Reconstructing environmental history from riparian wood traits as a tool for riparian forest management
Supervisor : Patricia Maria Rodríguez-González / Maria Teresa Ferreira, Filipe Campelo - ISA
In this study we plan to reconstruct the effects of different management options on the functional responses on the most common riparian trees occurring in South-western Europe/Portugal. The study includes to identify long-term environmental signals from wood traits, and to relate them with climatic, hydrologic and geomorphologic variables across contrasting managed river habitats using a combination of tools including dendrochronology, image analysis and statistical modelling. This theme will provide the student a knowledge base in riparian forests ecology and management in the context of current environmental and land use management trends, while applying laboratory and statistical modelling methods (image analysis, time series analysis). The study is integrated in an ongoing larger project addressing wetland and riparian ecosystems vulnerability to global changes, so the expected results will be integrated with findings from the main project to propose (a) criteria to identify potential future areas most at risk across the distribution area of the target species (b) management guidelines for priority riparian forests in future scenarios of climatic and anthropogenic change.