Project properties

Title Seed rain: reproductive strategies during secondary succession in wet tropical
Group Forest Ecology and Forest Management Group
Project type thesis
Credits 33-39
Supervisor(s) Frans Bongers
Examiner(s) Lourens Poorter
Contact info
Begin date 2020/06/01
End date
Description MSc thesis
During secondary succession after land abandonment in the wet tropics the
vegetation recovers rapidly. Local forest recovery is determined by many factors
but availability of seeds is crucial. This is largely determined by the matrix of
surrounding vegetation, the species available in that matrix, and the reproductive
strategies of those species. Some species produce seeds every year and/or year
round, other species reproduce only in a particular season and/or once in a few
Local forest recovery depends on propagule availability, for instance resprouting,
seeds germinating form the seed bank, or new seeds coming to the site (eg by
wind, or animals), or being produced locally.
In Chajul, southern Mexico, we study wet forests secondary succession for 20
years now. For half a dozen forest plots of different ages after abandonment we
have monthly seed fall data for a period of 7-8 years.
In this project you will describe the seed rain community and focus on
reproductive strategies of the species, and may also relate the reproductive
strategies of species to other species characteristics. You will evaluate the
(potential) consequences of seed availability for secondary succession and

Corona proof: field work (abroad) or intensive lab studies required

Climate change effects / Secondary succession/ forest restoration/ Americas/ Tropical zone/ Desk study
Used skills R or equivalent, Statistical skills
Requirements Recommended:
FEM-30306 Forest Ecology and Forest Management and
REG-31806 Ecological Methods I