Hectare plot setup finished.
Last week Ana Mariscal's team finished the establishing the last hectare plot in Santa Lucía. That means that we have three hectare plots of 100x100m set up in the reserve. The lowest one at around 1.600m proved to be the one with the least number of trees (429). It looks like - contrary to what we thought - that part of the forest suffered from mild intervention many years ago. But the analysis of the actual species composition will hopefully shed some light on that.
The second plot at around 2.000m has 505 individual trees and turned out to be a healthy primary forest although bordering on an old pasture.
The upper transect at around 2.300m was the most difficult one. Not only did Ana's team suffer from heavy rainfalls, but it was also the most challenging plot in terms of topography and it had the highest number of individual trees (627). The team actually had to camp up there in order to avoid having to climb 1,5 hours up to the plot.
Well done everybody! Thank you very much. That was hard work and everybody deserves a little break.
What remains to be done is the finally IDing based on the samples that were taken in the forest. Ana and a few specialist will compare the samples with reference samples in the herbarium and confirm or correct the preliminary IDs.