Project properties

Title How do woody species differ in hydraulic architecture?
Group Forest Ecology and Forest Management Group
Project type thesis
Credits 33-39
Supervisor(s) Frank Sterck
Examiner(s) Prof. Dr. Ir. G.M.J. Mohren
Contact info frank.sterck@wur.nl
Begin date 2018/01/01
End date
Description Hydraulic architecture refers to form characteristics of plants that characterize the water relationships. The Huber value, named after a German researcher active in the 20/30-ties of the 20th century, is the ratio between the sapwood area and leaf area in branches and/or stem. The Huber ratio can be used as an indicator for the balance between water supply and the transpiration in plants. This ratio also reflects a trade-off between investments in new leaf area and new transport tissue (the sapwood). We do not know how the Huber value varies between species or, more particularly, how it relates to the architectural “Bauplan” of a tree species, or to different functional groups (e.g. conifers vs. broad-leaf species, or shade tolerant species vs. light demanding species). In the Msc Thesis you will perform an innovative explorative study on Huber value differences (as well as other plant traits) between saplings of many woody species (~50 species), by carrying out a broad field study in the Netherlands. Based on a literature study of 1 month you will develop new ideas / hypotheses and write a proposal in close collaboration with the supervisor, spend ~2 months in different forests to collect your data, and spend ~2-3 months for analyzing data and writing your report. Preferably this study is carried out by 2 students together.

[Biodiversity and functional ecology][Ecophysiology][The Netherlands][Temperate]
Used skills
Requirements FEM-30306 Forest Ecology and Forest Management; TNV-31806 Ecological Methods I or equivalent courses