Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Canopy raft, canopy crane, canopy bubble, Ikos tree house in Panama

01.10.2003


IBISCA’s push to understand insect habitats in the tropical forest



Of the 10 million plus species thought to exist on this planet, a mere 2 million are known to science. Others dwell in inaccessible locations--deep sea vents or hard-to-reach tropical treetops. To collect the best information available to date on tropical forest insects and their habitats, thirty researchers will use state-of-the-art canopy access techniques to sample nine 400m2 patches of Panamanian rainforest from September 22-October 31, 2003.

Biologists will dangle from the gondola of a 56m tall construction crane, hang sticky traps from the booms of a massive treetop raft, slide along through the trees suspended from a helium balloon and perch in a tree house. They will fog with insecticide, shake and hand pick the greenery and collect leaf litter and soil samples from the forest floor to understand the vertical stratification of insects throughout the dark understory, striving subcanopy and emergent canopy.


The IBISCA project, Investigating Biodiversity of Soil and Canopy Arthropods, lead by Dr. Yves Basset, Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI) and Dr. Bruno Corbara, Canopy Raft Consortium, in addition to a 7 member technical team, involves 30 researchers from 15 countries. Solvin-Bretzel (makers of PVC) and the Smithsonian sponsor the 5-week project conducted in the San Lorenzo Protected Area on Panama’s Caribbean coast.

STRI’s Sherman Canopy Crane, in operation since 1997, is the site of ongoing surveys of tropical plant and animal life, seasonal change and photosynthesis. Three 400m2 sites within the reach of its 54m boom will be sampled by the team. A helicopter will lower the Solvin-Bretzel Canopy Raft, a 400m2 platform of PVC pontoons covered with netting--onto the treetops. The mobility of the raft makes it possible to sample three additional 400m2 sites during the mission. The Canopy Bubble consists of a seat harness suspended from a helium balloon that moves along a 1 km transect and will be used to reach two more 400m2 sites. And finally, a fixed icosohedral tree house will make an additional sample possible.

The National Museum of Natural History’s Terry Erwin first estimated global insect biodiversity some twenty years ago in Panama. Researchers at STRI continued to pioneer canopy research with the placement of the first Canopy Crane system in Panama City’s Parque Metropolitano in 1990. IBISCA is one of the first exhaustive attempts to understand the relationship between habitats within the forest.

Unlike the undersea world, now visited by scuba divers, submarines and remotely operated vehicles, gravity works against terrestrial explorers. Francis Hallé, well known for his work on tropical tree architecture, says "it is essential that researchers experience this reality first hand. This technology places us in the treetops where these animals live."


The Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI), with headquarters in Panama City, Panama, is one of the world’s leading centers for basic research on the ecology, behavior and evolution of tropical organisms. http://www.stri.org

Solvin-Bretzel Canopy Raft. Photo: Laurent Pyot - Ocean Vert.
STRI Sherman Canopy Crane. Photo: STRI archives.
Additional information: http://www.solvinbretzel.com .

Dr. Yves Basset | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.solvinbretzel.com
http://www.stri.org

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht Dune ecosystem modelling
23.06.2017 | Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg im Breisgau

nachricht Understanding animal social networks can aid wildlife conservation
23.06.2017 | Leibniz-Institut für Gewässerökologie und Binnenfischerei (IGB)

All articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Can we see monkeys from space? Emerging technologies to map biodiversity

An international team of scientists has proposed a new multi-disciplinary approach in which an array of new technologies will allow us to map biodiversity and the risks that wildlife is facing at the scale of whole landscapes. The findings are published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. This international research is led by the Kunming Institute of Zoology from China, University of East Anglia, University of Leicester and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research.

Using a combination of satellite and ground data, the team proposes that it is now possible to map biodiversity with an accuracy that has not been previously...

Im Focus: Climate satellite: Tracking methane with robust laser technology

Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.

Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...

Im Focus: How protons move through a fuel cell

Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.

As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...

Im Focus: A unique data centre for cosmological simulations

Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.

With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...

Im Focus: Scientists develop molecular thermometer for contactless measurement using infrared light

Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine

Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Plants are networkers

19.06.2017 | Event News

Digital Survival Training for Executives

13.06.2017 | Event News

Global Learning Council Summit 2017

13.06.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Quantum thermometer or optical refrigerator?

23.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

A 100-year-old physics problem has been solved at EPFL

23.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Equipping form with function

23.06.2017 | Information Technology

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>