THE Institute for Biodiversity and Environmental Research (IBER), Universiti Brunei Darussalam (UBD), will be holding the IBER Seminar Series on October 29 (2.30pm) at FSM 2.18, Faculty of Science, UBD. The lecture will be entitled “Biomass Dynamics of Tropical Forests Through On-The-Ground Observations” and will be delivered by Dr Lan Qie from the School of Geography, University of Leeds UK.
The lecture will give an overview of results from on-the-ground tropical forest observations from South America and Africa, and an introduction on the long-term plot monitoring work in Southeast Asia as part of the ‘Tropical Forests in the Changing Earth System’ (T-FORCES) project – a pan-tropical collaborative research network led by University of Leeds.
In Southeast Asia, priority has been given to Borneo, the largest island in the Sundanic biogeographical subregion, where an ongoing systematic recensus has included over 50 long-term plots in Sarawak, Sabah, Brunei and Kalimantan, bringing data up-to-date for some of the oldest plots in the region.
Preliminary analysis indicates an overall increasing carbon stock in primary/old-growth lowland rainforests in Northern Borneo, consistent with evidence from South America and Africa.
Newly collected data on plots in Brunei, especially those monitored since the early 1990s, will shed more light on the general trend of biomass change in some of Borneo’s best protected forests.
The aim of the project is to develop a sustainable, collaborative, long-term forest plot network in the region as part of a Pan-Tropical Observatory of Forest Function.
Dr Lan Qie comes from an interdisciplinary background – a BSc in Electronic Engineering (Fudan University, China), an MSc in Bioengineering and a PhD in Ecology (National University of Singapore).
She has worked on different taxa in Southeast Asia including dung beetles, frogs, birds and butterflies. She continues to feel fascinated by what is home for all these – the rainforest itself.
Her current project sets out to quantify the carbon balance in Southeast Asia’s old-growth forests and possible changes over the past decades, and to identify what the mechanism(s) are driving these variations, based on permanent plot data.
Studies as such undoubtedly require the involvement of many scientists across different countries, for which reason an important goal of this project is to help develop and support a long-term forest research network for Southeast Asia.
Working with a large number of collaborators, she has been leading a systematic recensus of permanent plots across Malaysia, Indonesia and Brunei, with a focus on Borneo.
She is looking forward to more field campaigns ahead and hopefully some answers to her research questions backed by extensive field data.