Last year, FCAT acquired a 42 ha property with plans to use the land as a hub for forest restoration and research. Working with leading forest restoration scientists Leighton Reid (Virginia Tech) and Zak Zahawi (University of Hawaii and Charles Darwin Foundation), FCAT is planting 5,000 seedlings of 20 different species using a restoration strategy known as ‘applied nucleation’. Applied nucleation is a cost- and labor-efficient restoration strategy that involves planting small islands of trees (10 m x 10 m) throughout the restoration landscape. These tree islands then serve as hubs to attract seed dispersing animals, which accelerates natural regeneration throughout the entire restoration landscape.
Working with a large collaborative team across many institutions, FCAT will monitor recovery outcomes for a wide range of taxa and ecological processes over the course of the restoration experiment. If you are interested in collaborating with FCAT on this project, please contact us!