Brief information on topic and research question: Bradshaw (1987) wrote that “the successful restoration of a disturbed ecosystem is the acid test of our understanding of that ecosystem.” This quote has often been restated but little research in restoration ecology has been rigorously designed to test the complex interactions between micro-and meso-scale (biotic and abiotic/site and landscape) factors that affect the rate and direction of recovery of restored forests. This implies that our knowledge of how restoration approaches interact with site and landscape factors to influence recovery of afrotropical forests is very limited. The objective of this study is to assess the influence of micro-scale factors (i.e., soil type, historical condition of land, planting mixtures, size of restoration site, age of restoration plantings) and meso-scale factors (distance to primary forest, elevation, aspect) on the recovery of afrotropical forests. Recovery will be assessed in terms of how diversity, composition, structure and function of a restored forest compare with the primary forest in Kibale National Park, Uganda. The following hypotheses will be tested:
(1) Wind-dispersed tree species recruit sooner than animal-dispersed tree species in young forests far away from seed sources
(2) Competition amongst tropical tree species increases with age
(3) Forests restored by planting native species converge with forests under natural regeneration
(4) The probability of mortality increases with species abundance in planted forests
(5) Seed removal is higher in old stands than young stands in planted forests
Progress to date:
Some of my supervisors are too busy to read my work but I am working with those who have time. I have also co-opted two senior colleagues to help me. I am considering to change my Doctoral committee members to have members who can help me.