Subscribe free to our newsletters via your
. Earth Science News .

New research shows that temperature influences tropical flowering
by Staff Writers
Panama City, Panama (SPX) Jul 18, 2013

Temperature and/or precipitation are better predictors of tropical flowering than cloudiness. Credit: STRI Archives.

Tropical trees and hanging vines burst into flower, showering the ground below with bright blossoms. Temperature, rather than cloud cover, may be key to the timing of tropical flowering events according to research at two sites in the Smithsonian Institution Global Earth Observatory Network published online in Nature Climate Change.

Scientists discovered a significant increase in flower production-about 3 percent more flowers produced on average per year since 1987-on Barro Colorado Island's Forest Dynamics Plot in Panama.

"Barro Colorado Island was chosen for this study because we have the longest quantitative record of flower production in the tropics," said S. Joseph Wright, Smithsonian staff scientist who has been tracking seasonal patterns in the tropics for about 30 years. At the other site in the study, the Luquillo Forest Dynamics Plot in Puerto Rico, flower production has been monitored since 1992 and shows no overall increase.

Both plots are part of the a worldwide network of 51 forest study sites that can be easily compared, making it possible to discover if forests in different places respond the same way to climate variables. In this case, they do not respond the same way to cloud cover.

Thicker clouds over Panama may limit flower production whereas thinner clouds over Puerto Rico may enhance flowering. Thin clouds diffuse light, which can offset the loss of absorbed radiation and increase light levels under the forest canopy.

The overall increase in flower production in Panama may be attributed to increasing maximum temperatures and/or precipitation.

Researchers from the U.S. National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis, the University of British Colombia, NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies and the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory teamed up with Smithsonian researchers at the two sites for this first study to link cloud cover to forest productivity. Led by Stephanie Pau, from NCEAS, they analyzed a new dataset, NOAA NCDC GridSat, which quantifies cloudiness at the two sites for several decades.

Half of the world's species live in tropical forests, which are also critical in the global carbon cycle, accounting for about a third of all terrestrial plant productivity.

Long-term studies in the tropics will continue to contribute to the understanding of climate change and its effects on global biological processes.


Related Links
Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute
Darwin Today At

Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News

Phytoplankton social mixers
Cambridge MA (SPX) Jul 18, 2013
Tiny ocean plants, or phytoplankton, were long thought to be passive drifters in the sea - unable to defy even the weakest currents, or travel by their own volition. In recent decades, research has shown that many species of these unicellular microorganisms can swim, and do so to optimize light exposure, avoid predators or move closer to others of their kind. Now scientists at MIT and Oxfo ... read more

NASA, International Space Agencies Note Benefits of Space Station during Disasters on Earth

Rain no dampener for New Zealand cardboard cathedral

Long-forgotten seawall protected New Jersey homes from Sandy

NASA Technology May Breathe Life, Safety Into Mines

Homemade 3D guns in US stir more buzz than bang

ASC Signal Doubles Mission Capabilities Across Its Satellite Antenna Line

Raytheon touts company developments

Surface porosity and wettability are key factors in boiling heat transfer

Raw sewage makes summer swimming hazardous in New York

Microbial dynamics of coral reef robustness and decline

Scientists outline long-term sea-level rise in response to warming of planet

Australia pledges more cash for reef starfish battle

Russia blocks bid for Antarctic sanctuary: NGOs

Continuous satellite monitoring of ice sheets needed to better predict sea-level rise

Researchers Shed New Light on Supraglacial Lake Drainage

Scientists cast doubt on theory of what triggered Antarctic glaciation

Revealed the keys to reducing the impact of agriculture on climate change

Tapid detection and identification of downy mildew in basil

Study: Ancient Neolithic farmers used sophisticated growing techniques

Avocado farmers face unique foe in fungal-farming beetle

Moderate earthquake rattles New Zealand capital

'Brown Ocean' Can Fuel Inland Tropical Cyclones

Some volcanoes 'scream' at ever-higher pitches until they blow their tops

Scientists say earthquake could wake Mount Fuji from 300-year slumber

Nigeria to withdraw some troops from Mali

Climate change to hit Volta Basin for energy, farming

A South Sudan moka? What else?

Madagascar villagers accuse army of mass killings

Brain signal said to create inner 'voice' we hear even if we're silent

Genetic evolution seen in peoples living at high altitudes

China island centenarians claim secret of long life

Did Neandertals have language?

The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement