Project

The functional value of biodiversity. Recovery of ecosystem processes during secondary succession in tropical wet forest of Mexico

In times of global change and biodiversity decline it is largely unknown what the consequences are for the functioning of ecosystems. Expected is that reduced biodiversity leads to deterioration of ecosystem functions but empirical data are scarce, especially for complex systems like tropical forests.

Project description

In this PhD research we analyze the contribution of different components of biodiversity (species, phylogenetic and functional diversity), abiotic factors and vegetation structure to explaining changes in ecosystem processes. We do this along a gradient of disturbance by people, where we study the recovery of ecosystem processes during secondary succession on abandoned agricultural fields in tropical Mexico. Understanding and predicting changes in ecosystem processes is crucial to anticipate the social and ecological consequences of global change.

Publications

Links


MSc theses

  • Schönbeck, L. (2014). Leaf shade and drought tolerance during secondary succession in moist tropical forest in Mexico.
  •  Westveer, J. (2012). High decomposition potential of young successional species does not lead to quick soil recovery in secondary succession of wet tropical forest, Chiapas.
  •  Moretti M.V. (2012) Fine root functional traits of secondary rain forests in Chiapas, Mexico. Summary
Typical landscape in Chiapas, Mexico. Shifting cultivation for corn and increasing land pressure for cattle reduces the forest cover and causes remaining (secondary) forests to be increasingly fragmented
Typical landscape in Chiapas, Mexico. Shifting cultivation for corn and increasing land pressure for cattle reduces the forest cover and causes remaining (secondary) forests to be increasingly fragmented
‘Rio Lacantun’ separating the conserved forest area from the anthropogenic landscape
‘Rio Lacantun’ separating the conserved forest area from the anthropogenic landscape
Datacollection in the field
Datacollection in the field
Older forest remnants
Older forest remnants