Conference Objectives and General Description

Earthquake Update: AGU has received confirmation that the city of Cuenca has not been impacted by the recent earthquake in Ecuador. Cuenca is further inland and is at 10,000 feet elevation. The Registration and Housing web sites are now open.

Tropical landscapes are of enormous importance. Accounting for about one-fifth of the global land mass, they produce most of the Earth’s streamflows and influence global as well as regional climates. In addition, because of the dual processes of climate change and deforestation, tropical landscapes are undergoing rapid changes. The effects of these changes on water and biogeochemical processes, at a range of scales, are enormous—but poorly understood (Wohl et al. 2012). We do know, for example, that deforestation will lead to changes in evapotranspiration, streamflow, and precipitation from local to regional scales (Coe et al. 2011, Ogden et al. 2013) and may even influence global climates (Avissar et al. 2002, Bonan 2008). Similarly, climate change will likely lead to large-scale and important changes in cloud and precipitation dynamics, atmospheric–vegetation feedbacks, and/or hydrologic cycles in the tropics (Immerzeel et al. 2010). In addition, deforestation has many other detrimental effects, including accelerated erosion, degradation of waterways, and loss of biodiversity.

Given the accelerated pace of change, the importance of tropical landscapes, and our relatively poor understanding of tropical ecohydrology, the goal of this conference is to examine our current understanding of tropical ecohydrology and identify critical research needs. The conference will have the further aim of fostering greater interdisciplinary collaboration across the spectrum of ecological and hydrological sciences. In particular, we seek to improve the disciplinary ties between ecophysiologists and catchment hydrologists.