Rhett Daniel Harrison

Rhett Daniel Harrison
World Agroforestry Centre · World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF)

PhD (Kyoto University)

About

191
Publications
89,761
Reads
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6,244
Citations
Introduction
I have four main research themes (1) forest landscape restoration, (2) the role of biodiversity in the provisioning of ecosystem services in multiuse landscapes, (3) agroforestry and the restoration of ecosystem services in agricultural landscapes and tree monocultures, such as rubber, and (4) the drivers and consequences of bushmeat hunting. I also continue with some of my earlier research on the evolutionary-ecology of figs and fig wasps.
Additional affiliations
March 2016 - present
World Agroforestry Centre
Position
  • Landscape Ecologist
March 2013 - February 2016
Kunming Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences
Position
  • Professor
April 2011 - February 2013
Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden
Position
  • Professor
Education
April 1996 - March 2000
Kyoto University
Field of study
  • Tropical ecology
April 1994 - March 1996
Kyoto University
Field of study
  • Tropical ecology
September 1988 - July 1991
Durham University
Field of study
  • Zoology

Publications

Publications (191)
Article
In Asia, large swathes of rainforest have been converted to rubber plantations, with major consequences for biodiversity and ecosystem services. However, the impact of this land use conversion on rhizosphere soil mycobiome has not yet been addressed. This study aims to investigate how rhizosphere soil fungal communities and their associated biologi...
Article
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The Cerambycidae comprise a large and ecologically important family of wood-boring beetles. The purpose of this study was to examine the effectiveness of a generic lure as a potential monitoring tool. Working in a subtropical forest in southwest China, we set traps baited with generic lures at ground level (1 m) and canopy height (~18 m) across 22...
Article
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Fungi decompose woody debris, an important carbon pool in forests. Fungal community structure is expected to vary according to the wood species, habitats and extent of abiotic disturbance, which have consequences for carbon cycling in tropical forests. Here we examined theeffects of fungal diversity and composition on woody debris decomposition rat...
Article
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Despite many attempts in the Sanger sequencing era, the phylogeny of fig trees remains unresolved, which limits our ability to analyze the evolution of key traits that may have contributed to their evolutionary and ecological success. We used restriction-site-associated DNA sequencing (c. 420 kb) and 102 morphological characters to elucidate the re...
Article
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COVID-19 has exposed the vulnerability of our economies to shocks, and it has laid bare deep inequalities in our society that threaten to derail the Sustainable Development Goals. Governments around the world are looking for recovery options that deliver new jobs and businesses. Few sectors link job creation so closely to sustainable green producti...
Article
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Logging has depleted timber resources across a considerable portion of the world's tropical forests, leaving them vulnerable to conversion to other land‐use types. This raises the question of whether management for restoration represents an economically viable alternative. We reviewed restoration concessions (areas of degraded state forest land lea...
Article
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Aim Palms are an iconic, diverse and often abundant component of tropical ecosystems that provide many ecosystem services. Being monocots, tree palms are evolutionarily, morphologically and physiologically distinct from other trees, and these differences have important consequences for ecosystem services (e.g., carbon sequestration and storage) and...
Article
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Aim: Palms are an iconic, diverse and often abundant component of tropical ecosystems that provide many ecosystem services. Being monocots, tree palms are evolutionarily, morphologically and physiologically distinct from other trees, and these differences have important consequences for ecosystem services (e.g., carbon sequestration and storage) an...
Article
Woody debris represents a substantial reservoir of carbon in forests. Disentangling the effects of factors affecting wood decomposition rates is therefore important. We examined the abiotic and biotic factors affecting wood decomposition across a disturbance gradient from mature forest to open land in a tropical montane site in Xishuangbanna, SW Ch...
Article
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There is still considerable debate about the relative importance of resource heterogeneity and resource quantity in the maintenance of species diversity in a community. The resource heterogeneity hypothesis proposes that spatial heterogeneity of limiting resources and inter-specific differences in resource requirements will determine species richne...
Article
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Globally, Forest and Landscape Restoration (FLR) is gaining widespread recognition from governments and policymakers for its potential to restore key ecosystem services and to improve human wellbeing. We organized an international conference on FLR, titled—Forest and Landscape Restoration: Making it Happen, between 25–27 February 2019 in Manila, th...
Preprint
Full-text available
