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Francisco Dallmeier: 1953—: Biologist

Initiated New Approaches To Biodiversity Conservation

Dallmeier's scientific contributions have included the development of methods for using long-term research plots to study and monitor changes in the ecological balance of tropical forests. He established criteria for selecting these biodiversity plots: they must contain species that are native to the region and are representative of the region; they must include common and dominant species of the region; and the plot must be located within a single vegetation type. His research plot techniques have generated standardized information that allows detailed data from many different sites to be accurately compared. The forest plots are laid out in grids and the trees and other species are inventoried. Geological, topographical, and climatic factors, as well as past uses of the land, are determined. Once this baseline information has been collected, changes in the health and survival rates of various species can be measured over time. These methods, which rely on the use of computers in the field to record data, have led to a huge accumulation of data that is now widely available for the first time. Dallmeier and his colleagues have developed new techniques for analyzing these large databases.

But perhaps Dallmeier's most important contribution has been his new approach to biodiversity conservation, focusing on education and on promoting partnerships between conservation and development interests in order to encourage sustainable development. His approach is based on adaptive management techniques, a process by which managers can set goals, researchers can accumulate biodiversity data, and managers can reevaluate their goals in light of the new data.

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Brief BiographiesBiographies: Ciara Biography - Wrote Out Goals to Elizabeth David (1913–1992) BiographyFrancisco Dallmeier: 1953—: Biologist Biography - Trained In Wildlife Biology, Joined The Smithsonian Institution, Initiated New Approaches To Biodiversity Conservation, Headed The Camisea Project