Project properties

Title Dieback of the Amazon rainforest giants? Can tree hydraulics provide a clue?
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 2018/04/01
End date
Description Amazon tropical rainforests are increasingly impacted by el-Nino droughts. During those severe drought events, it is especially the large canopy trees that are dying. It is thought that the water relationships (i.e. hydraulics) of the tree species, such as the water transport capacity or the cavitation resistance can provide a clue which species survive drought successfully and why. In this thesis you will do fieldwork in the beautiful rainforest of Ducke Forest reserve, near Manaus in the middle of the Amazon. You will work with research partners in Brazil, and measure for a number of species a suite of ecophysiological hydraulic stem traits (such as hydraulic conductance and cavitation resistance) and underlying wood traits (wood density, wood anatomy) to het insight into what species are drought tolerant and why. It also provides insight into important traits, that determine the ecology, growth and distribution of these tree species. Hydraulics is one of the hot topics in ecophysiology, these days, and this is your opportunity to get acquainted with it.

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