[Better Tools for
Worldwide, there are more thAN half a million plots that have been used to monitor growth and change of individual trees in forests. Unfortunately, most of these plots are underutilised and data remain unavailable to researchers interested in forest dynamics. A project of CIFOR, the Tree Growth and Permanent Plot Information System, or TROPIS, helps foresters find growth data pertinent to their situation by tapping into a network of researchers and others who deal with permanent plots and have agreed to share their data with others.
In 1998, TROPIS gained increased interest and a steady flow of new contributions as well as search requests. Of the more than 90 search requests to date, most inquiries have led to useful information or new contacts.
A related system for organizing plot-related inventory data, known as MIRA, is hosted by the Tropical Agriculture Research and Higher Education Center (CATIE) in Costa Rica. Now bilingual (Spanish-English), it has been used widely in Latin America and is rapidly gaining interest elsewhere.