|Title||Tree community assembly along topographic gradients in the Amazon. Linking species traits with forest plots and species distribution|
|Group||Forest Ecology and Forest Management Group|
|Supervisor(s)||FEM group: Lourens Poorter
Other organisation: Dr Flavia Costa, INPA, Manaus, Brazil
|Examiner(s)||Prof.Dr. F.J.J.M (Frans) Bongers|
|Description||Tropical rainforests in the Amazon are characterized by a steep topography. Crests , slopes and valley bottoms differ markedly in water availability, nutrient availability, and species composition. The questions is what traits allow species to establish where, and whether we can predict community assembly (species establishment, growth and survival) and community composition. In this thesis you will do fieldwork in Ducke Forest reserve, a beautiful rainforest near Manaus 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 nutrient balance of the plants. You will use available permanent sample plot data and environmental data (soil fertility, water availability) to evaluate what traits allow species to establish, grow and survive in crests and valleys. You will also scale up the traits of individual plants to the community level, analysing community-weighted mean trait values and functional diversity. In combination, this will give insight how community assembly occurs in this hyperdiverse tropical rainforest.
Climate change effects /Biodiversity and functional diversity/ Population and forest dynamics/ Ecophysiology / America's/ Tropical zone
|Requirements||FEM-30306 Forest Ecology and Forest Management; REG-31806 Ecological Methods I;|