Project properties

Title Understanding reproductive strategies of new forests in the Atlantic Forest region of Brazil.
Group Forest Ecology and Forest Management Group
Project type thesis
Credits 24-36
Supervisor(s) Rens Brouwer; Prof. Dr. Marielos Peña-claros, Prof. Dr. Frans Bongers
Examiner(s) Prof.Dr. F.J.J.M (Frans) Bongers
Contact info Rens.brouwer@wur.nl
https://www.wur.nl/nl/Personen/Rens-RG-Rens-Brouwer-MSc.htm
Begin date 2020/05/01
End date
Description Also possible as Internship

Large-scale restoration in the Atlantic Forest region of Brazil needs novel upscaling from thousands to millions of hectares. The NewFor project is part of a large collaboration between Dutch and Brazilian partners that are investigating how to achieve this. We work together with Luiz de Queiroz College of Agriculture of the University of São Paulo in Piracicaba. We evaluate how upscaling from plot-based inventories to large-scale planning and design is possible, taking into account ecological functions, forest services and human perceptions. We determine characteristics of new forests and their drivers of regeneration and deforestation, assess their aboveground diversity and structure, evaluate key forest functions based on functional traits, predict new forests’ potential contributions to ecosystem services, develop a large-scale method with remote sensing to identify areas with the highest forest restoration potential to promote ecosystem services, and develop novel policies and market instruments to foster and stimulate new forests. In an era of ambitious restoration commitments and societal demands for ecosystem services, we provide alternative landscape developments and promote a sustainable future of the Atlantic Forest.
In this project you will collect data on reproductive traits (e.g. seed size, dispersal syndrome, pollination syndrome, minimum reproduction size) and other traits (invasiveness, n-fixing ability, deciduousness) of tree species naturally growing or planted in forests in the Atlantic Forest region of Brazil. You will collect data through literature, online herbarium and database research. We also will have plot level data available for about 200 plots of different forest and restoration types, including basal area and species taxonomy and structural parameters. This thesis can benefit from this data set. Ultimately, you can evaluate reproductive strategies and study how to predict reproductive strategies in tree species based on other traits. Using the plot level data for different forest types allows you to compare reproductive strategies in different forest types and restoration methods and speculate on drivers of reproductive strategies in forest communities.

This project is part of the NewFor Project: https://www.wur.nl/en/project/Understanding-restored-forests-for-benefiting-people-and-nature-in-the-Atlantic-Forest.htm

[Biodiversity and functional diversity/ Sustainable forest management/ Forest restoration and succession / Ecosystem services / Agroforestry/ America's / Tropical zone] Desk study
Used skills Literature research, statistical analyses
Requirements Standard for MSc thesis:
FEM-30306 Forest Ecology and Forest Management; REG-31806 Ecological Methods I;