GEM-TRAIT: The Global Ecosystems Monitoring and Trait Study

This proposal directly addresses one of the great challenges in Earth system science: how will the terrestrial biosphere respond to global atmospheric change and, more specifically, how does the biodiversity of the biosphere moderate or affect that response?

This proposal focuses on tropical forests. We are currently unable to understand how tropical forests will respond to climate change because there is

  1. a data-deficit: we simply do not have the data to understand the relationship between tropical forest diversity and ecosystem science; and
  2. a theory-deficit: we have not developed an adequate and quantitative theoretical framework to relate functional biodiversity to ecosystem function.

This proposal will directly address both these deficits.