Project properties

Title Ecological boundaries for sustainable biomass harvest in production forests
Group Forest Ecology and Forest Management Group
Project type thesis
Credits 27-39
Supervisor(s) Marleen Vos & Frank Sterck
Examiner(s) Prof. Dr. F.J.J.M (Frans) Bongers
Contact info marleen.vos@wur.nl
Begin date 2019/01/07
End date
Description Background
The European Union is promoting greater mobilisation of existing timber reserves in order to exploit the full potential of biomass (Directive 2009/28/EC) both for energy and industrial applications. This leads to an increased pressure on the nutri�nt budgets of these production forests. Yet, it is unclear under which conditions current-day harvest practices are sustainable or not, especially concerning the nutri�nt poor sandy soils on which a major part of the Dutch forests are located.

Design
We will set up a complete randomized block design to test the effect of management on the nutrient budget. In total 20 blocks of 1 ha will be installed in 5 sets across the Netherlands. Each set will consist of a 1 ha block of all included tree species. For this experiment, only production forests on poor sandy soils are selected.

We aim to provide science-based guidelines for ecological sustainable biomass harvest by quantifying the effects of management on the forest nutri�nt budget.

Student projects working on the following three hypotheses are available:
1. Nutri�nt export by harvest depends on tree species
2. Forest structure affects dry deposition
3. Leaching is influenced by harvest intensity and by treepart removal and mulching
4. The effects of management should be considered to achieve sustainable biomass harvest
Used skills
Requirements FEM-30306 Forest Ecology and Forest Management; REG-31806 Ecological Methods I