Assessing the impact of lianas on aboveground wood production in tropical forests: scaling from individual to stand-level

01 October 2017 → 30 September 2020
Regional and community funding: Special Research Fund
Research disciplines
  • Natural sciences
    • Terrestrial ecology
    • Plant morphology, anatomy and physiology
  • Agricultural and food sciences
    • Forestry management and modelling
    • Wood and forest biomass processing
    • Forestry sciences not elsewhere classified
lianas tropical forests
Project description

Tropical forests store nearly 30% of global terrestrial carbon and contribute to 40% of the global terrestrial carbon sink. Lianas impact the carbon balance of these forest by affecting tree growth and survival. Currently the rate of liana infestation is increasing putting tropical trees under additional stress. This stress can significantly affect the fate of the tropical carbon balance, and
negatively influence the forests’ uptake of (increasing) atmospheric CO2. However, little is known on the magnitude of the impact of lianas on forest-level carbon dynamics and how this varies across different tropical regions (pan-tropical).
This project will assess the impact of lianas on individual tree growth and stand-level aboveground wood production (AWP) and how this varies with environmental and forest structural characteristics using a large pan-tropical dataset gathered through extensive collaboration. At the individual level, we focus on disentangling the driving mechanisms of liana competition (i.e. above
vs belowground) on individual tree biomass growth and how the relative strength of each mechanism is affected by the local environment and climate. At the stand-level, we will quantify the relative impact of lianas on stand-level aboveground wood production as part of a set of complex interactions with environmental and forest-structural characteristics. Summarizing, this
research will explain how current and future tropical forests growth is affected by liana infestations.