CAVElab Projects: TREECLIMBERS (ERC starting grant 637643)

Webpage TREECLIMBERS banner

Project Summary

Tropical forests play an essential role in the global carbon cycle. Lianas are key components of these forests and recent observations have revealed that lianas have been increasing in abundance and biomass over the last two decades. Liana proliferation might be a key adaptation mechanism of tropical forests to climate change, with large impacts on the long term tropical forest carbon balance. However, no single terrestrial ecosystem model currently includes lianas. The TREECLIMBERS project therefore aims (1) to understand how lianas influence tropical forest functioning and (2) to assess for the first time the impact of lianas on the carbon balance of tropical forests, by building the first vegetation model that accounts for lianas and by integrating available and new data on liana functioning with innovative terrestrial LiDAR observations of the 3D structure of the forest canopy. Intensive field campaigns are planned in Panama, French Guiana and Brazil.

> ERCcOMICs

 

Principal Investigator

Hans Verbeeck

 

Prof. dr. ir. Hans Verbeeck
Faculty of bioscience engineering, Campus Coupure, room A2.094
+32 (0) 264 61 13
Hans.Verbeeck@UGent.be

> more info

Scientific staff members (Post doc)

Elizabeth Kearsleydr. ir. Elizabeth Kearsley 
Faculty of bioscience engineering, Campus Coupure, room A2.094
+32 (0) 264 61 13
Elizabeth.Kearsley@UGent.be

> more info

 

 

 

Scientific staff members (PHD)

Marie Combe

 

M.Sc Marie Combe 
Faculty of bioscience engineering, Campus Coupure, room A2.094
+32 (0) 264 61 13

more info

 

Hannes De Deurwaerder

 

ir. Hannes De Deurwaerder 
Faculty of bioscience engineering, Campus Coupure, room A2.094
+32 (0) 264 61 13
Hannes.DeDeurwaerder@UGent.be

> more info

 

Manfredo di Porcia

 

M.Sc. Manfredo Di Porcia 
Faculty of bioscience engineering, Campus Coupure, room A2.094
+32 (0) 264 61 13
manfredo.diporciaebrugnera@ugent.be

more info

 

Sruthi Moorthy

 

ir. Sruthi Moorthy 
Faculty of bioscience engineering, Campus Coupure, room A2.094
+32 (0) 264 61 13
sruthi.krishnamoorthyparvathi@UGent.be

> more info

 

Francis Mumbanza Mundondo

 

M. Sc Francis Mumbanza Mundodo
Faculty of bioscience engineering, Campus Coupure, room A2.094
+32 (0) 264 61 13

more info

 

 

Voluntary field work assistant

Bram Sercu (Rwanda, 2016)

Iebe Stroobants (Panama, 2016)

 

Master students

Dissertation year 2016-2017

Camille Meeussen
     Topic: Study of lianas along an altitudinal gradient in Northern Ecuador

Stijn Pieters
     Topic: Reconstruction of tropical forest structure using terrestrial laser scanning (LIDAR) to study the influence of lianas

Pieter Coulier
     Topic: Calibrating the liana crown occupancy index and their effect on the tropical rainforest in French Guiana’

Dissertation year 2015-2016

Nancy Pausenberger
      Topic: Photosynthetic characteristics of lianas versus tree in tropical rainforest in French Guiana

Jana Roels
      Topic: Leaf and wood traits of lianas versus trees in tropical rainforest in French Guiana

 

Project Publications