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Dr. I-Fang Sun

Director of CIRES

I am a plant community ecologist with over 20 years of experience working in the tropical and subtropical forests of East and Southeast Asia. My research interests focus on understanding the mechanisms that facilitate species coexistence in these forests. I have been involved in planning, establishing and maintaining several Forest Dynamics Plots (FDP) in Taiwan, China and SE Asia. I have also established long-term monitoring projects on plant functional traits, plant reproductive phenology and seedling dynamics in several Taiwanese FDP plots, as well as in Pasoh forest in Malaysia. Our lab has maintained several long-term datasets from seed production and seedling dynamics to tree growth and mortality in subtropical evergreen forests. We are keen to work with researchers and students that are interested in using this data to understand key processes in these forest systems.


Plant ecology ; forest dynamics ; tropical ecology

Plant Ecology Lab. B316




CIRES, College of Environmental Studies, National Dong Hwa University. 
No.1, Sec.2, Da Hsueh Rd., Shoufeng, Hualien 974301, Taiwan.

Active Projects

  • Seed dispersal, density dependence, and species diversity in evergreen broadleaved forests, Taiwan

  • Ecosystem management and biodiversity conservation in Cryptomeria japonica plantation forests

  • General flowering events and its impact on forest regeneration in Southeast Asia

  • Integration of Taiwan Forest Dynamics Plots

Key Publications

  • Schmid, J.S., Taubert, F., Wiegand, T., Sun, I-F., and A. Huth. (2020). Network science applied to forest megaplots: tropical tree species coexist in small-world networks. Scientific Reports 10, 13198. 

  • Chao, A., Chiu, C-H., Villéger, S., Sun, I-F., Thorn, S., Lin, Y-C., Chiang, J-M., and Sherwin, W.B. (2019). An attribute‐diversity approach to functional diversity, functional beta diversity, and related (dis)similarity measures. Ecological Monographs, 

  • Luskin, M. S., Brashares, J. S., Ickes, K., Sun, I-F., Fletcher, C., Wright, S. J., and Potts, M. (2017). Cross-boundary subsidy cascades from oil palm degrade distant tropical forests. Nature Communications,

  • Usinowicz, J., Chang-Yang, C-H., Chen, Y-Y., Clark, J. S., Fletcher, C., Garwood, N. C., Hao, Z., Johnstone, J., Lin, Y., Metz, M. R., Masaki, T., Nakashizuka, T., Sun, I-F., Valencia, R., Wang, Y., Zimmerman, J. K., Ives, A. R. and Wright, S. J. (2017). Temporal coexistence mechanisms contribute to the latitudinal gradient in forest diversity. Nature, 

  • Chen, Y., Satake, A., Sun, I-F., Kosugi, Y., Tani, M., Numata, S., Hubbell, S. P., Fletcher, C., Supardi, M. N. N., and Wright, S. J. (2017). Species-specific flowering cues among general flowering Shorea species at the Pasoh Research Forest, Malaysia. Journal of Ecology, 

  • Chang-Yang, C-H., Sun, I-F, Tsai, C-H., Lu, C-L., and Hsieh, C-F. (2016). ENSO and frost co-determine decade-long temporal variation in flower and seed production in a subtropical rainforest. Journal of Ecology, 104:44-54. 

  • Lasky, J. R., Sun, I-F., Su, S-H., Chen, Z-S., and Keitt T. H. (2013). Trait-mediated effects of environmental filtering on tree community dynamics. Journal of Ecology, 101:722-733.

CIRES members

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