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Natural tree regeneration along a chronosequence of dieback-affected Norway spruce stands

Jager, Charel (2024) Natural tree regeneration along a chronosequence of dieback-affected Norway spruce stands. Master's Research Project 1, Ecology and Evolution.


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Production forests with Norway spruce monocultures are experiencing mass mortality in Europe, due to climate change and biotic pests. In The Netherlands, Hart van Drenthe, rewilding management is utilized to create a more natural sustainable forest. In this study, I investigated how a rewilding management in spruce forests impacts the forest composition and diversity over time. To achieve this, I conducted field data collection across 22 plots situated within spruce forest sites arranged along a temporal gradient, or chronosequence, reflecting varying stages of dieback progression over 23 years. Analyses included regression models over the years to identify changes in species diversity and PCA to identify changes in species composition. Results indicated along the chronosequence the diversity increases based on species abundance and Shannon diversity index. Approximately 6 years after first dieback Norway spruce stands, the proportion of new species and the total number of individuals increases. Indicated that the composition of species is similar in the first years since first dieback, but started to change around 14 years of being affected and changes again after 23 years of affected. Along the chronosequence (time since first dieback), the diversity increases. This study shows that the species composition along the chronosequence of dieback from monocultural Norway spruce stands, changed from a spruce forest to a more diverse forest. Nevertheless, the direction of the com

Item Type: Thesis (Master's Research Project 1)
Supervisor name: Smit, C.
Degree programme: Ecology and Evolution
Thesis type: Master's Research Project 1
Language: English
Date Deposited: 17 Apr 2024 09:33
Last Modified: 17 Apr 2024 09:33

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