Dr. Maowei Liang serves as a Research Scientist at Cedar Creek Ecosystem Science Reserve. His research interests span community and ecosystem ecology, with a specific emphasis on investigating the intricate connections between changes in ecosystem functioning and shifts in plant composition across spatial and temporal scales, such as biodiversity loss and biological homogenization, in response to climate and land-use changes. In his role at Cedar Creek, Dr. Liang undertakes ecological research, publishes research findings, and takes charge of coordinating and leading ecosystem restoration and management efforts, all in alignment with the overarching mission of the LTER program.
Land abandonment, increasingly prevalent due to urbanization and shifts in land-use, has resulted in the formation of old fields. However, these fields are underrecognized for their potential as unique habitats for biodiversity conservation and carbon storage. At Cedar Creek, we delve into the dynamics of plant diversity and carbon cycling in fields aged between 5 and 98 years, examining biodiversity recovery and carbon sequestration trajectories post-agricultural abandonment. Our results reveal an increase in both plant diversity and soil carbon with field age. Leveraging multi-decadal data, our findings underscore the invaluable significance of old fields in biodiversity conservation and carbon capture, offering insights pertinent to biodiversity conservation and ecosystem management initiatives.
Join the people who protect and manage our natural areas.