Venezuela, 2016.

Between March 30th and May 5th of 2016, thanks to the support of the RAINFOR network and with the coordination of Dr. Hirma Ramírez, a diverse group of students, professors and technicians from Universidad de Los Andes, specifically from the Instituto de Investigaciones para el Desarrollo Forestal (INDEFOR), worked on the re-census of 18 permanent sample plots located in Western Venezuela.

First, six plots located in the Andean cloud forests (San Eusebio) installed during the 1960s were assessed, including a botanical survey and the collection of leaf samples from 61 individuals corresponding to the most important species in the area. This was done by a skilled group of tree climbers and the main goal of this component is to analyze the influence of functional traits in the process of wood productivity across an altitudinal gradient.

Following this, the crew moved to the Caparo Forest Reserve in the Western plains region to evaluate six more plots established originally in 1990. Using a similar approach, a review of some individuals for botanical identification was done, and 27 individuals were also climbed for collecting leaf samples.

Finally, a reduced crew moved to El Caimital sector also in the wester plain region (Barinas state) in order to re-census 6 more plots established in 1960. The participants were Pedro Salcedo (Forest technician), Prof. Ana Hernández, Prof. Luis Gámez (botanist), the climbers Jonathan Mucherino, Luis Nava and Susana Rodríguez, Francy Hernández (undergraduate student) and PhD student Emilio Vilanova. Local helpers or “parataxonomists” Danny Hernández (San Eusebio), Jesús “Chucho” Betancourt (Caparo) and Abel (Caimital) were reallu helpful during this field work. More information can be obtained by mail to Hirma Ramírez ( or and Emilio Vilanova ( or 

Photo: San Eusebio, Venezuela 2016 (courtesy of Gamez)