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Christian P. Giardina

Christian P. Giardina
Research Ecologist
Ecosystem Function and Health Program
60 Nowelo Street
Hilo, HI 96720
United States
Research Interest

My current research interests include: understanding how drought impacts fire regimes, forest hydrology and watershed health; the restoration of composition, structure, function and dynamics of forest ecosystems, especially in  landscapes degraded by the interactions of fire, drought and invasive species; and community based solutions to managing threats to forests and restoring landscapes.

Why This Research Is Important
This research is important because countless native species and human communities rely on forests for goods and services, and with changes to these systems due to fire, drought or invasive species, the capacity of these systems to meet the needs of nature and society are compromised. By understanding these systems, the impact of threats like fire, drought and invasive species, and how to manage them for multiple benefits to species and society, we can enhance the ecological health of these systems and the well-being of those communities dependent on these systems.
Professional Organizations
  • Co-Director,  USDA Climate Hub, Southwest Region,  2018 - Current
  • Adjunct Faculty,  University of Hawaii at Manoa - Natural Resources and Envirnomental Management,  2007 - Current
  • Usda Forest Service Representative,  Hawaii Conservation Alliance,  2006 - Current
Featured Publications
Other Publications
Citations of Non-Forest Service Publications
  • Wood, Tana E.; Cavaleri, Molly A.; Giardina, Christian P.; Khan, Shafkat, Mohan, Jacqueline E.; Nottingham, Andrew T; Reed, Sasha C.; Slot, Martijn. 2019. Chapter 14: Soil warming effects on tropical forests with highly weathered soils. In J. E. Mohan (Ed.), Ecosystem consequences of soil warming: microbes, vegetation, fauna and soil biogeochemistry. London : Elsevier, Academic Press: 385-439



Research Highlights

Interactive Effects of Climate Change and Invasive Species on Water Yield in Tropical Montane Forests

Year: 2016
Forest Service scientists quantify the impact of anticipated climate change and invasive species on water yield from streams using the Distributed Hydrology Soils Vegetation Model.

Hawai’i Carbon Assessment

Year: 2016
Scientists conduct an assessment of current and projected future carbon stocks showing the fluxes and sequestration for the state of Hawai’i.

Effects of Rising Temperature on Carbon Cycling and Storage in Ecosystems

Year: 2012
Scientists find that as ecosystems warm, they store more carbon, not less

Long-term warming increases ecosystem nitrogen cycling

Year: 2017
In a model ecosystem study where mean annual temperature (MAT) increases with elevation but where many factors such as soils, soil moisture, and forest composition and structure are held constant, Forest Service scientists used replicated plots located across a 5O degrees Celsius (122 degrees Fahren...

Ecosystem carbon storage and productivity across the Hawaiian Islands

Year: 2017
Hawaii provides a model system for understanding the effects of environment on ecosystem carbon storage and flux. Forest Service scientists examined current and forecasted future carbon storage and flux across the main seven Hawaiian Islands, which stored 258 total terrestial carbon in terrestrial e...

Soil Carbon Storage in Tropical Montane Forests is Insensitive to Warming

Year: 2014
Soils contain more carbon than the atmosphere and all plant biomass combined. There is fear that warming will greatly increase the net release of this soil carbon to the atmosphere through accelerated decomposition. A research team lead by Forest Service scientists have tested this important theory ...

Long-term Fragmentation Reduces Ecosystem Carbon Storage and Productivity

Year: 2015
In the naturally fragmented tropical montane landscape in Hawaii, Forest Service researchers used a highly replicated (more than 600) set of fragments ranging in size from less than 0.1 hectares to more than 100 hectares (1 hectare = 2.47 acres) to examine long-term fragmentation effects on above-g...