Project properties

Title Differentiation in rooting depth: a coexistence mechanism?
Group Plant Ecology and Nature Conservation Group
Project type thesis
Credits 30-39
Supervisor(s) Dr Jasper van Ruijven
Examiner(s) Dr Jasper van Ruijven
Contact info jasper.vanruijven@wur.nl Tel.: 0317-484835
see also: www.ncp.wur.nl/UK/staff/Ruijven
Begin date 2019/03/01
End date 2022/07/01
Description When scientists try to explain the plant diversity of, for example, a species-rich grassland, the explanation often involves niche differentiation and complementarity. But what does this mean? And, most importantly, how does it work? In a plant diversity experiment that has been running since 2000, we found strong indications of niche complementarity and we hypothesized that the differences in rooting depth were responsible (see Van Ruijven & Berendse 2003, 2005). However, so far we have been unable to adequately test this hypothesis. Your task will be to set up a new experiment that gives you the opportunity to test if differences in rooting depth indeed allow plant species to coexist.
Used skills experimental design, statistics, scientific writing
Requirements Research should be done during the growing season