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WP 1 - Description of work


1. Survey existing information regarding the composition and dynamics of palm-communities in the region; and evaluate and improves existing research protocol.

2. Evaluate and compare palm communities applying a standardized research protocol in Amazonian un-flooded forests, palm-dominated swamp forest, and mountain forests and Pacific lowland forests. In each formation choose forests varying from little disturbed to forests exposed to different intensities of use and extraction of tradable palm products. In each site evaluate vegetation along 500 x 5 m transects through forests measuring all palms from seedlings to adults, and quantifying the amount of products the palms may provide.

3. Apply transect data and other information to determine relationships between the diversity and dynamics of palm-communities and the disturbance levels of forests including the impact of individual drivers of ecosystem change.

4. Calculate diversity and amounts of provisional services (species+used part) palms provide based on composition of palm communities in transects and other information regarding the productivity of palm species.

5. Apply GIS to combine data-sets regarding palm-distributions, abundance of individual species, productivity and dynamics, climate, land-uses, etc., and extrapolate and map diversities and potential services from palms throughout the eco-regions of northwestern South America.

6. Model responses of palm-communities as indicators of forest ecosystems, to forthcoming changes in land-use, climate and other human induced impacts. WP1 maps potential production of palm products regionally, and model anticipated changes of palm-communities and ecosystem services using GIS and RS methods to model palm distributions and draw upon on the project's gathering of detailed, site specific field data and existing wide-area mappings, including GIS and satellite images derived land cover, ecosystem and vegetation maps. An initial activity will be a detailed scientific review of the existing relevant mappings. Previous work (85, 81) has produced continental extent maps of land cover and vegetation with 1000 m grid cells based on time series analysis of NOAA-AVHRR image data. More recently, as part of the Global Land Cover 2000 (GLC2000) programme, the land cover of South America has been mapped, also at the 1000 m resolution but based upon image data from a range of satellite with both coarse (1000 m) and finer spatial resultions (24). Significantly, the GLC2000 map products have used the robust FAO LCCS approach for land cover class definition. Other recent work under the Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS) programme has produced a Ecosystems Map for South America, which, with a grid cell size of 500 m combines, with a modelling approach, the GLC2000 data with climate, geology and geomorphology data sets (Roger Sayre, USGS, pers comm, July 2007). Numerous other studies, going back ca. 30 years have made regional mappings, including finer spatial resolution mappings, of land cover, ecosystems and vegetation within the Amazon; the review work will assess the usability of map data from such works in PALMS.



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