Research of the Forest Ecology and Forest Management Group

The research of the Forest Ecology and Forest Management Group is part of the C.T. de Wit Research School in Production Ecology and Resource Conservation (PE&RC)

Our mission is to understand trees and forests in relation to site and climate, and to apply this knowledge to support forest management aimed at the provision of ecosystem services.

Our research is both fundamental and applied: we evaluate the ecological consequences of environmental changes on ecosystem functioning and on the services forests provide to humans. We seek to determine how forest functioning and services may be restored, sustained or optimized by management that follows ecosystem dynamics. Our research is centered on three main themes.

  1. The ecology of forests in a changing world
  2. The understanding of biodiversity and functional diversity in relation to resource gradients
  3. The sustainable supply of forest resources and environmental services

We work at local, regional and national scales and in a wide variety of forest ecosystems. Our research approach is to combine field data, statistical analysisof large datasets and mechanistic modelling to increase fundamental understanding of forest ecosystems and their properties.

We scale up from detailed eco-physiological observations of the individual tree to ecosystems and landscapes. Our strategy to study combines the ecology and management of forests in both tropical and temperate forests and favours collaboration between disciplines and geographic regions.

For recent external collaboration on country/territory level, see our Network Map: Forest Ecology and Forest Management – Network — Research@WUR