This week saw the start of the second chapter of our multi-year plan to understand the variation of plant biotic attributes (traits) along various transects in the tropics. Last year saw CHAMBASA in Peru (Challenging Attempt to Measure Biotic Attributes Along the Slope of the Andes). The next few months are dominated by BACABA (Biotic Attributes at the Cerrado-Amazonia Boundary. Bacaba is the name of a characteristic local palm (Oenocarpus bacaba) and also the name of the area where much of this work is taking place. The focal area is around the small town on Nova Xavantina in Mato Grosso, Brazil.
The work is being implemented by the lab team of Drs Ben Hur and Bia Marimon, and on the international sites by Dr Imma Oliveras (Wageningen/Oxford).
The global activity is centrally supported by my award from the European Research Council, GEM-TRAITS.
Yadvinder Malhi is an ecosytem ecologist and Professor of Ecosystem Science at Oxford University