Ecohydrology of tropical montane forests of the Andean Amazon

Research summary

Fresh water scarcity due to glacier retreat and decreasing precipitation related to global climate change will be one of the most serious environmental and social challenges in the Andean Amazonian region in this century. Rapidly increasing land use changes make water scarcity even more critical in dry season and, on the other hand, increase flooding and landslide risks in rainy season, because deforested areas have lost their natural water retention and storage capacity. A better understanding of natural water fluxes of forest ecosystems is needed to be able to solve the problems in water cycle.


Andean Amazonian montane cloud forests are one of the world's main biodiversity hot spots. The primary aim of this project is to understand hydrological importance of the abundance and diversity of epiphytic vegetation in tropical montane cloud forests in the Andean Amazon, using experimental and modeling approach. The results of the project are expected to greatly increase our scientific knowledge on the role of epiphytes in tropical cloud forest water balance, and deepen our understanding of the functioning of these forests and critical components needed to maintain the important ecosystem services they provide. The results have high environmental and socioeconomical relevance globally, as these forests are important reservoirs of global biodiversity and key components in global carbon and water cycle, and at the same time important resources for local human populations.

More information

Research publication
Project information

Research info

Research title
Ecohydrology of tropical montane forests of the Andean Amazon

Research timeline
1.4.2015 - 1.7.2018

biodiversity bryophytes cloud forests cloud water interception ecohydrology epiphytes forest structure Tropical montane forests water balance water cycle

Latin America

Finland, Peru

University of Turku
Department of Biology
Turku, Finland

Funding instrument
Other, Other

Project budget
0 - 200,000 euros

Head of research
Johanna Toivonen, Sanna Huttunen

Research team
Johanna Toivonen, Sanna Huttunen, Tinja Pitkämäki, Carlos Gonzales Inca, Lassi Suominen

University of Marburg (Faculty of Geography) Germany

Contact information
Johanna Toivonen

Record last updated