TROPI-DRY is a collaborative research network sponsored by the Inter-American Institute for Global Change Research (IAI). TROPI-DRY's goal is to bring together researchers in conservation biology, ecology and evolution, remote sensing and geographic information systems, sociology, anthropology, policy analysis, and forestry to develop a comprehensive, “state of the art” understanding of the status of tropical dry forests (primary and secondary) in the Americas. TROPI-DRY's research focuses on Ecological Research, Advances in Remote Sensing and GIS, and Human Dimension issues, and in collaboration with local and national policy-making organizations, produces comprehensive and comparative land use/policy studies in tropical dry regions in the natural and social sciences. At present, Tropi-Dry incorporates researchers and institutions from Brazil, Canada, Costa Rica, Cuba, Mexico, United States of America and Venezuela.
Tropi-dry has completed most of its ecological data collection, and current efforts include checking data quality and developing synthesis at three main levels: Ecosystem Structure and Composition (led by Dr. Mario Marcos do Espiritu Santo), Herbivory (lead by Dr. Geraldo W. Fernandes), and Faunal/Bird biodiversity (lead by Dr. Kathryn Stoner and Dr. Jafer Nassar). During its final year, Tropi-Dry will be present with synthesis efforts at several forthcoming conferences in Latin America, as well contributing to synthesis efforts of the Collaborative Research Network program (CRN2) of the Inter-American Institute for Global Change Research (IAI). Finally, during this year Tropi-Dry will be testing and completing its database management system, which will be made available to other researcher groups in late 2013.
The Tropi-Dry remote sensing team has completed all remote sensing activities in all countries. Emphasis is currently being placed on organizing and writing three synthesis papers: 1) land use/cover change dynamics (in collaboration with the Social Science synthesis team), 2) phenological responses and climate change in tropical dry forests of the Americas, 3) Leaf Area Index (LAI) dynamics as function of successional stage and a validation of MODIS LAI/NDVI products. The remote sensing team has also completed the deployment of over 100 wireless sensors in selected sites in Mexico, Costa Rica, Brazil and Argentina aimed to create a long term monitoring program on micro-meteorological variables associated to phonological response of tropical dry forests environments.
Tropi-Dry has entered its last year of funding, and the social science group (led by Dr. Alicia Castillo, Tropi-Dry Mexico) is moving ahead on the final synthesis. In addition, final workshops designed to communicate Tropi-Dry science to policy-makers are planned to occur throughout this final year. The social science synthesis will involve several products including a peer review paper, a book on social issues in tropical dry forests in the Americas, and several materials oriented toward policy makers.