Super-performance in a palm species

PhD defence

Super-performance in a palm species

PhD candidate M (Merel) Jansen MSc
Promotor prof.dr.ir. NPR (Niels) Anten
prof.dr. PA (Pieter) Zuidema
Co-promotor prof.dr. FJJM (Frans) Bongers
Co-promotor prof. dr. M Martinez-Ramos
Organisation Wageningen University, Forest Ecology and Forest Management
Date

Tue 20 December 2016 16:00 to 17:30

Venue Auditorium, building number 362
Generaal Foulkesweg 1
362
6703 BG Wageningen
0317-483592

Summary

Not all individuals within populations are the same, some individuals persistently perform much better than others. In this thesis, using the understorey palm Chamaedorea elegans as a study species, I show that such super-performing individuals are much more important for the growth of the population that others, and that these differences can be caused by very local within-population variation in both environmental and genetic characteristics. I also show that differences between individuals can be used to improve the management of plant populations, by sparing those individuals that contribute most to future harvests. The results of this thesis provide better understanding of a key regulator of population level processes, and provide practical guidelines that can be used to improve the management of natural plant populations under exploitation.