Invited Seminar at CES on 26 July 2023 at 3:00 pm titled " Are we missing the forest for trees?" by Dr. Sruthi Moorthy from Postdoctoral researcher, Ghent University, Belgium
Tropical forests are currently undergoing large-scale structural changes, including an increase in liana abundance and biomass. As critical but frequently overlooked components of these forests, lianas can reduce tree growth and increase tree mortality, thus significantly influencing the declining pantropical carbon sink potential. Despite the increasing importance of lianas, quantitative studies on liana abundance and their impact on forest carbon stocks are almost non-existent. Recent advancements in terrestrial laser scanning (TLS) technologies have provided a new lens through which we can examine forest structures. These developments facilitate observation on an unprecedented scale and offer improved accuracy. As a result, we can now reliably measure liana structure and assess its impact on the structure and functionality of tropical forests. In this presentation, I will elaborate on how the utilization of TLS, in conjunction with other recent technological innovations in the remote sensing field, has enhanced our ability to understand lianas. Additionally, I will share the insights we have gained about the role lianas play in contributing to the already declining pantropical carbon sink potential.