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US Forest Service Research & Development
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  • US Forest Service Research & Development
  • 1400 Independence Ave., SW
  • Washington, D.C. 20250-0003
  • 800-832-1355
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Flint Hughes

Ecologist
60 Nowelo Street
Hilo, HI 96720
Phone: 808-933-8121 x117
Contact Flint Hughes


Current Research

Impacts of the fast-growing, N-fixing tree, Falcataria moluccana, on the function and structure of early successional lowland wet forests of Hawaii. Results indicate that Falcataria increases inputs of N and P via litterfall, increases rates of decomposition, and increases soil N and P availability relative to uninvaded, native-dominated stands. Such functional changes coincides with substantial alteration of forest structure as well; Falcataria hastens the loss of dominant native species and facilitates the invasion of other non-native species. Such N-fixing trees have the potential to alter nutrient status and cycling of streams and coastal zones in Hawaii and elsewhere in the Pacific. In collaboration with UH and Hawaii Department of Health scientists, we are conducting NOAA-funded research to determine how Falcataria alters stream chemistry and biology in watersheds of East Hawai'i.

Effects Falcataria on densities of the invasive coqui frog. Invasive species also may have impacts across trophic levels. With UHH colleagues we are conducting NSF-funded research on the effects of increased resource availability from Falcataria trees on densities and rates of spread of the coqui frog.

Use of remote sensing to investigate impacts of invasive species on ecosystem processes.We are collaborating with scientists from the Carnegie Institute of Washington and Stanford University to use state-of-the-art remote-sensing tools to quantify ecosystem characteristics (e.g., canopy N and P, forest structure, total aboveground water) and to evaluate the impacts of invasive species at scales from forests to landscapes and regions,

Composition and structure of native lowland wet forests. With UH-PIPES interns we are studying the few remaining stands of native-dominated lowland wet forests in Hawaii to determine how they vary with regard to substrate age and type and how susceptible they are to invasion. Other studies include impacts of woody plant encroachment on C and N storage and cycling in temperate savannas of North Texas, and quantification of aboveground and soil C pools in Costa Rican forests along gradients of temperature, precipitation, and land use.

Research Interests

Ecosystem-scale impacts of invasive species and land cover/land use change, fire ecology,carbon and nutrient storage and cycling, primary and secondary forest succession.

Education

  • Department of Forest Science, Oregon State University, Ph.D. , 1997
  • Department of Biological Sciences, Stanford University, M.S. , 1992
  • Stanford University, B.A. Department of Human Biology, 1991

Professional Organizations

  • Ecological Society of America, Member
  • State of Hawaii's Natural Area Reserve Commission, Member

Featured Publications & Products

Publications & Products

Research Highlights

HighlightTitleYear


PSW-2010-007
Large-Scale High-Resolution Forest Carbon Mapping Approach is Cost-Effective

Large-scale biomass mapping is essential to support the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) program to Reduce Emissio ...

2010


Last updated on : 09/27/2013