Extreme climatic events have caused changes in the distribution and dominance of forestry species in many regions of the world. If these conditions continue, the forests will be vulnerable and the decline in their productivity, coupled with increased cases of massive mortality, will have serious economic and ecological consequences.
In Mexico, this concern is being addressed by adopting a dendroecological approach (i.e., the application of dendrochronology to ecological questions), on the part of Mexican scientists linked to international researchers. While dendroecological studies have formed an integral part of scientific development at the global level, this is as yet incipient in Mexico although it presents great potential. In recent years, diverse products of research have been generated (i.e., scientific articles, presentations in national and international congresses, conferences, books and chapters, human resource training, academic placements and exchanges, etc.). These efforts have been made thanks to the individual will of the members of this network and with the available means of the institutions involved, which have normally been limited in nature. This makes imperative the creation of an inter-institutional scheme of inter-disciplinary association that maximizes its reach through the creation and/or formalization of networks with the help of funding sources (e.g., CONACyT, COCYTED, private enterprise, etc.) and that also represents an opportunity for insertion into programs such as the European association “Tree-Ring Research” (see http://www.tree-ring.org/) and the American society “Tree-Ring Society” (see http://www.treeringsociety.org/). This synergy will allow resolution of the problem of ecosystem vulnerability to climatic change in an articulated manner among the different stakeholders involved, whose concern reaches beyond the national ambit.
This scheme seeks to promote greater interaction among scientific groups and institutions and, through the convergence of efforts in the development of lines of research, produce results in the short-term, where it would have implied more time and expense to achieve these results working in a more isolated manner. The objective is to integrate a network of experts and other interested parties related to the discipline of dendroecology, grouping researchers, students, forestry producers and companies, forest managers and other federal bodies with a shared interest in the theme. This integration of efforts has the aim of providing a response to the vulnerability of forests to climatic variability and their environmental surroundings.
Results and Benefits
Some of the expected results:
- Formalization of the network, including linkage among the members.
- Promotion of conventions in order to generate synergies among network members, in terms of exchanges, placements, visits and joint projects.
- Identification of the needs, strengths, weaknesses and opportunities of the disciplinary theme of the network.
Scheme of operation
The network will be assisted by a consultative council, formed by four consortiums:
- Producers and businessmen,
- Researchers and
- The public sector.
The network will have general coordination, with the associated technical responsibilities, that will delegate specific functions to the rest of the members of the working group, who will in turn be responsible for the development of specific tasks within the network.