Marie Skłodowska-Curie Action EF 3D-FOGROD


The MSCA project entitled “Understanding forest growth dynamics using 3D-FOGRODnovel 3D measurements and modelling approaches”  (3D-FOGROD) is an individual fellowship. Dr Kim Calders (the researcher) will spend two years at CAVElab (the host group, led by prof. Hans Verbeeck). Collaborators within this project are prof. Mat Disney (University College London, UK), prof. David Ellsworth (Western Sydney University, Australia) and prof. Martin Herold (Wageningen University, The Netherlands). This project aims to improve our understanding of forest growth dynamics and evaluate the role of elevated CO2 levels on forest growth.

The Project

Estimates of the global distribution of terrestrial carbon sinks and sources are highly uncertain. Constraining the inaccuracy of carbon estimates is essential to support effective forest management and future climate mitigation. A better understanding of forest growth dynamics will improve our understanding of the carbon cycle and mechanisms responsible for terrestrial carbon sources and sinks, reducing uncertainties on their magnitude and distribution. We will establish an approach to more accurately estimate (above-ground) forest growth, improve our understanding of forest growth dynamics and evaluate the role of elevated CO2 levels on forest growth. I will achieve this by using novel 3D terrestrial laser scanning (TLS) techniques, unique datasets and state-of-the-art modelling approaches.

3D-FOGROD 23D-FOGROD uses TLS data from EucFACE, as well as co-incident  terrestrial and airborne LiDAR data over two tropical Australian ecosystems. EucFACE is a free-air CO2 enrichment experiment in a mature evergreen broadleaved forest, and TLS data is available over a six-year period (2012-2018, which was acquired in 2012 (start of the EucFACE experiment), 2015 and 2018.

In addition to observational methods, simulation models are widely used to study forest growth. Second-generation vegetation models, such as the Ecosystem Demography model 2 (ED2), include demographic processes and explicitly track fine-scale ecosystem structure and function, making them an ideal tool to improve our knowledge of forest growth dynamics. ED2 will be initiated using LiDAR-derived structural metrics. ED2 allows us to explicitly represent vegetation demographic processes and use fine-scale variation in the horizontal and vertical structure and composition of forest canopies.


These are the objectives of 3D-FOREST:

  • Accurately quantify forest growth using TLS data in a free-air CO2 enrichment experiment to determine the effect of elevated CO2 levels on forest growth
  • Improve forest growth model dynamics using LiDAR derived forest structure for a range of forest ecosystems to provide more accurate estimates of future carbon stocks
  • Develop and disseminate recommendations for climate mitigation actions to policy makers based on new insights in forest growth dynamics and carbon cycling

Role of Ghent University

In this project Ghent University is the beneficiary organization. The postdoctoral research fellow, dr Kim Calders, will be hosted by CAVElab from prof. Hans Verbeeck.






Dr. Kim Calders

Department of Environment

Phone: +32 9 264 61 13

Twitter: @kimcalders

Kim Calders