and participate in quality-control teams to ensure the accuracy and validity of the data collected by the field teams.
Train Key Forest Workers in Tree Identification
The key player in forest management is the person who identifies the trees, called a mateiro in Brazil. The mateiro is expecte
|Contact: Stevenson Swanson|
The New York Botanical Garden