Understanding the Importance of Liana Dominance for Tropical Forest Health
- Start date: 1 January 2018
- End date: 31 December 2022
- Funder: Australian Research Council
- Primary investigator: Professor Oliver Phillips FRS
Led by Dr Andy Marshall at Australia’s University of the Sunshine Coast, this project aims to assess the impact of lianas (woody vines) and their removal on forest health and value. New field infrastructure, removal experiments and global datasets will be used to compare forest health under varying liana dominance, determine whether lianas are preventing recovery, and to predict regional and global impacts.
The project expects to generate new knowledge regarding ecosystem function and global change biology, building collaboration between ecologists, economists and forest managers. The expected benefit will be implementation of restoration methods in priority areas and subsequently improved forest health management. Outcomes will include the identification of thresholds of liana dominance that determine whether forests can recover without intervention, and how these vary regionally under varying climate. Through workshops and working relationships with conservation management authorities and landowners across two continents, we expect to implement restoration methods in priority areas and subsequently improved forest health.