Last week, following the excellent ATBC (Association for Tropical Biology and Conservation) meeting in Montpellier, we organised a workshop on our traits campaigns in the Spanish Pyrenees. We stayed in dorms in a wonderful little hostel (La Farga) tucked away in a lush forested valley with a gushing river, descending down a magnificent waterfall-lined gorge etched into magnificent mountains.
The aim of this workshop was to bring together the results from the various field campaigns across the tropics that I have some involvement in, where we are measuring both plant traits and carbon cycling. This ranges from elevation gradients in the Andes and Australia, through forest-savanna gradients in Ghana and Brazil, and disturbance gradients in human-modified tropical forests in Borneo and the Amazon and Atlantic rainforests of Brazil. The workshop was the first time these various projects had been brought together, and was a chance to both share results and brainstorm grand syntheses and analyses for the coming two years.
The workshop was funded by my European Research Council funded project GEM-TRAIT. Like many British scientists, I have benefited both financially in terms of close collaboration by being part of the European Union, and it bis tragic to see world-class science cast into such uncertainty by the self-inflicted wounds of Brexit.
Yadvinder Malhi is an ecosytem ecologist and Professor of Ecosystem Science at Oxford University