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Highlight IDTitleStrategic Program Area(s)YearStation
Photo of Trimmed and intact plots in El Yunque National Forest. Forest Service
ID: 196
A Canopy Trimming Experiment in Puerto Rico: the response of litter invertebrate communities to canopy loss and debris deposition in a tropical forest subject to hurricanes

Insects and other invertebrates in leaf litter are important components in decomposition, nutrient cycling, and food webs. As part of larger stu ...

Principal Investigator : Grizelle Gonzalez

Water, Air, and Soil
Inventory and Monitoring
2010IITF
Photo of Students measuring vegetation structure in urban socio-ecosystem. Forest Service
ID: 324
A socioecological network for a tropical city

Traditional urban research involves tree inventories, census activities, water quality sampling, or socioeconomic studies, all conducted by sepa ...

Principal Investigator : Ariel Lugo

Water, Air, and Soil
Invasive Species
Resource Management and Use
Wildlife and Fish
Inventory and Monitoring
2011IITF
Photo of Avian survey in agricultural mosaic, northern Nicaragua. Gerald P. Bauer, USDA Forest Service
ID: 595
Agroscapes Combined with Preserved Forest Remnants Promote Biodiversity at Local and Landscape Levels

Agroecological practices and resultant agroscapes, coupled with the preservation of forest remnants, have a positive impact on local biodiversit ...

Principal Investigator : Wayne J. Arendt, PhD

Wildlife and Fish2014IITF
Photo of Block and plot structure in El Verde research area.  Inferred area covered by each block is 40,000 m2 and the complete study area covers around 106 m2.  Forest Service
ID: 16
Assessing Litterfall Trap Bias

Are traps preferentially representing certain kinds of leaf litter

Principal Investigator : Grizelle Gonzalez

Resource Management and Use
Water, Air, and Soil
Inventory and Monitoring
2012IITF
Photo of Nicaraguan reporter and IITF cooperator, Adelayde Rivas Sotelo, filming the biodiversity project. Forest Service
ID: 17
Avian Diversity in the Agroscapes of Nicaragua's Northern Highlands

Creating biological corridors to sustain biodiversity, while increasing revenue for local farmers

Principal Investigator : Wayne J. Arendt, PhD

Wildlife and Fish
Inventory and Monitoring
2012IITF
Photo of View of the Bisley Experimental Watersheds, Luquillo Experimental Forest, Puerto Rico with Cecropia schreberiana (yagrumo) in the valleys and Dacryodes excelsa (tabonuco) in the ridges. Forest Service
ID: 195
Changes in Structure, Composition, and Nutrients During 15 years of Hurricane-Induced Succession in a Subtropical Wet Forest in Puerto Rico

Quantifying the impacts and recovery of forest resources to hurricanes and multiple disturbances is essential to managing forests in hurricane-p ...

Principal Investigator : Tamara Heartsill Scalley

Resource Management and Use
Inventory and Monitoring
2010IITF
Photo of Arctic average temperatures have risen at almost twice the rate of the rest of the world over the past few decades. Herbaceous dicots, sedges and grasses, and shrubs have been increasing while the cover of both Sphagnum and other mosses have been decreasing over the last two decades. Forest Service
ID: 184
Climate and vegetation change in Alaskan tundra.

Studies of tundra vegetation changes in recent decades have predicted an increase in the relative abundance of shrubs in response to climate war ...

Principal Investigator : William A. Gould

Inventory and Monitoring
Resource Management and Use
2010IITF
Photo of Macrobrachium shrimp species are important to processing leaf detritus in Caribbean streams, but dams keep them from accessing headwaters. Forest Service
ID: 181
Dams slow decomposition of leaf detritus by eliminating shrimp.

Forest Service sponsored research with the University of Georgia found that the absence of shrimp causes drastic changes to stream ecosystems.

Principal Investigator : International Institute of Tropical Forestry

Water, Air, and Soil
Wildlife and Fish
2010IITF
Photo of Book cover
ID: 458
Ecological Gradient Analyses in Tropical Ecosystems

Forest Service scientists recently published a book that contains a comprehensive analysis of ecological gradients in the Luquillo Mountains of ...

Principal Investigator : Grizelle Gonzalez

Inventory and Monitoring
Water, Air, and Soil
Resource Management and Use
2013IITF
Photo of Andrena perplexa. This genus of bees tends to be solitary, nest in the ground, and was found in 6 Experimental Forest sites in the western half of the US. Graham Snodgrass for Sam Droege of USGS
ID: 323
Experimental Forest Network Hosts Nationwide Bee Monitoring Project

There is a widespread perception that populations of pollinating insects in North America are in decline.

