Canopy dynamics of a tropical rain forest in French Guiana

P.J. van der Meer

    Research output: Thesisinternal PhD, WU


    <p>The canopy dynamics (i.e. the formation and closure of canopy gaps) of a tropical rain forest in French Guiana are described. The formation of canopy gaps is investigated. The difficulties with gap size measurements are studied, and causes and consequences of treefalls and branchfalls are examined. It is concluded that canopy gap location is not random. Sod factors may make some areas in the forest hot spots of disturbances, whereas other areas are less frequently disturbed. Furthermore, the closure of canopy gaps and tree seedling performance in gaps are discussed. Recruitment in gaps is largely determined by the fortuitous occurrence of seedlings and sapling that were present before the gap was formed. Specialisation of species is discussed and its concluded that detailed information on micro-habitat availability (in gaps) and on micro-habitat needs of species may indicate which individuals at which location have the highest chance of survival. Finally, the potential application of these findings for application in forest practices are examined.
    Original languageEnglish
    QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
    Awarding Institution
    • Wessel, M., Promotor, External person
    • Werger, M.J.A., Promotor, External person
    • Bongers, F., Promotor, External person
    Award date20 Oct 1995
    Place of PublicationS.l.
    Print ISBNs9789054854531
    Publication statusPublished - 1995


    • forestry
    • crown
    • canopy
    • synecology
    • rain forests
    • vegetation
    • french guiana

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