Monitoring of biodiversity, productivity and experimentation in Andean herbaceous ecosystems
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- Fecha de creación febrero 2, 2021
This protocol consists of five modules that articulate methodologies used for ecological research and monitoring of herbaceous ecosystems around the world, including the Nutrient Network (NutNet), the International Tundra Experiment (ITEX) and the Global Research Initiative in Alpine Environments (GLORIA). The protocol has a modular design that facilitates its implementation in different scientific and funding scenarios in institutions motivated to establish a monitoring or experimental site. It is possible to start research by establishing a monitoring site that requires low investment with one or two modules, and to increase the complexity of the research according to the availability of time and money. The first module of this protocol focuses on monitoring plant biodiversity. It consists of establishing a study site in which it is possible to follow, over time, changes in the diversity and structure of vascular plant and bryophyte communities. The second module, on Experimental Assessment of Climate Change Effects, describes methodologies for experimentally assessing how increases in ambient temperature may affect the diversity and structure of plant communities. The third module, on Plant Physiology, proposes a methodology that includes field and laboratory work to evaluate the effects of extreme environmental temperatures on plant resistance to freezing. The fourth module, Nutrient Manipulation, describes the procedures needed to conduct a long-term experiment in which the availability of critical nutrients for plant growth is altered and their effects on plant community diversity. Finally, the Herbivory Exclusion module describes a methodology to experimentally evaluate the lack of herbivores in high Andean herbivores and their effects on plant diversity and structure. We hope that this tool will support researchers in the region and facilitate experimental and long-term research on issues related to global climate change in Andean herbaceous ecosystems.