Project properties

Title What do ontogenetic changes in wood density tell us
about species� functional strategy?
Group Forest Ecology and Forest Management Group
Project type thesis
Credits 24-36
Supervisor(s) Masha van der Sande
Examiner(s) Prof. Lourens Poorter
Contact info
Begin date 2020/05/01
End date
Description MSc thesis / MSc internship
A tree experiences strongly changing pressures during its
lifetime. For example, protection from herbivores and other
physical damage may be more important in early life
stages, whereas support is important for later life stages.
The wood density is an important functional trait that
integrates many different functional aspects of a tree
(support, defense against drought and herbivory, and
shade-tolerance). However, we know little of how wood
density changes during a tree�s lifetime, and how this differs
between tree species.
Here, you can work with a large dataset of wood density
and wood dry matter content taken along the radial gradient
of the stem of 593 individual trees, belonging to 171
species from tropical forests in Bolivia, Guyana and Brazil.
You can also link these data to other functional traits (e.g.
specific leaf area, nutrient concentrations, toughness) to
species� functional strategies.

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

Ecophysiology/ America's/ Tropical zone/ Desk study
Used skills Statistical skills (preferably in R software).
Requirements FEM-30306 Forest Ecology and Forest Management and
REG-31806 Ecological Methods I (or comparable statistical
experience and tree ecology)