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Research Spending & Results

Award Detail

Doing Business As Name:University of Denver
  • Patrick H Martin
  • (303) 871-2000
Award Date:11/29/2017
Estimated Total Award Amount: $ 163,703
Funds Obligated to Date: $ 163,704
  • FY 2016=$108,833
  • FY 2015=$54,871
Start Date:09/26/2017
End Date:01/31/2020
Transaction Type:Grant
Awarding Agency Code:4900
Funding Agency Code:4900
CFDA Number:47.074
Primary Program Source:040100 NSF RESEARCH & RELATED ACTIVIT
Award Title or Description:RCN: Towards a Unified Ecology of Tropical Montane Cloud Forests
Federal Award ID Number:1803192
DUNS ID:007431760
Parent DUNS ID:007431760
Program Officer:
  • Matthew Kane
  • (703) 292-7186

Awardee Location

Street:2199 S. University Blvd.
Awardee Cong. District:01

Primary Place of Performance

Organization Name:University of Denver
Cong. District:01

Abstract at Time of Award

Cloud forests are unique and striking ecosystems found at high elevations on tropical mountains where persistent cloud cover forms almost every day. Here the forest is in near continual mist and luxuriant growth of epiphytic orchids, bromeliads and mosses carpet the trees. These ecosystems are not only beautiful, but play a critical role in biodiversity protection, water resources, and human livelihoods. Yet they are among the least known ecosystems in the world and are likely to be exceptionally vulnerable to global change. This project builds on an international research coordination network to dramatically increase our understanding of these ecosystems. Currently that understanding is limited by nonstandard approaches and research methods across sites, cultural differences among the scientific disciplines and countries where these ecosystems occur, and a lack of synthesis of current research. In this study, a central theme will be based on a set of characteristics that is common across all tropical montane cloud forests, including small, stunted and very slow growing trees that will serve to organize and standardize research. In so doing, it will also lead to standardized scientific techniques, new technologies and interdisciplinary approaches, and synthesis of datasets across large scales. Indeed, this cannot be accomplished without an integrated network, since the key drivers, such as climate, physiography, and ecological isolation, vary tremendously over large distances from islands to mainlands, equatorial to subtropical regions, and from coasts to inland mountain ranges. The broader impacts of this network are numerous. Its focus on knowledge sharing and promoting teaching and learning will be accomplished through web based information modules serving a general audience. These will include a primer on the unique role of tropical montane cloud forests in ecosystem functioning, focusing especially on water resources. Standardized scientific methods will be developed as written protocols and video tutorials produced to promote additional adoption. This project will inherently enhance the capacity for research and education by bringing together an international network of researchers, initiating multisite studies and experiments, and hosting international meetings at key research sites. A key impact will be the training and mentoring of students in tropical countries, vital for the future, but where student opportunities are usually limited. Finally, the network will develop a forest management protocol and a web based forum for forest managers to discuss the latest findings and problem solving.

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