Land use change influence on functional diversity and ecosystems processes in lowland Bolivia

Biodiversity and its interaction with abiotic conditions are the responsible elements for ecosystem processes (EP). These EP provide benefits for people by supporting, provisioning, and regulating life on the planet. In the last decades EP have been affected due to disturbance effects driven by land use change worldwide. Effects of land use on EP can be through changes in abiotic conditions, and changes in plant functional biodiversity.

Project description

To understand these effects I will work in two land-use configurations that vary in disturbance and management levels, where I will measure changes in plant FB, abiotic conditions, and ecosystem processes (litter production and decomposition rate).  As a general hypothesis I expect that in both land-use configurations land use type is influencing functional biodiversity and ecosystem processes.

In the first land-use configuration, I compare 4 logging intensities (undisturbed forest, normal logging, light silviculture, and intensive silviculture); they represent an intermediate level of disturbance and low management level. I  measure the FB response of tree community 1, 4, and 8 years after logging. In addition, I measure litter production some years after logging.

In the second land-use configuration, I compare 5 land use types with a wide range of disturbance and management levels (undisturbed forest, logged forest, secondary forest, shifting cultivation, pasture land). I measure plant FB taken into account the dominant species of every land use type. Additionally, I measure changes in decomposition rate of litter along this land use range.

For both studies an average of 27 functional plant traits, and 5 abiotic conditions are  measured.