Ruolin Eudora Miao
The forests in the South China Karst region are key natural resources and biodiversity areas. However, disturbance from human activities has led to loss of vegetation cover and soil, a process called “karst rocky desertification”. While major reforestation programs have led to increased vegetation coverage, much remains to be done to accomplish holistic biodiversity goals. This project aims to investigate the potential and challenges of natural regeneration by documenting the woody community structure and composition in different successional stages following disturbance and abandonment. Eudora will also seek to explore how factors such as water availability, soil nutrient, and plant functional traits influence different species' regeneration, and assess the impact that climate change brings to natural regeneration through increasing drought conditions and extreme precipitation events. By providing field-based data, the results from this study can be applied to develop management and policy instruments for reforestation and restoration.