Project properties

Title Does shade tolerance explain the distribution of wet and dry tropical tree
Group Forest Ecology and Forest Management Group
Project type thesis
Credits 24-36
Supervisor(s) Prof. Dr. Lourens Poorter
Examiner(s) Prof. Dr. Frans Bongers
Contact info
Begin date 2020/04/01
End date
Description MSc thesis / MSc internship / BSc thesis / BSc internship
Species distribution is determined by environmental filters that can determine
what species can occur where. Shade and drought are thought to be the two
most important environmental filters determining the distribution of lowland tree
species. In this desk study you will enter and analyze data from a greenhouse
experiment carried out with 50 tree species from wet and from dry forests in
Bolivia. Species have been germinated and grown in 10% and 1% of full light,
and their survival has been monitored on a weekly basis for a one year period,
which allows you to quantify shade tolerance. You can link the shade survival to
their 1) forest type (wet evergreen or seasonally dry deciduous forest, 2)
functional group (pioneers or shade tolerants), and 3) functional traits that may
explain their shade survival (e.g., wood density, leaf traits). You can evaluate
whether wet species have indeed a better shade survival than dry species.
Alternatively, dry species survive equally well in the shade, and is species
distribution not explained by shade tolerance but by drought tolerance.

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

Climate change effects /Biodiversity and functional diversity/ Population and
forest dynamics/ Sustainable forest management/ America's/ Tropical zone/ Desk study
Used skills
Requirements Standard for MSc thesis/internship:
FEM-30306 Forest Ecology and Forest Management and
REG-31806 Ecological Methods I