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Dr. Guangyou Hao
1300 Centre St.
Boston, MA 02131
Office: Weld Hill Research Building
Tel: (1) 617-384-5631
Group affiliation: Post-doctoral Research Fellow in Sustainability Science
Guangyou Hao is a Post-doctoral Research Fellow in the Sustainability Science Program and a Katharine H. Putnam Fellow in Plant Science based at the Arnold Arboretum. His research is on plant ecophysiology focusing on vascular transport and photosynthesis. He studies drought tolerance of desert shrubs, freezing tolerance and water relations of conifers, and plant hydraulic responses to elevated atmospheric CO2 concentration. Guangyou is contributing to collaborative work with the Initiative on Integrated Use of Land and Water Resources for Sustainable Development led by Professor N. Michele Holbrook. He holds dual Ph.D degrees in Biology from Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden (XTBG) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) and the Department of Biology at the University of Miami (UM). For his dissertation at CAS, he worked on plant hydraulics of savanna-forest congeneric species in Central Brazil and coastal red mangroves in South Florida. For his dissertation at UM, he did research in Southwest China on water relations and carbon economy of hemi-epiphytic and terrestrial Ficus species. His faculty host is N. Michele Holbrook.
Ecophysiology of Atriplex canescens in the Chihuahuan Desert: Implications for sustainable use of introduced shrubs for land rehabilitation in northern China
Land degradation and desertification are among the most serious challenges facing the sustainable development of society and human well-being, which are especially severe in arid regions with extensive agricultural activity such as Northern China. Four-wing saltbush (Atriplex canescens) was recently introduced into Northern China for desertification control and degraded land rehabilitation. My research addresses whether ecophysiology related to genetic variation within native populations of A. canescens in deserts of North America provides an important and unexploited opportunity to promote a more efficient use of this species in arid regions of China. As a C4 species from arid habitats, A. canescens has high water use efficiency and is highly stress tolerant. In its native habitats of Southwest US, this species exhibits high genetic variation, which is usually related to changes in ploidy level (chromosome number). Cytotypes with different ploidy levels have different geographical distributions and vary in morphology, physiology and ecology. This variation has not been taken into account in efforts to introduce this species to China. The physiological traits that contribute to drought tolerance among different cytotopes in their native habitats are investigated using field and laboratory based experiments with the goal of informing the introduction of these species to the heterogeneous environments of northern China.