Project properties

Title Why is the tree species composition in the Amazon changing? A functional trait approach
Group Forest Ecology and Forest Management Group
Project type thesis
Credits 36
Supervisor(s) FEM group: Lourens Poorter
Other organisation: Dr Flavia Costa, INPA, Manaus, Brazil
Examiner(s) Prof.Dr. F.J.J.M (Frans) Bongers
Contact info
Begin date 2018/03/01
End date
Description Permanent sample plots in the Amazon show that there is a directional change in tree species composition. The question is who are the winners (increasing in abundance), who are the loosers (decreasing in abundance), and why? Is it because of climate change (drought), CO2 fertilization, or species responses to past disturbances? In this thesis you will do fieldwork in Ducke Forest reserve, near Manaus; a beautiful rainforest in the middle of the Amazon. You will work with research partners in Brazil, and measure for a large number of species a suite of functional traits, that are relevant for the water balance, carbon balance, and heat balance of the plant. You will use available plot data to evaluate whether increasing, decreasing and constant tree species differ in their functional traits. Knowing what traits are changing provides us with novel clues why the vegetation is changing and what are the underlying drivers.

Climate change effects /Biodiversity and functional diversity/ Population and forest dynamics/ Ecophysiology /America's/ Tropical zone
Used skills functional trait measurements, statistical analyses
Requirements FEM-30306 Forest Ecology and Forest Management; REG-31806 Ecological Methods I;