Principal Investigator : International Institute of Tropical Forestry

Wildlife and Fish2011IITF
Photo of Shifting agriculture and forest fragmentation in Nicaragua demonstrate some of the complex challenges addressed by the international forest governance regime. Forest Service
ID: 313
Finding Synergistic Approaches for Complex Forest Issues through Global Forest Governance

Despite significant efforts to develop governmental and nongovernmental institutions to address the world's forest problems, there is a sense th ...

Principal Investigator : Kathleen McGinley

Resource Management and Use2011IITF
Photo of Reviewing Compliance of Harvest Plans in the Consorcio Forestal Amazonico, Ucayali, Peru. Forest Service
ID: 18
Forest Regulations are Rigorous throughout much of the Americas, but Implementation Remains a Challenge in Latin America

On paper, Latin America is often stricter on forestry than many States in the United States, but lack of enforcement and compliance continue to ...

Principal Investigator : Kathleen McGinley

Resource Management and Use2012IITF
Photo of The arctic field ecology youth-elder-science camp observing microscopic soil invertebrates. Forest Service
ID: 325
Integrating Research, Education, and Traditional Knowledge in Ecology

Integrating research and education is a fundamental goal of research institutions and agencies but specific approaches not widely published in e ...

Principal Investigator : William A. Gould

Resource Management and Use
Water, Air, and Soil
Inventory and Monitoring
2011IITF
Photo of Tropical Montane Cloud forest from the Luquillo Experimental Forest, Puerto Rico. van Vicens, Forest Service
ID: 310
Managing Tropical Montane Cloud Forests

Over the course of a decade, USFS researchers have collaborated with international researchers to complete research needed to better manage and ...

Principal Investigator : International Institute of Tropical Forestry

Water, Air, and Soil
Resource Management and Use
2011IITF
Photo of Forest disturbance type, age and vertical structure were mapped for the first time with widely available satellite imagery, substituting an image time series for vertical forest canopy space. Forest Service
ID: 194
Mapping avian habitat characteristics using cloud-cleared satellite image mosaics

Forest age, vertical structure, disturbance For studies of wintering habitat for the endangered Kirtland's Warbler, scientists from the Forest S ...

Principal Investigator : Eileen H. Helmer

Inventory and Monitoring
Wildlife and Fish
2010IITF
Photo of LiDAR-based distribution maps (Moscow Mountain, northern Idaho) for different snag diameter classes (top) and understory shrubs (bottom).  Twenty meter pixel presence/absence products are to the left, and 1- ha density maps are to the right. The presence/absence maps include, between parentheses, the proportional cover of the two classes (i.e. present vs. absent). Forest Service
ID: 182
Mapping snags and understory shrubs with LiDAR to assess wildlife habitat suitability.

Forest Service scientists evaluated the use of LiDAR data for mapping the presence/absence of understory shrub species and different snag diamet ...

Principal Investigator : William A. Gould

Wildlife and Fish
Inventory and Monitoring
2010IITF
Photo of IITF scientists and collaborators mapped 40 forest types plus urban and agricultural areas for Trinidad and Tobago in the first country-wide map of tropical forest tree communities and land cover.  Eileen H. Helmer, Forest Service
ID: 21
New Study Leads the Way to Detailed Mapping of Tropical Rain Forest Types

Tropical tree communities mapped for Trinidad and Tobago with satellite imagery

Principal Investigator : Eileen H. Helmer

Wildlife and Fish
Inventory and Monitoring
2012IITF
Photo of Soil sample. Thomas J. Brandein, Forest Service
ID: 593
Nitrogen and Phosphorus Content in Forest Floor Litter is Elevated in a Tropical Landscape Recovering from Deforestation

Fallen leaf chemistry provides a window into the various and often complex factors affecting the availability of nutrients to trees. Both nitrog ...

Principal Investigator : Eileen H. Helmer

Inventory and Monitoring2014IITF
Photo of African tulip trees, on kartz topography, showing more abundant bryophyte cover at the bases of their tree trunks. Frank  Su?rez, Biology Department, Mayagez Campus, University of Puerto Rico
ID: 311
Novel secondary forests provide valuable habitat for non-vascular plants

The value of secondary forests dominated by introduced species has been the subject of much debate. Forest Service sponsored research in Puerto ...

