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Speaker: Dr Lan Qie, Research Associate, Forest Ecology and Conservation Group, Imperial College London
Tropical forests play a crucial role in taking up CO2 from the atmosphere. In Borneo, although structurally intact forests have been shown to be a long-term carbon sink, fragmentation and drought are posing progressive and periodical threats to this carbon sink. Lan Qie will discuss long-term above-ground live biomass dynamics based on permanent forest plots across Borneo, and draw attention to the vulnerability of forest carbon stock along forest edges. Different tree species respond differently to these changes, and in turn may modulate the carbon dynamics in the forest community they are part of. She will explore the idea of “edge resilience enhancement” as a form of active forest management to promote forest health and carbon stability along its edges in an increasing fragmented forest landscape. She will also shine a spotlight on the IUCN vulnerable Borneo ironwood (Eusideroxylon zwageri), making a case for this species to be used as a flagship for integrated carbon and species conservation actions.
Dr Lan Qie (Lainie) originally comes from an engineering background. A passion for the tropical forests enabled her to sidestep into ecology and she can’t help having unconventional ideas from time to time. Her research interests have widely encompassed forest carbon stock and global change, biodiversity, ecosystem functioning and conservation. Much of her work has taken place in Southeast Asia, especially Borneo. Her current projects focus on broad ecosystem response and resilience to El Niño drought within logged forests in Malaysia (supported by NERC El Niño funding programme) and Indonesia (supported by a British Council Newton Institutional Links grant). She is actively exploring how to apply our ecological understanding of tropical forest dynamics into active conservation actions that benefit both forests and forest-dependent people.