Wind-tree interactions in the Amazon: INVENTA

We have recently taken a big step to further expand our research with the INVENTA/ATTO project to study. Led by Daniel Marra and Susan Trumbore, we want to investigate wind-tree interactions in the Amazon.

Our goal is to integrate research on tree architecture and bio-mechanics with atmospheric and biogeochemical processes. These affect the dynamics and the vulnerability or resilience of Amazon forests to changing climate. Especially important in this context is the increasing frequency of extreme weather events such as heavy storms and downbursts. Those may lead to increased tree mortality, which may in turn alter forest structure and biodiversity.

To reach this goal, we have installed three research towers of 33 – 36 meters height, stretching just above the forest canopy. They will be equipped with instruments to monitor wind patterns and feedback on forest dynamics. In addition, we will use sensors on several trees to measure how they respond to wind, like how much they sway at any given wind speed. We will then put these information in context with the individual properties of the trees such as their species, height and diameter.

For this project we are using an existing 18 ha permanent plot located in the Experimental Station of Tropical Silviculture (EEST/ZF2) established by INPA. There, all of the 11,000 trees (counted are those with a stem diameter of at least 10 cm) have previously been inventoried and classified, allowing us to monitor changes. 

Daniel and this team welcome all ATTO members to collaborate on INVENTA and/or develop research at this site. They equipment has now been installed everything is ready to begin monitoring wind-tree interactions.