Principal Investigator : International Institute of Tropical Forestry

Invasive Species2011IITF
Photo of Image of the mapping tool as viewed online through the San Juan ULTRA website http://sanjuanultra.org/.  Tischa Munoz, USDA Forest Service
ID: 459
Online Mapping Tool Helps Identify Green Areas for Sustainability Planning in San Juan

The tool also allows multiple stakeholders in the city to deliberate and model multiple scenarios for green connectivity and their utility in ad ...

Principal Investigator : Tischa A. Munoz-Erickson

Inventory and Monitoring
Resource Management and Use
Water, Air, and Soil
2013IITF
Photo of Large trees occupy a drainage inside Eco-park. Yiscel Y�ng?ez, Panama
ID: 192
Panama Eco-park: a Protected Urban Forest

A consortium of Panamanian natural resource management agencies have been developing Eco-Park to increase eco-tourism. Forest Service scientists ...

Principal Investigator : Peter Weaver

Outdoor Recreation2010IITF
Photo of IITF Wildlife Researcher demonstrating banding techniques for wren photographic key. Forest Service
ID: 29
Photographic Key Determines Age and Gender in Two Thryothorus Wrens From Nicaragua's Pacific Slope

A visual and metric aid to determining age and gender in tropical wrens

Principal Investigator : Wayne J. Arendt, PhD

Wildlife and Fish
Inventory and Monitoring
2012IITF
Photo of A flush of new growth on an ultra-fast growing mahogany sapling. Forest Service
ID: 180
Population Dynamics of Big-leaf Mahogany in the Brazilian Amazon

The Mahogany Project seeks to understand what makes big-leaf mahogany 'tick' in southeast Amazonia by monitoring vital rates for all stages of i ...

Principal Investigator : International Institute of Tropical Forestry

Resource Management and Use2010IITF
Photo of Extent of light pollution in the island of Puerto Rico, Vieques and Culebra, 1992-93 to 2000. Global data source accessible from NOAA NGDC Earth Observation Group (EOG) Defense Meteorological Satellite Program. Forest Service
ID: 193
Preserving the nighttime environment for future generations in Puerto Rico

Currently, Forest Service scientists are helping to monitor the state and extent of artificial light pollution in Puerto Rico. Scientists are cu ...

Principal Investigator : Olga Ramos

Outdoor Recreation
Resource Management and Use
2010IITF
Photo of A new map product in the recently inaugurated FS Research & Development Research Map Series (RMAP) summarizes the relative amounts of federal, local, and nongovernmental ownership and management, and degree to which biodiversity conservation is a priority. Forest Service
ID: 183
Protected areas of Puerto Rico: Terrestrial and aquatic biodiversity protection.

Forest Service scientists have mapped public and private lands designated for special protection in Puerto Rico. We identified 115 terrestrial a ...

Principal Investigator : William A. Gould

Wildlife and Fish
Resource Management and Use
2010IITF
Photo of Natural producers of Kirtlands Warbler winter habitat were likely hurricanes and fire; now human disturbance such as bulldozing, goat grazing, mowing or brush-hogging create winter habitat for the warbler.  The range of successional stages following disturbance are shown in the lower photos. Forest Service
ID: 210
Protecting the Endangered Kirtland's Warbler and Developing Conservation Capacity in The Bahamas

The Kirtland's Warbler, one of North America's most endangered migrant songbirds, has been the focus of intensive federal and state conservation ...

Principal Investigator : International Institute of Tropical Forestry

Wildlife and Fish2010IITF
Photo of Fire weather zones for Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. William Gould, USDA Forest Service
ID: 456
Scientist Develops Fire Danger Rating System and Fire Weather Zones for Puerto Rico and U.S. Virgin Islands

New Fire Weather Zones and a Fire Danger Rating System Developed for Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Principal Investigator : William A. Gould

Wildland Fire and Fuels2013IITF
Photo of Forest floor litter and duff measurements for eight forest types along elevation gradient in northeastern Puerto Rico. Asterisks indicate significant difference between litter and duff biomass within forest type. Grizelle Gonz�lez, USDA Forest Service
ID: 457
Scientists Characterize Woody Debris to Assess Fuel Loads in Northeastern Puerto Rico

Forest Service scientists characterized the amounts of woody debris (coarse woody debris, fine woody debris, duff, and litter) for eight differe ...

Principal Investigator : Grizelle Gonzalez

Inventory and Monitoring
Water, Air, and Soil
Wildland Fire and Fuels
2013IITF
Photo of Occurrence records for Centropomus parallelus in streams and estuaries of Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands. Benjamin Crain, USDA Forest Service
ID: 455
Scientists Complete New Database for Modeling and Mapping Species Distributions

Forest Service scientists completed two large project reports: The U.S. Virgin Islands Terrestrial Gap Analysis Project delivered to the USGS Na ...

