Project properties

Title Understanding vegetation successions in a thawing tundra
Group Forest Ecology and Forest Management Group
Project type thesis
Credits 24-39
Supervisor(s) Dr. Ute Sass-Klaassen (FEM), Dr. Ir. Monique Heijmans (PEN), R�na Magn�sson
Examiner(s) Prof. Dr. F.J.J.M (Frans) Bongers
Contact info ute.sassklaassen@wur.nl, monique.heijmans@wur.nl, runa.magnusson@wur.nl
Begin date 2019/01/07
End date
Description Shrub expansion is widely observed in the Arctic and is related to climate warming. However, at our field site in Siberian tundra we observe local drowning of low shrub species Betula nana (dwarf birch). Permafrost thawing can trigger collapse of originally elevated shrub patches into waterlogged depressions which can be lethal to the B. nana shrubs. You will use dendrochronology techniques to compare drowning B. nana plants with nearby healthy plants to explore when (recently?) and how (suddenly or gradually) the shrubs drowned and whether the shrubs were already in poor condition (due age, pathogens, nutrient deficiency?) before the collapse. This project builds upon earlier dendrochronology thesis projects using B. nana.
Used skills Dendrochronology, experimental design, SPSS
Requirements FEM-30306 Forest Ecology and Forest Management; REG-31806 Ecological Methods I