Tropical Root Trait Initiative

Mobilizing and integrating tropical root traits

This initiative arose from a need for tropical root ecologists to assess the rapidly growing body of root trait data for tropical ecosystems. We are compiling data from across tropical root studies to assess how tropical root traits vary over time, space, and in response to global change. These data will be used to assess a broad set of hypotheses related to root functional ecology (in the tropics and globally). Our main activities are to 1) build a database of tropical root trait data from papers and unpublished data set in collaboration with FRED at Oak Ridge National Lab, and 2) write review and concept papers about tropical root traits across natural gradients, in response to global change, and linking field data to ecosystem models of root activity for tropical forests.


Early, mid and late-career scientists from and/or working in tropical ecosystems. The group includes leading and emerging root ecologists from tropical ecosystems worldwide. The group is particularly interested in bringing together field root ecologists with ecosystem modelers working to parameterize and build tropical forest predictive capabilities.

Organizers: Daniela F. Cusack, Amanda Longhi Cordeiro, Kelly Andersen, Kristine Cabugao, Rich Norby, S. Joe Wright. Participants: Liz Agee, Marie Arnaud, Mauro Brum, Brad Christoffersen, Shalom D. Addo-Danso, Lee Dietterich, Katrin Fleischer, Cecile Giardin, Nathaly Guerrero Ramirez, Walter Huasco, Jeff Hall, Colleen Iversen, Deliang Kong, Martyna Kotowska, Laynara Lugli, Luke McCormack, Rafael Oliveira, Jennifer Powers, Chris Smith-Martin, Stuart Smith, Laura Toro, Maria Natalia UmaƱa, Oscar Valverde-Barrantes, Monique Weemstra, Cynthia Wright, Daniela Yaffar, Ming Yang


Some of the main questions we are targeting: 1) How root traits are related to ecosystem function globally? 2) How do emergent trends in root traits and dynamics differ within tropical ecosystems and between tropical and temperate ecosystems? 3) Can we identify some best practices and prioritize which root traits to measure across tropical forest studies?


If you want to join us by contributing data, participating in current projects, or establishing potential synergies, please contact us: