Canopy Crane Access System

Research Projects

The number of publications generated by the Tropical Canopy Biology Program has grown steadily since the inception of the program in 1990. There were 213 total publications as of 2005. Many of the research projects performed during the last fifteen years are summarized in the compilations of Wright and Colley (1994, 1996) and Basset et al. (2003) [note the corresponding peaks in the graph below]. A few highlights from this research are presented here.

Number of publications per year generated by the Tropical Canopy Biology Program

Most of the research projects related to the Tropical Canopy Biology Program may be grouped into the categories below, detailed in the following pages. Reference lists in these pages are not exhaustive. Click here to see an updated bibliography for the Program.

Plant ecophysiology and phenology

  1. Water movement in tropical trees: physiological integration from leaf to canopy
  2. Carbon uptake: the canopy microclimate and plant growth
  3. Plant phenology and leaf area seasonality


  1. Forest epiphytes
  2. Canopy fungi
  3. Insect diversity and host specificity
  4. Vertical stratification of arthropods

Biotic interactions

  1. Herbivory and seed predation
  2. Multi-trophic interactions in tropical forest canopies
  3. Pollination in tropical forest canopies

Biotic responses to a changing environment

  1. Elevated CO2
  2. Cloud cover and photosynthesis
  3. Isoprene emission
  4. Plant uptake of reactive nitrogen
  5. Tropical forest phenologies and remote sensing



Basset, Y., Horlyck, V. & Wright, S.J. (2003)
Studying Forest Canopies from Above: The International Canopy Crane Network. Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute and UNEP, Panama City.

Wright, S. J. & Colley, M. (1994).
Accessing the Canopy. Assessment of Biological Diversity and Microclimate of the Tropical Forest Canopy: Phase I. Nairobi, Kenya, United Nations Environment Programme.

Wright, S. J. & Colley, M. (1996).
Tropical Forest Canopy Programme. Nairobi, Kenya, United Nations Environment Programme / Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute.

Bibliography pertinent to the Tropical Canopy Biology Program

The International Canopy Crane Network

Future studies

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