This workshop will build towards increasing our understanding of the diversity and ecology of herbaceous plant communities in tropical forests, by identifying key knowledge gaps and fundamental and applied research priorities for forest herb communities, and proposing standardized methods that will embed inventories of herbaceous plants within existing monitoring networks.
Most studies of the patterns and drivers of plant diversity in tropical forests focus on tree species, despite the fact that they can comprise less than a quarter of the plant species at any one forest site. Thus, our understanding of tropical forest biology is limited because patterns and processes may not be the same in all life forms. For example, herbaceous plants have varying degrees of anatomical, physiological, and competitive differences from woody plants, and often quite different life-history strategies. Given that herbaceous plants may make up more than half of all plant species on earth, this major knowledge gap severely restricts our understanding of tropical forest biodiversity and ecosystem function. At the same time, comparative studies of herbaceous plant communities across forest ecosystems have been hindered by a lack of standardized definitions and protocols for sampling. In this workshop, we hope to attract a diverse group of early and experienced researchers and experts on herbaceous plant ecology, forest ecology, plant systematics, ecological sampling techniques, statistical modeling, conservation, and management, from a variety of institutions and countries and working in a variety of tropical forest systems. We will discuss: (i) key knowledge gaps and fundamental and applied research priorities for forest herb communities, and (ii) standardized methods that will embed inventories of herbaceous plants within existing monitoring networks and foster local to global scale studies of herbaceous plant communities in forest ecosystems.
Diversity and dynamics of herbaceous plant communities in forest ecosystems
Thursday July 14th-Lunchbreak