Project properties

Title Understanding fire resilience of Chiquitano dry forests in Bolivia
Group Forest Ecology and Forest Management Group
Project type thesis
Credits 24-36
Supervisor(s) FEM group: dr. MT (Masha) van der Sande
Other organisation: Geovana Carre�o (Museo de Historia Natural Noel Kempff Mercado, Bolivia)
Examiner(s) Prof. Dr. M (Marielos) Pe�a Claros
Contact info masha.vandersande@wur.nl
Begin date 2020/09/01
End date
Description Also possible as MSc Internship

Over the last years, the fires in the Amazon have reached global headlines. Although most media attention has focused on Brazil, the rate of deforestation and fire-affected areas have increased even more rapidly in Bolivia. Fires have spread to nearby natural and protected areas, where they have caused devastating effects to the ecosystem. By the end of September 2019, 5.3 million ha of forest � an area 1.3 times the size of the Netherlands � had been completely destroyed by fire in Bolivia in 2019 alone. The Chiquitano dry forest, which is one of the most well conserved and unique dry forest ecosystems in the world, has been the most severely affected area by the fires. Unfortunately, we have a very poor understanding of the degree to which this ecosystem is resilient to fires, and what mechanisms determine this.

Here, you will assess the influence of last year�s fires on Chiquitano dry forest, by establishing plots in fire-affected forests and forests that did not burn (as control). You can assess questions related to the resistance of Chiquitano dry forest to fire, the effect of fire on biomass storage and species composition, and the ability of different species to survive the fire, resprout after fire, or quickly regenerate after fire.

Climate change effects /Biodiversity and functional diversity/ Population and forest dynamics/ Forest restoration and succession/America's/ Tropical zone
Used skills Data collection, R software or other statistical tools
Requirements FEM-30306 Forest Ecology and Forest Management; REG-31806 Ecological Methods I