TROPIS Update #4, February 1998
1. Current Status of TROPIS
TROPIS now contains 12,223 plots with 2969 species in 62 countries. The 2969 species span 1050 genera and 136 families. More than half of these plots are in natural forests, with the following breakdown of plots:
Plantations 4524 193
Native forest 328 7178
Plantation plots may number only 40% of the total, but they are still well represented, involving 222 species in planted trials.
Most of the plots are in Asia (40%), but TROPIS includes data from most tropical countries, and 115 plots in Europe.Five countries are especially well represented, each with more than 750 plots. These are Indonesia, Australia, Fiji, Brazil and Kenya. The four most prevalent species, each with more than 700 plots, are Pinus caribaea var hondurensis, Acacia mangium, Eucalyptus camaldulensis and Corymbia citriodora. And special thanks to three contributors have provided information on over 1000 plots each: Yuyu Rahayu, Tom Richards and Phillippe Narboni.
TROPIS also has a lot of satisfied clients. We’ve had 76 requests for information, and all but four of these has turned up some useful information and lead to some new contacts. Several users have written to express their thanks for the good service. Of course, we at CIFOR are just one small part of the service. TROPIS involves all of us that contribute, use or promote the service, and I thank you for the role you all play.
You can help make TROPIS better by letting colleagues know about TROPIS, and urging them to contribute information on any permanent plots with which they are involved. While tropical forests remain a priority for CIFOR, TROPIS is not restricted to the tropics, and any remeasured plot may be included in the index. The success of TROPIS (and thus our ability to make tree growth research more efficient by eliminating duplication and maximizing use of existing data) depends on our ability to spread the word and urge colleagues to join in. Please help in this endeavour.
If you have internet access, you may be interested in the webpages of other agencies and projects working with permanent plots and ecological monitoring. Some relevant links are given here. Please tell me if you know of any other relevant sites that should be included on this list.
2. Searching TROPIS
A brief reminder that you can request a search of TROPIS at any time. Searches may involve any combination of the attributes available, including species, nature of stand, location, trial objectives, etc. For more details about searching, check out the TROPIS internet site, or look in the previous issue of TROPIS Update.
To request a search of the TROPIS index, simply email, fax or post your request to Rita Mustikasari at CIFOR (see address below), stating the nature of your request.
3. Meetings and Publications
I recently gave a presentation on TROPIS at a meeting sponsored by DIWPA, Diversitas International Western Pacific and Asia. In the business session of the meeting, it was proposed that TROPIS should be adopted as the official database for DIWPA plots. This arrangement isn’t finalized yet, but we would be pleased for TROPIS to be used to communicate information about permanent plots with DIWPA, or with any other organization concerned with monitoring plant growth and change.
The proceedings of a conference on "Growth Studies in Moist Tropical Forests in Africa" (IUFRO and FORIG, Kumasi, November 1996) have been published, and are available for US$30 from Ernest Foli, Forestry Research Institute of Ghana, University PO Box 63, Kumasi, Ghana, fax +233 51 60121, firstname.lastname@example.org
A summary of the conference is available at http://iufro.boku.ac.at/iufro/iufronet/d1/wu10700/unpub/confeval.htm
4. Future Plans
During the next few months, all entries in TROPIS will be checked, and we may soon approach you to seek corrections and updates. We will also try to ensure that there are two contacts associated with each entries, so that we can always reach someone who knows about a particular plot included the system.
We are also exploring ways to put TROPIS on the internet, so that users can assess TROPIS directly. There are still a few hurdles to overcome (and the need to preserve the privacy of those on our address list), so it won’t happen this year, but we’ll keep you informed. Meanwhile, I hope that you get adequate service via post, fax and email.
5. More Information
For more information on any of these items, any other aspect of TROPIS, or for information on how to contribute an entry to the TROPIS database, contact Rita Mustikasari at the address below.
CIFOR, PO Box 6596 JKPWB, Jakarta 10065, Indonesia.
Tel , Fax +62 251 622100.