The role of soils heterogeneity and macro topography and the underlying geological units have been argued as the main driver for local adaptations and species turnover (beta diversity) in Amazonian plant communities. Previous works have demonstrated a strong correlation between differences in geological formations and the underlying soils conditions and differences in plant composition, mainly shrubs and herbs. However at tree community level these patterns observed in other plant groups remains arguable due to spatial scale dependence. The objective of my research is to link geomorphological, soils and floristic information to satellite imagery and functional traits to test if observable patterns in tree species turnover and traits range values are congruent with strong changes in soils conditions and the underlying macro geological and topographical units. In the light of the background exposed my trip was focused in collecting soils samples in some of the previous plots that I do not have soil information, then I took leaves size samples I two 0.1 hectare subplots and finally I established new plots in unexplored areas in Ecuadorian Amazonia. Based on this invaluable experience I learned the logistic difficulties I will need to face in my research and also I realized about the plausibility to test certain hypothesis based on these constraints as well. Once the preliminary results have already done I will be able to use this information as my PhD research basis.
September 24, 2013