Despite their ecological and evolutionary importance as key components of tropical ecosystems, the phylogeny of fig trees is still unresolved. We use restriction-site-associated DNA (RAD) sequencing (ca 420kb) and 102 morphological characters to elucidate the relationships between 70 species of Ficus representing all known subgenera and sections an...
Article
Land-use change modulates the balance between methane (CH4) oxidation by soil methanotrophs, and production by methanogens through changes in soil physical, chemical and biological properties. The large-scale expansion of rubber plantations in Southeast Asia has decreased CH4 uptake by soil, but a mechanistic understanding of the associated process...
Preprint
Full-text available
Background: Fungi are essential agents in decomposing woody debris (WD), an important carbon pool in forests. However, the ecology and dynamics of these fungal communities are poorly understood, especially in tropical forests. A better understanding of anthropogenic impacts, such as forest disturbances, on WD decomposition is also needed to appreci...
Cover Page
Full-text available
The cover image is based on the Research Article Converting forests into rubber plantations weakened the soil CH4 sink in tropical uplands by Rong Lang et al., https://doi.org/10.1002/ldr.3417.
Article
Full-text available
Large‐scale conversion of natural forest to rubber plantations has taken place for decades in Southeast Asia making it a deforestation hotspot. Besides negative changes in biodiversity, ecosystem water and carbon budgets, converting forests to plantations often reduced CH4 uptake by soils. The latter process, which might be partly responsible for r...
Article
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Fall armyworm (FAW), a voracious agricultural pest native to North and South America, was first detected on the African continent in 2016 and has subsequently spread throughout the continent and across Asia. It has been predicted that FAW could cause up to $US13 billion per annum in crop losses throughout sub-Saharan Africa, thereby threatening the...
Article
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Unmanned aerial vehicles are increasingly used to monitor forests. Three-dimensional models of tropical rainforest canopies can be constructed from overlapping photos using Structure from Motion (SfM), but it is often impossible to map the ground elevation directly from such data because canopy gaps are rare in rainforests. Without knowledge of the...
Article
The soil fungal functional group changes in response to forest disturbance and indicates a close interaction between the aboveground plant community and the belowground soil biological community. Soil saprotrophic fungi declined in relative abundance with increasing forest disturbance. At the same time, the relative abundance of facultative pathoge...
Article
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Plants produce above-and below-ground biomass. However, our understanding of both production and decomposition of below-ground biomass is poor, largely because of the difficulties of accessing roots. Below-ground organic matter decomposition studies are scant and especially rare in the tropics. In this study, we used a litter bag experiment to quan...
Article
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While there is increasing evidence concerning the detrimental effects of expanding rubber plantations on biodiversity and local water balances, their implications on regional hydrology remain uncertain. We studied a mesoscale watershed (100 km 2) in the Xishuangbanna prefecture, Yunnan Province, China. The influence of land-cover change on streamfl...
Preprint
Plants produce above-and below-ground biomass. However, our understanding of both production and decomposition of below-ground biomass is poor, largely because of the difficulties of accessing study materials. Below-ground organic matter decomposition studies are scanty and especially rare in the tropics. Here, we used a litter bag experiment to qu...
Preprint
Deforestation has a substantial impact on above ground biodiversity, but the response of below ground soil fungi remains poorly understood. In a tropical montane rainforest in southwestern China, plots were established along a forest degradation gradient ranging from mature and regenerated forests to open land to examine the impacts of forest degra...
Article
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1.Enhancing knowledge on the role of evolutionary history during forest succession and its relationship with ecosystem function is particularly relevant in the context of forest landscape restoration for climate change mitigation and adaptation. 2.We used fine resolution vegetation and environmental data (soil, elevation and slope) from two large‐s...
Article
The conversion of tropical forests to monoculture rubber plantations throughout Southeast Asia threatens to have widespread negative impacts on ecosystem services. The aim of this study was to identify the impacts of forest conversion to rubber plantations on soil microorganisms, using a space for time substitution design. Soil microbial communitie...
Article
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The relationship between beta-diversity and latitude still remains to be a core question in ecology because of the lack of consensus between studies. One hypothesis for the lack of consensus between studies is that spatial scale changes the relationship between latitude and beta-diversity. Here, we test this hypothesis using tree data from 15 large...
Article
Soil respiration is a key component of the global carbon cycle, and even small changes in soil respiration rates could result in significant changes in atmospheric CO2 levels. The conversion of tropical forests to rubber plantations in SE Asia is increasingly common, and there is a need to understand the impacts of this land-use change on soil resp...
