Hybrid Ecosystems and Forest Restoration: Lessons from Hawaiʻi
American Sāmoa | Thursday, October 20 from 1:00-2:15 p.m.Hawaiʻi | Thursday, October 20 from 2:00-3:15 p.m. Palau | Friday, October 21 from 9:00-10:15 a.m. CNMI & Guam | Friday, October 21 from 10:00-11:15 a.m. FSM | Friday, October 21 from 10:00-11:15 a.m. (Weno) / 11:00 am-12:15 p.m. (Palikir) RMI | Friday, October 21 from 12:00 – 1:15 p.m.
A Pacific RISCC Webinar via Zoom
Restoration to a previous reference condition may not be feasible due to a lack of information, urbanization, invasive species, or climate change. What are hybrid ecosystems, and can native and non-native species co-exist?
The next Pacific RISCC Webinar, “Hybrid Ecosystems and Forest Restoration: Lessons from Hawaiʻi”, will feature Rebecca (Becky) Ostertag, who will be presenting on a restoration experiment in a lowland wet forest in Hilo that will help gauge the viability of hybrid ecosystems playing a role in restoration.
Rebecca (Becky) Ostertag is a professor at the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo. She teaches courses in ecology, conservation, biostatistics, and field methods, and has mentored many undergraduate and master’s projects in forest ecology over the last 20 years. She studies forest structure and function and uses that information for forest restoration in the face of invasive species, climate change, and other threats.
Restoration to a previous reference condition may not be feasible in all situations, due to lack of information, urbanization, invasive species, or climate change. When site improvement and enhanced ecosystem services are desirable, a valuable option may be hybrid ecosystems, in which native and non-native (but non-invasive) species coexist together. A restoration experiment in lowland wet forest in Hilo, Hawai´i, designed using functional trait theory, provides an experimental test of whether hybrid ecosystems can meet the objectives of increased carbon storage, native biodiversity regeneration, and invasion resistance. Key results of the experiment will be outlined, with a discussion of how hybrid ecosystems represent a paradigm shift, how potential metrics of belonging within an ecosystem may be developed, and how new policies can support these efforts.