Jungle Rhythms

Jungle Rhythms strives to transcribe old observations of tree life cycle events (flowering, leaf shedding, fruit dispersion), which are key to understanding a tree’s functioning. The African rainforest, the second largest on Earth, covers ~630 million ha and stores up to 66 Pg of carbon. It is presently a persistent carbon sink, offsetting large amounts of human CO2 emissions. Drought events in tropical rainforests have the potential to alter forest structure. However, due to data scarcity, little is known on how droughts affect the structure and function of African rainforests. In this project we will try to link long term observations of tree life cycle events with weather data. This will allow us to track the trees’ responses to variation in rainfall and temperature. This data may provide us with key information on how sensitive tree species are to drought, and how this sensitivity might alter the structure and function of the forest as drought regimes change.

The project ran a successful citizen science campaign on the Zooniverse platform, recovering all available data with the help of ~6000 volunteers across the globe. Currently the data has been processed and a manuscript with initial results, and a matching data paper, are being prepared.

Koen Hufkens, PhD
Partner, Researcher

As an earth system scientist and ecologist I model ecosystem processes.