We focus on different ecological aspects of plant communities. While taxonomists and plant ecologists usually study one or a few species in great detail, for vegetation ecologists, the study unit is the whole plant community. We focus on several specific environmental gradients, like fog density and chronic wind intensity, and observe how taxonomic species composition, trait composition and diversity change along them. This helps us to understand by which ecological mechanisms fog and wind filter species into the local community. Under the future climate change scenarios, when both fog density and chronic wind intensity are expected to decrease, this information will be essential to predict possible shifts in species composition of these vegetation types and changes in their ecosystem functioning and services.
We work both in the field (mostly doing vegetation survey in the forest) and in the lab (measuring plant traits and doing data analysis). We also spend considerable time discussing and interpreting our findings and putting them into a broader context of what is already known.
Learn more about the research focus of the lab, currently conducted cloud forest projects, and if you are interested in joining, take a look at information for prospective students. To get an idea of what our work is about, welcome to watch the EcolClips interview with David about how the cloud forest vegetation works and also our Virtual Excursion to the Lalashan Forest Dynamics Plot below!
Field trip to Yuan-Yang Lake, June 2022. From left to right: David Zelený (澤大衛), Jéssica Lira Viana (李惟曦), Yu-Pei Tseng (曾宇霈), Hsun-Hung Chu (朱訓宏), Wei Shuo (魏碩), Shu-I Lin (林書逸), Po-Yu Lin (林柏佑), Ching-Lin Huang (Andy, 黃敬麟) and Kun-Sung Wu (吳昆松). Photo by David.
Field trip to Yuan-Yang Lake, January 2021. From left to right, back row: Guan-Ting Lin (劉冠廷), Wei Shuo (魏碩), Hsun-Hung Chu (朱訓宏), Ching-Lin Huang (Andy, 黃敬麟), Chien-Fan Chen (陳建帆); front row: Shu-I Lin (林書逸), Cheng-Yang Tsai (蔡晟洋), Yu-Pei Tseng (曾宇霈), David Zelený (澤大衛) and Moni Su (蘇迎晨). Photo by 蘇迎晨.
Field trip to Lalashan, April 2018. From right to left: Tsung-Yi Lin (林宗儀), Yi-Nuo Lee (李以諾), Chia-Hsin Lin (林嘉心), Ching-Feng Li (assistant professor at NTU Forestry), Po-Yu Lin (林柏佑), Yen-Cheng Shen (沈彥成) and David Zelený (澤大衛, PI).
Field trip to Mei Fong and Hehuanshan, January 2018 (we visited landslide locations of Chien-Fan, and had a look on Hohuanshan high altitude vegetation in winter, to see the effect of snow). From left to right: Yi-Ping Wang (王怡平, Chien-Fan's wife), Chien-Fan Chen (陳建帆, PhD student), Yen-Cheng Shen (沈彥成, MSc student), David Zelený (PI), Ching-Feng Li (Woody, 李靜峯, assistant professor in NTU Forestry) and Tsung-Yi Lin (林宗儀, MSc student).
Field trip to Tamanshan, December 2016. From left to right: Chien-Fan Chen (陳建帆, PhD student), Yi-Ping Wang (王怡平, Chien-Fan's wife), David Zelený (PI), Tsung-Yi Lin (林宗儀, MSc student), Yen-Cheng Shen (沈彥成, MSc student) and Ching-Feng Li (Woody, 李靜峯, assistant professor in NTU Forestry)