Welcome to CloudNet
CloudNet was developed to provide an online collaborative environment for the study of tropical montane cloud forests. Tropical montane cloud forests (TMCFs) are a unique ecosystem found on tropical mountains where persistent cloud cover forms almost daily. These ecosystems play a critical role in biodiversity protection, water resources, and human livelihoods. Yet they are among the world’s least known ecosystems and are likely to be exceptionally vulnerable to global change.
CloudNet is part of an international research coordination network (RCN) that aims to dramatically increase our ecological knowledge of these ecosystems. Currently, understanding is constrained by:
- limited cross-site and methodological compatibility
- limited discourse across disciplinary boundaries
- limited synthesis of current research
A central theme focused on a ‘syndrome’ characteristic of all TMCFs (i.e. small, stunted and very slow growing forests) will help organize research efforts across tropical regions and investigators, and in so doing, standardize scientific techniques, promote new technologies and interdisciplinary approaches, and synthesize datasets across large scales. Indeed, an international effort is needed as the key drivers of these themes—climate, physiography, and ecological isolation—have their main variation over large distances (e.g. islands vs. mainlands, equatorial vs. subtropics, coastal vs. inland).
The purpose of this RCN is to bring together all scientists, students and educators who are interested in tropical montance cloud forest ecology. CloudNet is where it all begins!