Article
Vast areas of degraded land have proliferated worldwide. In response to this transformation, ambitious targets have been set to restore degraded ecosystems, such as the the Bonn Challenge, which aims to restore 350 million ha of forestland by 2030. Achieving such goals will require a larger evidence base of restoration studies, which could be reali...
Article
Woody debris (WD) represents a globally significant carbon stock and its decomposition returns nutrients to the soil while providing habitat to microbes, plants and animals. Understanding what drives WD decomposition is therefore important. WD decomposition rates differ greatly among species. However, the role of bark in the process remains poorly...
Article
Tropical bamboos persist in a wide range of light conditions and quickly respond to changes in light availability. However, the mechanisms underpinning this ability remain unknown. In order to test the hypothesis that the modular and hollow culm architecture of bamboos explains their performance in a wide range of light environments, we determined...
Article
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Knowledge about the biogeographic affinities of the world’s tropical forests helps to better understand regional differences in forest structure, diversity, composition, and dynamics. Such understanding will enable anticipation of region-specific responses to global environmental change. Modern phylogenies, in combination with broad coverage of spe...
Article
Soil respiration (SR) plays an important role in the global carbon cycle. The widespread and continued conversion of tropical forests to plantations is expected to drastically alter CO2 production in soil, with significant consequences for atmospheric concentrations of this crucial greenhouse gas. In Southeast Asia, rubber plantations are among the...
Article
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Ficus elastica, otherwise known as India Rubber (although its geographical origins are unclear), was an important source of latex in the early 19 th century and was widely cultivated in tropical Asia. Like all figs, F. elastica is dependent on tiny, highly specific wasps for pollination, and detailed studies based out of Singapore in the 1930s sugg...
Article
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It is widely believed that aposematic signals should be conspicuous, but in nature, they vary from highly conspicuous to near cryptic. Current theory, including the honest signal or trade-off hypotheses of the toxicity–conspicuousness relationship, cannot explain why adequately toxic species vary substantially in their conspicuousness. Through a st...
Article
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Presently, the lack of data on soil organic carbon (SOC) stocks in relation to land-use types and biophysical characteristics prevents reliable estimates of ecosystem carbon stocks in montane landscapes of mainland SE Asia. Our study, conducted in a 10 000 ha landscape in Xishuangbanna, SW China, aimed at assessing the spatial variability in SOC co...
Article
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The use of native species in forest restoration has been increasingly recognized as an effective means of restoring ecosystem functions and biodiversity to degraded areas across the world. However, successful selection of species adapted to local conditions requires specific knowledge which is often lacking, especially in developing countries. In o...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
In China rubber is an economically important plant, and has expanded rapidly to occupy considerable land area, including highly diverse rainforests in Xishuangbanna. It provides considerable income to villagers, who have few alternative income sources. Conversion of traditional land management systems to rubber, which supports very low levels of fo...
Article
Full-text available
Presently, the lack of data on soil organic carbon (SOC) in relation to land-use types and biophysical characteristics prevents reliable estimates of carbon stocks in montane landscapes of mainland SE Asia. Our study, conducted in a 10,000-hectare landscape in Xishuangbanna, SW China, aimed at assessing the spatial variability in SOC and its relati...
Article
Full-text available
Organic matter decomposition represents a vital ecosystem process by which nutrients are made available for plant uptake and is a major flux in the global carbon cycle. Previous studies have investigated decomposition of different plant parts, but few considered bark decomposition or its role in decomposition of wood. However, bark can comprise a l...
Article
Full-text available
Plant diversity surely determines arthropod diversity, but only moderate correlations between arthropod and plant species richness had been observed until Basset et al. (2012, Science 338: 1481-1484) finally undertook an unprecedentedly comprehensive sampling of a tropical forest and demonstrated that plant species richness could indeed accurately...
Preprint
Full-text available
Plant diversity surely determines arthropod diversity, but only moderate correlations between arthropod and plant species richness had been observed until Basset et al. (2012, Science 338: 1481-1484) finally undertook an unprecedentedly comprehensive sampling of a tropical forest and demonstrated that plant species richness could indeed accurately...
Article
Full-text available
Although deforestation and forest degradation have long been considered the most significant threats to tropical biodiversity, across Southeast Asia (Northeast India, Indochina, Sundaland, Philippines) substantial areas of natural habitat have few wild animals (>1 kg), bar a few hunting-tolerant species. To document hunting impacts on vertebrate po...