November 15, 2010

Seven Censuses over 30 years on BCI

Three decades after Stephen Hubbell and Robin Foster established the first plot in what would become the CTFS-SIGEO network, researchers and field technicians recently completed the seventh census of the 50-ha plot on Barro Colorado Island (BCI), Panama. The 1980 census on BCI marked the beginning of CTFS-SIGEO, pioneering the use of long-term large-scale tree-censusing techniques that researchers have replicated in forests across the globe. Today, CTFS-SIGEO comprises a network of 40 plots in 21 countries in Asia, Africa, the Americas, and Europe. The network involves hundreds of scientists and dozens of institutions around the world working together to study the growth and survival of 4.5 million trees of 8,500 species.

The following figures based on seven censuses (1980-2010) at BCI illustrate the extraordinary scale and intensity of CTFS-SIGEO’s research program.

1,836,533 diameter measurements of stems ≥1 cm

391,278 individual trees counted

174,435 tree deaths

155,955 trees recruited

17,500 person-days of fieldwork

85 person-years of fieldwork

130 people involved in the 7 censuses

This enormous undertaking could not have been possible without the hard work of the many people who have worked at BCI over the past 30 years. Congratulations to all involved!