Project

Consolidating a long-term forest monitoring network in a human modified landscape in Northern Ecuador II (COFOREC II)

Duration
01 January 2020 → Ongoing
Funding
Federal funding: VLIR-UOS
Research disciplines
  • Natural sciences
    • Terrestrial ecology
  • Agricultural and food sciences
    • Forestry management and modelling
Keywords
ecosystem services terrestrial ecology reforestation Climate change
 
Project description

The main project goal is to continue and elaborate on our ongoing SI project COFOREC (Jan 2018- Dec 2019) that is bound to finish this year, including both the research and the teaching component. With our operational forest plot network for long-term ecological research, we aim to investigate biodiversity and ecosystem functioning in natural and reforested areas along a large environmental gradient in a highly diverse, strongly anthropogenic tropical landscape. The main research objectives include evaluating the capacity of reforested areas to recover diversity and ecosystem functioning in comparison with natural forests, and how human pressures affect natural forests and reforested areas. In addition, we use the network sites to train an international mix of MSc and PhD students, mostly from Ecuador and Belgium. This dual approach tackles one of the most urgent natural capital questions (human-ecosystem interaction in a changing world), in a key region (one of the world biodiversity hotspots), and we aim to do this in close collaboration with local and international stakeholders (reforestation NGOs, conservation NGOs).