Jan Sulavik's disputation: evaluation of restoration success in an alpine environment
Jan Sulavik defended his PhD thesis on January 21st. The thesis "Learning from the past, assessing the present, discerning the future: a comprehensive evaluation of restoration success in alpine environment using ecosystem-, community-, and population-level studies" was preceded by a trial lecture on factors affecting restoration success in northern ecosystems.
Vegetation analysis of intact vegetation next to a mound of surplus rock from a hydropower facility at Fossane in Aurland, Vestland. Jan Sulavik, Inger Auestad and Liv Norunn Hamre.
Restoring damaged ecosystems is becoming an increasingly attractive option to fight global problems, but how can we know when restoration attempts have been successful? What roles do different organism groups such as mosses and lichens play? How long does it take before the ecosystem has recovered?
The thesis presents studies of alpine spoil heaps, surplus rock mounds, from hydropower facilities. Vascular plants, mosses and lichens were surveyed at multiple time-points to discover increasing similarity to nearby, intact ecosystems. Jan used models to project recovery trajectories, and used functional traits, abiotic factors, and spatial patterns of plant establishment to identify what makes restoration successful.
Jan Sulavik has been co-supervised by the NHM and Western Norway University of Applied Sciences.
The event was held as a physical-digital hybrid, with opponents Lars Brudvig and Marianne Evju joining digitally.