Project properties

Title Sustainable forest management in the Netherlands, how does management influence nutrient cycling and forest regrowth?
Group Forest Ecology and Forest Management Group
Project type thesis
Credits 24-39
Supervisor(s) FEM group: Marleen Vos MSc, dr.ir. FJ (Frank) Sterck
Examiner(s) Dr.ir. J (Jan) den Ouden / Prof.dr.ir. W (Wim) de Vries
Contact info Marleen.vos@wur.nl, Frank.sterck@wur.nl (https://www.wur.nl/en/project/Sustainable-forest-management.htm)
Begin date 2020/04/01
End date
Description Sustainable forest management is a key challenge for the production forests on the poor sandy soils in the Netherlands. Already for a couple of decades these forests are subject to high environmental pressure related to anthropogenic deposition, soil acidification and soil dehydration. Due to these anthropogenic pressures the buffer capacities of the sandy soils on which most of these production forests are located, are reaching the point of no return causing toxicity for roots, shortage of nutrients and enhanced leaching. Nowadays the need for renewable resources triggers an increase in biomass harvest including the removal of the tree crown. The extent to which the harvest of the tree crown influences the nutrient cycling is unknown. Also unknown is the effect of mulching (“klepelen” in Dutch) on the nutrient cycling and forest regeneration.

This project consist a unique large scale forest experiment throughout the Veluwe area and North-Brabant. Within this project diverse topics are available for MSc (also internship) and BSc:

• Regeneration of forest related to different harvest intensities and soil treatments (scots pine, douglas and beech). MSc thesis, preferably 2 persons

• Influence of different harvest intensities and soil treatments on leaching of macro and/or micronutrients. MSc thesis

• Influence of different harvest intensities on the deposition of macro and/or micronutrients. MSc thesis

• Role of micronutrients in the nutrient budget

• Forest vitality

• Rooting systems in acidic soils

• Growth of scots pine and douglas. BSc thesis

All projects involve fieldwork. A combination with lab work and modelling is possible.


[Population and forest dynamics/ Sustainable forest management/ Forest restoration and succession / Tree ring analyses and wood anatomy / Modelling /The Netherlands/Temperate zone]

Used skills
Requirements Standard for MSc thesis:
FEM-30306 Forest Ecology and Forest Management; REG-31806 Ecological Methods I;

Standard for BSc: minimal 120 credits