The Center for Tropical Forest Science and Forest Global Earth Observatories (CTFS-ForestGEO) are a unified, global network of forest research plots and scientists dedicated to the study of tropical and temperate forest function and diversity. The multi-institutional network comprises over 60 forest research plots across the Americas, Africa, Asia, and Europe, with a strong focus on tropical regions. CTFS-ForestGEO monitors the growth and survival of approximately 6 million trees and 10,000 species that occur in the forest plots. CTFS-ForestGEO also supports initiatives in the forest plots to monitor climate, carbon flux, vertebrates, insects, soil microorganisms, and much more (see our Science Initiatives).
CTFS-ForestGEO conducts long-term research on forests to:
- Increase scientific understanding of forest ecosystems
- Guide sustainable forest management and natural-resource policies
- Monitor the impacts of global climate change
- Build capacity in forest science
In the environmental sciences, CTFS-ForestGEO stands as one of the premier US-led international partnerships. It is also enabling the Smithsonian Institute to address knowledge gaps pointed out by other governmental and non-governmental research organizations. For example, CTFS-ForestGEO increases scientific understanding about the potential effects of climate change on ecosystems, which is a priority of the US Climate Change Science Program and highlighted by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Working Group II. Because of CTFS-ForestGEO’s extensive biological monitoring, unique databases, and the expertise of its partners, it promises to enhance society’s ability to evaluate and respond to the impacts of global climate change.