Biography & Abstract



Prof. Norma Salinas

Pontificia Universidad Catolica del Peru



Norma Salinas Revilla is a researcher within the Ecosystems Laboratory. Norma’s research focuses on plant ecology and the biogeography of the Andes with focus on the impact of plant anatomical and structural traits on the physiology and adaptation to altitudinal and climate gradients. She joined the Environmental Change Institute as a Post-Doctoral Researcher Associate in 2012, working for the GEM-TRAIT project in the Ecosystems Lab. Currently, her main focus is to relate leaf and wood traits with carbon cycle in tropical forests along the Andes to Amazon transect in Peru by an exhaustive collection of data along this altitudinal gradient. In 2003, Norma Salinas, Miles Silman, Jason Bradford, established the first nine 1 ha plots throughout the Trocha Union within Manu Park and within what is now the Wayqechas Cloud Forest Reserve. These plots range in elevation from 600 to 3625 meters in elevation. Monitoring campaigns have identified each individual tree stem and tracked its growth since the creation of the plots. This information has proven critical to understand each species distribution patterns in the context of elevational, climatologic, biogeochemical, and biotic constraints. Through all her projects and research, Dr. Salinas has been providing advice and support many of her students to carry out their own research and to pursue graduate studies abroad and in Peru. And also considering her work two species have been named with her name in recognition her research and support to research (Telipogon salinasiae Farfán & Moretz (orchid) and Macrocarpaea normae J.R. Grant (gentianacea). And she participated in first described of new species (Maxillaria machupicchuensis Christenson & Salinas and Brachionidium machupicchuense Salinas & Christenson).
Norma was a professor at National University of San Antonio Abad in Cusco for more than 20 years. Now is associate research to INTE- PUCP (Instituto de Ciencias de la Naturaleza, Territorio y Energías Renovables de la Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú)


Title: Understanding tropical forests and climate change: a journey along an elevation transect in the Amazon and Andes

Abstract: Tropical forests have a major influence on global patterns of biodiversity, ecosystem ecology, productivity and biogeochemical cycles, but they remain relatively understudied. Moreover, our understanding of many global patterns (e.g. of how biodiversity, ecophysiology or ecosystem function vary with latitude) are often influenced by a handful of data points from tropical latitudes (in contrast to swarms of data points from temperate regions). In this talk, I argue that many times the wet tropics are often treated as a warm, wet ‘end-point’ of most global analyses. However, comparison of tropical with extratropical regions is not straightforward, because of the vast geographical separations involved that lead to complications resulting from both biogeography and climate. I will also talk about the global awareness of the significance of the role that tropical forests play in the global carbon cycle has never been greater, but much uncertainty still exists as to the exact magnitude of this role. And I will close by arguing that our understanding of ecosystem ecology and function can be greatly advanced by considering environmental gradients within the tropics, whether gradients of moisture or of other climate variables. In particular, we propose that tropical montane elevation transects make excellent natural laboratories for understanding environmental controls on ecosystem function, especially temperature and it is a particularly powerful tool to further understanding of the influence of temperature on the biodiversity, ecology, ecosystem function and global change response of forest ecosystems.