Thesis subject

Impacts of phosphorous deposition on forest carbon sequestration

The Environmental Systems Analysis Group provides the possibility for students to do their thesis in collaboration with our group. This is one of many possible thesis subjects. Please feel free to contact professor De Vries (right) for more information.

Biomass production of forests and the related carbon sequestration is influenced by various drivers affecting net photosynthesis, including (i) climate change (i.e. temperature and precipitation), (ii) air quality change (availability of carbon dioxide (CO2) and exposure to “toxic” elements, including ozone (O3) and sulphur dioxide (SO2) and (iii) the availability of nutrients, specifically nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) but also potassium, calcium and magnesium (K, Ca, Mg). There are many indications that forest production is largely influenced by nutrient availability and this also holds for the impacts of changes in climate and air quality on forest production. Apart from N, P is often the most limiting nutrient for plant growth. This research thus focuses on the impact of P deposition inputs on carbon sequestration and the potential role of N deposition to change the N-P stoichiometry in forest ecosystems.

The aims of MSc theses related to this topic is to gain insight in global P deposition impacts on C-P responses of boreal, temperate and tropical forests and related on carbon sequestration by assessing: (i) the foliar P uptake fraction of by an evaluation of P throughfall and total P deposition data, (ii) the long term P use efficiency of P deposition and (iii) P allocation fractions to various forest compartments and (iv) the C-P ratios in various forest compartments as affected by N deposition.