Latin American Seasonally Dry Tropical Forest Floristic Network
Plant diversity patterns in neotropical dry forests and their conservation implications.
DRYFLOR, 2016. Published in: Science 23 Sep 2016:
Vol. 353, Issue 6306, pp. 1383-1387, DOI: 10.1126/science.aaf5080 Abstract Full text PDF
The Latin American Seasonally Dry Tropical Forest Floristic Network (DRYFLOR) is a network of researchers and conservationists aiming to improve the understanding of the flora and to promote the conservation of the endangered seasonally dry tropical forests (SDTF) of Latin America.
Seasonally Dry Tropical Forest, here called “dry forest”, is world’s most threatened tropical forest due to its frequently fertile soils being suitable for agriculture. Because the area of dry forest stands and their overall species diversity are smaller than neighbouring biomes such as rain forests, their conservation has often been neglected. As an example, few areas of dry forest in interandean valleys in Colombia and Peru have any protection, which reflects lack of appreciation of their international importance, illustrated by their high numbers of unique (endemic) species that grow nowhere else.
We want Seasonally Dry Tropical Forests to be better known and conserved in Latin America. We have developed the first comprehensive dataset of the flora of neotropical dry forests across their full range. Subsequent biogeographic analyses have pinpointed areas of high diversity and endemism that are an essential basis to coherent international and national conservation strategies. The network aims to improve communication and collaboration between research organizations studying dry forest and governmental and non-governmental organizations responsible for the protection and management of these endangered forests.
The network includes partners from Latin American and Caribbean institutions, is coordinated from Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, and is funded by the Leverhulme Trust.
DRYLOR's first publication covering floristic relationships of neotropical dry forests was recently published in Science (links above).