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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 Cover of the special issue. The Caribbean Naturalist, Bienvenida and Gerald Bauer.
ID: 1148
A Caribbean Foresters Collaborative Network for Understanding Regional Forest Dynamics

The role of Caribbean forestry research in permanent plots has been identified as both a previously untapped regional source for capacity buildi ...

Principal Investigator : Tamara Heartsill Scalley

Inventory and Monitoring
Resource Management and Use
2016IITF
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 Local produce at the farmers market in Santurce, Puerto Rico. Victor Cuadrado – ThinkaMap
ID: 801
Assessing Vulnerabilities to Climate Change in Tropical Agriculture and Forestry

New Vulnerability Assessment from the USDA Caribbean Climate Sub Hub.

Principal Investigator : William A. Gould

Resource Management and Use2015IITF
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 Data from a tabonuco forest (pictured) in the Luquillo Experimental Forest, one of three long-term time series of data, contributed to the BIOFRAG database. USDA Forest Service
ID: 761
BIOFRAG: A New Database for Analyzing Biodiversity Responses to Forest Fragmentation

A collaboration among more than 50 scientists from international institutions produced a database that contributes to understanding biodiveristy ...

Principal Investigator : Tamara Heartsill Scalley

Inventory and Monitoring
Resource Management and Use
2015IITF
Photo of Assessment of a stream reach that combines open channelization with built-up, impermeable (gray) riparian areas and canopy forming vegetation (green) riparian with permeable surfaces of the Rio Piedras watershed. Luis Weber-Grullón, Arizona State University.
ID: 1154
Challenges to Riparian Function in a Tropical, Urban Stream Network

Limited connectivity of riparian areas, pluvial drainages, and highly modified stream channels affect hydrological function of green spaces in u ...

Principal Investigator : Tamara Heartsill Scalley

Resource Management and Use
Water, Air, and Soil
2016IITF
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 Map of the predicted species richness in Puerto Rico. U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service.
ID: 1184
Characterization of the Network of Protected Areas in Puerto Rico

Scientists Analyze the biodiversity, landscape diversity and forest cover in terrestrial protected areas in Puerto Rico to anser the question: W ...

Principal Investigator : William A. Gould

Wildlife and Fish2016IITF
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 Ten-year moving averages of annual simulated flow components as percent of simulated historical mean (1953-2012) using mid-summer drought, range of general circulation models, and multimodel general circulation model ensembles for the northern U.S. region. U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service.
ID: 1104
Climate Change and Water Resources in a Tropical Island System

Forest Service scientists study propagation of uncertainty from statistically downscaled climate models to hydrologic models.

Principal Investigator : William A. Gould

Resource Management and Use
Water, Air, and Soil
2016IITF
Photo of Cooling degree-days (CDD) form the multimodel average of all 12 GCMs under the (a) A2, (b) A1B, and (c) B1 scenarios at 28 stations and their averages. U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service.
ID: 1099
Climate Change Implications for Tropical Islands

Interpolating and Interpreting Statistically Downscaled General Circulation Model Projections for Management and Planning

Principal Investigator : William A. Gould

Resource Management and Use
Water, Air, and Soil
2016IITF
Photo of Mangrove reforestation in Puerto Rico. USDA Forest Service
ID: 771
Conserving Mangroves in the Context of the Anthropocene

Mangroves of the Anthropocene will be on the move as a result of sea level rise and atmospheric warming as well as human activity and therefore ...

Principal Investigator : Ariel Lugo

Resource Management and Use2015IITF
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 Regional groupings of tropical montane cloud forest and associated lower and upper altitudinal limits of the cloud belt (modified after Scatena 2010). U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service.
ID: 1158
Geographic, Environmental, and Biotic Sources of Variation in the Nutrient Relations of Tropical Montane Forests

Incorporating other geographic, environmental and biotic variables in tropical montane forests biogeochemistry, might give scientists a more acc ...

Principal Investigator : Grizelle Gonzalez

Inventory and Monitoring
Resource Management and Use
Water, Air, and Soil
2016IITF
Photo of Municipal planners and university students during an i-Tree training session in the Colonial City of Santo Domingo. Jorge Paniagua, U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service.
ID: 1173
i-Tree Serves as a Green Infrastructure Assessment Tool to Municipal Planners and Researchers in the Dominican Republic

The iTree tool was implemented for the first time in the Colonial City of Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, to assess the value of ecosystem-ba ...

Principal Investigator : Tischa A. Munoz-Erickson

Resource Management and Use
Inventory and Monitoring
2016IITF
Photo of Photo of the Baltimore skyline.  Baltimore is one of four urban research locations officially chartered as an Urban Field Station within the Northern Research Station.  As an engaged network, our urban field stations are national and international assets. Morgan Grove, U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service.
ID: 1066
IITF and NRS each established a Charter for Urban Field Stations and Networks

IITF and NRS officially established charters for Urban Research Stations in San Juan, Puerto Rico and Baltimore, Chicago, New York City, and Phi ...

Principal Investigator : Tischa A. Munoz-Erickson

Resource Management and Use2016NRS
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 Watersheds, land cover, and municipalities within the study area of the El Yunque National Forest.  USDA Forest Service
ID: 770
Land-cover Composition, Water Resources and Land Management in the Watersheds of the Luquillo Mountains, Northeastern Puerto Rico

An important element for wise use of water-related ecosystem services is understanding land-cover composition and its relation to water resource ...

Principal Investigator : Tamara Heartsill Scalley

Water, Air, and Soil2015IITF
Photo of Leaf decomposition baskets hold apart the leaf litter layers in a hurricane simulation experiment in the Luquillo Experimental Forest of Puerto Rico. Leaf decomposition and nutrient cycling were studied in decomposition baskets with screens placed between layers to measure decay rates, nutrient movement between layers, phosphorus retention, and number of mushroom fungal connections between litter layers. Placement of green ‘hurricane' leaves (top layer) over freshly fallen senesced leaves (middle layer) and the forest floor (bottom layer) protected the underlying litter and decay fungi from drying when the canopy was opened by trimming tree branches. D. Jean Lodge, Forest Service
ID: 611
Leaves Left on the Ground After Storm Damage or Logging Lead to Faster Forest Recovery

Opening a forest, whether by storm damage, tree harvesting or thinning, dries the forest floor and reduces the ability of the litter layer to re ...

Principal Investigator : D. Jean Lodge

Water, Air, and Soil2014NRS
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 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 D. Jean Lodge measuring the extent of mushroom mycelia on the forest floor three months after a simulated hurricane treatment in which limbs and leaves were trimmed from the canopy and deposited on the forest floor in the Luquillo Experimental Forest of Puerto Rico. Josh Brown, University of New Hampshire
ID: 909
Opening the Forest Canopy Slows Leaf Decomposition and Nutrient Cycling

Forest canopies are opened by thinning, logging operations, and storms. Results of a simulated hurricane experiment showed canopy opening had th ...

Principal Investigator : D. Jean Lodge

Water, Air, and Soil2015FPL
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 Figure 1. (A) The study sites were located in the Luquillo Experimental Forest in northeastern Puerto Rico; (B) Logs of two species and two stages of decomposition were selected (20 logs total) and paired soil and core samples were collected and; (C) PRS-probes (Plant Root Simulator) (ion exchange membranes) were collected from underneath and 50 cm away from the logs. U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service.
ID: 1152
Physical, Chemical, and Biological Properties of Soil Under Decaying Wood in a Tropical Wet Forest in Puerto Rico

Decaying wood is related to nutrient cycling through its role as either a sink or source of nutrients; however, at micro scales, what is the eff ...

Principal Investigator : Grizelle Gonzalez

Inventory and Monitoring
Resource Management and Use
Water, Air, and Soil
2016IITF
Photo of A simulated forest canopy opening in the Luquillo Experimental Forest to mimic hurricane disturbance and investigate changes in microclimate, biota, and ecosystem processes. Aaron B. Shiels, National Wildlife Research Center; USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service
ID: 800
Post-hurricane Canopy Openings Influence Ecosystem Processes in a Tropical Rainforest

Forest Service researchers collaborated with external scientists to examine the effects of hurricane disturbance on tropical forest ecosystems. ...

Principal Investigator : Grizelle Gonzalez

Resource Management and Use
Inventory and Monitoring
Invasive Species
Water, Air, and Soil
Wildland Fire and Fuels
2015IITF
Photo of The elevation gradient in northeastern Puerto Rico, from coastal lowlands to the tropical mountain peaks of Luquillo Experimental Forest. USDA Forest Service
ID: 766
Precipitation and Temperature Trends Along an Elevation Gradient in Northeastern Puerto Rico Examined

Forest Service researchers studied climatic trends along an elevation gradient in northeastern Puerto Rico. Study results showed that differing ...

Principal Investigator : Ashley Van Beusekom

Water, Air, and Soil
Inventory and Monitoring
2015IITF
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 Forest succession at research site plot in the Chiclana stream, part of the Rio Piedras watershed. Top photo 2006, below 2010. A pluvial structure is marked at the right of each photo for reference. Harold Manrique-Hernandez, San Juan Bay Estuary Program.
ID: 1153
Riparian Vegetation Restoration in Light of Succession; Management Implications for Restoration in Tropical Secondary Forests

There is a wide variety of approaches on how to determine when a river restoration project can be considered ecologically successful. The limite ...

Principal Investigator : Tamara Heartsill Scalley

Invasive Species
Inventory and Monitoring
Water, Air, and Soil
2016IITF
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 Undergraduate student Mareli Sanchez and her Forest Service mentor D. Jean Lodge in front of the award winning poster presented by Sanchez at the Mycological Society of America Meeting in Athens, Georgia.
ID: 1246
Student mentored by Forest Service scientist receives honor for research poster

A student mentored by a Forest Service scientist earned the Best Undergraduate Poster Award for research showing that it is the extent of root s ...

Principal Investigator : D. Jean Lodge

Water, Air, and Soil
Wildlife and Fish
2017NRS
Photo of Forest Service scientist D. Jean Lodge (left) and collaborator Urmas Koljalg from Estonia after collecting soil near a large tropical tree that forms beneficial root associations with mushroom and other basidiomycete fungi in the El Verde Research Area of the Luquillo Experimental Forest, Puerto Rico. Urmas Koljalg, Natural History Museum of Tartu, Tartu, Estonia
ID: 891
Temperate and Boreal Fungi Less Sensitive to Climate Change than Tropical Fungi

Beneficial fungi that help tree roots obtain nutrients from soil are less sensitive to climate in temperate and boreal forests than in tropical ...

Principal Investigator : D. Jean Lodge

Invasive Species2015FPL
Photo of CLCC logo
ID: 1106
The Caribbean Landscape Conservation Cooperative

A New Framework for Effective Conservation of Natural and Cultural Resources in the Caribbean.

Principal Investigator : William A. Gould

Resource Management and Use
Water, Air, and Soil
2016IITF
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 Mameyes river flood event. USDA Forest Service
ID: 780
The Effects of Changing Land Cover on Streamflow Simulation in Puerto Rico

Streamflow models were developed for Puerto Rico, Vieques, and Culebra simulating historic conditions from 1953 to 2012. When land cover was inc ...

Principal Investigator : William A. Gould

Resource Management and Use
Water, Air, and Soil
2015IITF
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