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Ecosystem Services, Forest Characterization, and Light Diffusion of Tropical Dry Forests Open Access


Other title
ecosystem services
tropical dry forests
Leaf Area Index
Type of item
Degree grantor
University of Alberta
Author or creator
Calvo Rodriguez, Sofia
Supervisor and department
Sanchez Azofeifa, Arturo (Earth and Atmospheric Sciences)
Examining committee member and department
Rivard, Benoit (Earth and Atmospheric Sciences)
MacGregor, Mike (Computing Science)
Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences

Date accepted
Graduation date
Master of Science
Degree level
The main objective of this thesis was to identify and integrate scientific knowledge of ecosystem characterization and quantification with the goal of assessing ecosystem services (ES) in tropical dry forests (TDFs). By doing so, first I identify main existing gaps and trends on the quantification of ES (provisioning, regulating and supporting) and potential approaches that can be used in TDFs. Overall results showed considerable efforts and research have been increasing in recent decades in the TDFs of America in order to quantify key biophysical variables that support the ES assessment of these forests. Carbon storage and biodiversity are the dominant studied themes, while water and soil lack from studies and methodologies for their services assessment. Most popular methods found to assess ES were literature reviews, remote sensing techniques, and forest and biodiversity inventories. I also provide an innovative approach to assess a key component of an ES (primary productivity) for different successional stages in a TDF. This study provides a methodology for the estimation of the LAI using the light diffusion through the canopy in two successional stages of a TDF. I demonstrate how vegetation indices derived from measurements obtained from optical phenology towers can be used as a tool for quantifying, monitoring, and detecting changes in canopy structure and primary productivity in secondary TDFs. Quantifying and modeling these ecosystem processes could help us evaluate ES and develop sustainable practices for the appropiate management and conservation of TDFs.
This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for the purpose of private, scholarly or scientific research. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.
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