Project properties

Title Nutrient balances in tropical trees
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 masha.vandersande@wur.nl
Begin date 2020/05/01
End date
Description MSc thesis / MSc internship
Trees compete for the acquisition of nutrients. Nutrients
such as nitrogen and phosphorus are crucial for plant
growth and survival. Species can have different strategies
to deal with (limiting) nutrient availability, which depend on
the local soil fertility, but also on species� strategies related
to other limiting conditions such as drought. Often, the
limitation of nutrients is reflected by the nutrient
concentrations in the leaves and wood. Nevertheless,
leaves and wood serve completely different purposes in a
tree, and have different lifespan. It is therefore still unclear
how leaf and wood nutrient concentrations are coordinated,
and how they are associated to species� functional
strategies to deal with low fertility.
Here, you can work with a large dataset of nutrient contents
of leaves and wood from almost 100 tree species from
tropical forest in Guyana (on very nutrient-poor soils) and
Brazil (on somewhat more fertile soils). You can also link
these data to other functional traits (e.g. deciduousness,
specific leaf area, wood density, capacity to fix nitrogen) to
assess species� functional strategies to acquire and
conserve nutrients.

Corona proof: i.e.no field work (abroad) or intensive lab studies required

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