Principal Investigator : William A. Gould

Wildlife and Fish2013IITF
Photo of Red bulletwood (Manilkara bidentata) leaf in a stream flow contributing to seasonally varying tropical stream exports that are resources for aquatic fauna. Forest Service
ID: 30
Seasonality and Forest Succession in Tropical Watersheds Affects Stream Export

Continuous export of organic matter from mountain streams depends on forested headwaters contributing leaf litter of varied quantity and quality ...

Principal Investigator : Tamara Heartsill Scalley

Resource Management and Use
Water, Air, and Soil
2012IITF
Photo of There have been overall population declines in resident and migratory birds in the Gu�nica Biosphere Reserve in Puerto Rico. USDA Forest Service
ID: 454
Steep Decline of a Winter Resident Bird Community in Puerto Rico Needs Swift Action

The migratory bird community inhabiting one of the Caribbean's most unadulterated and extensive remaining dry forests, the Gu�nica Biosphere R ...

Principal Investigator : Wayne J. Arendt, PhD

Wildlife and Fish2013IITF
Photo of Screen shot from the Big Leaf Mahogany Growth and Yield Model found at  <a href=http://www.swietking.org target=_new>www.swietking.org</a>
ID: 312
Sustainable Management of Big-leaf Mahogany in the Brazilian Amazon

Big-leaf mahogany is by far the most valuable timber species in seasonally dry forests across the southern rim of the Amazon Basin, but much of ...

Principal Investigator : International Institute of Tropical Forestry

Resource Management and Use2011IITF
Photo of A view of a multiple tree mortality event in the Tapajos National Forest near Santarem, in the Brazilian Amazon. Fernando Espirito-Santo, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory
ID: 594
The Carbon Balance of Tropical Forests is a Matter of Life and Death

Living trees take carbon dioxide out of the air as they grow, and dead trees put carbon back into the air as they decompose. This study, seven y ...

Principal Investigator : International Institute of Tropical Forestry

Water, Air, and Soil2014IITF
Photo of Río Saliente river in Jayuya, Puerto Rico.  Kasey R. Jacobs, USDA Forest Service
ID: 592
The effects of changing land cover on stream flow simulation in Puerto Rico

Rainfall, terrain, and use of the landscape affect stream flow and water resources availability.

Principal Investigator : William A. Gould

Resource Management and Use2014IITF
Photo of Millipedes used in the microcosms were all from the Order Stemmiulida, Family Stemmiulidae. Forest Service
ID: 19
The Role of Millipedes in Tropical Ecosystems

The direct and indirect effects on litter of varying lignin content

Principal Investigator : Grizelle Gonzalez

Water, Air, and Soil2012IITF
Photo of Visualization of the conceptual model used as a heuristic tool for the San Juan ULTRA.  The left side of the box representing the watershed's ecological components and the right side of the diagram represents social components. These are integrated through green, blue and gray infrastructure. USDA Forest Service
ID: 590
Understanding Vulnerability and Sustainability of Urban Social-ecological Systems in the Tropics

Scientists of the San Juan Urban Long-Term Research Area (ULTRA) publish an interdisciplinary synthesis of social-ecological system research in ...

Principal Investigator : Tischa A. Munoz-Erickson

Resource Management and Use2014IITF
Photo of Leucaena leucocephala, one of the dominate non-native trees found in the novel Prosopis-Leucaena woodlands in Puerto Rico. Ron Lance
ID: 460
When Insectivorous Birds Want to Forage in Puerto Rico, What Trees do They Prefer?

High foliage palatability of some alien tree species may weaken the effect of the so-called enemy release that occurs when introduction of a pla ...

Principal Investigator : Joseph M. Wunderle, Jr.

Wildlife and Fish2013IITF
Photo of Bottom two photos: Left photo shows student intern Scott Johnson and project field directorJennifer White at a goat farm site (11 years after clearing) where the Kirtland's Warblers were abundant. Right photo shows a female Kirtland's Warbler.
ID: 591
Winter Ecology and Conservation Implications for the Endangered Migrant Kirtland's Warbler in the Bahamas

Winter droughts reduce the endangered Kirtland's Warbler's food supply and body condition in the Bahamas, which affect its survival and breeding ...

Principal Investigator : Joseph M. Wunderle, Jr.

Wildlife and Fish2014IITF