Project properties

Title Are Prunus serotina dominated forests less diverse?
Group Forest Ecology and Forest Management Group
Project type thesis
Credits 33-39
Supervisor(s) Dr. Ir. Jan den Ouden / Dr. Ir. Kris Verheyen (UGent)
Examiner(s) Prof. Dr. Ir. G.M.J. Mohren
Contact info jan.denouden@wur.nl
Begin date 2018/03/01
End date
Description Prunus serotina is regarded as an invasive exotic tree species, and much money and effort are spent on its eradication. Most forests on sandy soils contain the species, often as dominant in the shrub layer. It occurs on the black list of invasive species, because Prunus is considered a threat for native diversity. Surprisingly, however, there is limited data on its net ecosystem effect, so the effectiveness of the eradication programs can not be assessed directly. Since eradication and control measures are costly, and budgets are limited, the efficiency of the eradication programs should also be evaluated.
In this project, you will investigate the diversity effects of Prunus serotina on the forest shrub layer and understorey plant species composition. You use a dataset of the Flemish and Dutch forest inventories to answer the question whether community responses to the presence of Prunus serotina are species effects or density effects.
This project is part of a larger research program studying the ecological role of Prunus in Dutch forest ecosystems.

[Biodiversity and functional ecology][The Netherlands][Temperate]
Used skills
Requirements FEM-30306 Forest Ecology and Forest Management; REG-31806 Ecological Methods I