Lourens Poorter

Lourens Poorter
Wageningen University & Research | WUR · Department of Forest Ecology and Forest Management Group

About

357
Publications
313,903
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35,984
Citations
Citations since 2017
103 Research Items
23636 Citations
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201720182019202020212022202301,0002,0003,0004,000
201720182019202020212022202301,0002,0003,0004,000

Publications

Publications (357)
Article
Naturally regenerating forests or secondary forests (SFs) are a promising strategy for restoring large expanses of tropical forests at low cost and with high environmental benefits. This expectation is supported by the high resilience of tropical forests after natural disturbances, yet this resilience can be severely reduced by human impacts. Asses...
Article
Full-text available
Ungulates play an important role in temperate systems. Through their feeding behaviour, they can respond to vegetation by selecting patches or modify vegetation composition by herbivory. The degree in which they interact with vegetation can either reinforce landscape heterogeneity by creating disturbance or reduce heterogeneity in case of overbrows...
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The recovery of soil conditions is crucial for successful ecosystem restoration and, hence, for achieving the goals of the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration. Here, we assess how soils resist forest conversion and agricultural land use, and how soils recover during subsequent tropical forest succession on abandoned agricultural fields. Our overarch...
Article
Global warming may force montane species to shift upward to keep pace with their shifting climate niche. How species differences in such distribution shifts depend on their elevational positions, elevation-dependent warming rates, and other environmental constraints, or plant functional traits is poorly understood. Here, we analyzed for 137 Himalay...
Article
Landscape openness leads to harsher environmental conditions and reduced propagule dispersal, but how it affects different forest attributes and over what spatial scale remains unclear. We evaluate the effects of landscape openness (i.e., increased forest loss and fragmentation) on nine forest attributes related to structure, diversity, and composi...
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Data capturing multiple axes of tree size and shape, such as a tree's stem diameter, height and crown size, underpin a wide range of ecological research - from developing and testing theory on forest structure and dynamics, to estimating forest carbon stocks and their uncertainties, and integrating remote sensing imagery into forest monitoring prog...
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1. Revealing the ecological consequences of bark multifunctionality and its underlying traits has become a relatively new but essential focus in plant ecology. Although the enormous differences between the most crucial bark layers, i.e., inner and outer bark, in structure and functions have been widely recognized, the overall bark has been regarded...
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1. Drought events may reduce growth and survival of conifer trees. The effects of the intensity and timing of drought on the growth resilience, including growth reductions during drought and recovery of growth after drought, remain however highly uncertain. 2. Growth resilience of 20 conifer species to 11 dry years was compared in a common garden e...
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Increased droughts impair tree growth worldwide. This study analyses hydraulic and carbon traits of conifer species, and how they shape species strategies in terms of their growth rate and drought resilience. We measured 43 functional stem and leaf traits for 28 conifer species growing in a 50‐year‐old common garden experiment in the Netherlands. W...
Preprint
Conifers face increased mortality risks following severe droughts that cause drought-induced cavitation in their vascular system. Drought responses are strongly species-dependent because variation in cavitation resistance may result from species differences in pit structure and function since pits control the air seeding between water transporting...
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A central paradigm in comparative ecology is that species sort out along a slow-fast resource economy spectrum of plant strategies, but this has been rarely tested for a comprehensive set of stem traits and compartments. We tested how stem traits vary across wood and bark of temperate tree species, whether a slow-fast strategy spectrum exists, and...
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Dead wood quantity and quality is important for forest biodiversity, by determining wood inhabiting fungal assemblages. We therefore evaluated how fungal communities were regulated by stem traits and compartments (i.e., bark, outer‐ and inner wood) of 14 common temperate tree species. Fresh logs were incubated in a common garden experiment in a for...
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Assessing the mechanisms underlying drought tolerance is important for understanding current species distribution along rainfall gradients and for predicting how species may respond to climate change. We evaluated the hypothesis that species exhibit a trade-off between drought avoidance and physiological drought tolerance and a trade-off between ra...
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One of the most fundamental questions in ecology is how many species inhabit the Earth. However, due to massive logistical and financial challenges and taxonomic difficulties connected to the species concept definition, the global numbers of species, including those of important and well-studied life forms such as trees, still remain largely unknow...
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Significance Tree diversity is fundamental for forest ecosystem stability and services. However, because of limited available data, estimates of tree diversity at large geographic domains still rely heavily on published lists of species descriptions that are geographically uneven in coverage. These limitations have precluded efforts to generate a g...
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Understanding how evolutionary history and the coordination between trait trade-off axes shape the drought tolerance of trees is crucial to predict forest dynamics under climate change. Here, we compiled traits related to drought tolerance and the fast-slow and stature-recruitment trade-off axes in 601 tropical woody species to explore their covari...
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For monitoring and reporting forest carbon stocks and fluxes, many countries in the tropics and subtropics rely on default values of forest aboveground biomass (AGB) from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Guidelines for National Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Inventories. Default IPCC forest AGB values originated from 2006, and are relativ...
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Tropical montane systems are characterized by a high plant species diversity and complex environmental gradients. Climate warming may force species to track suitable climatic conditions and shift their distribution upward, which may be particularly problematic for species with narrow elevational ranges. To better understand the fate of montane plan...
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Resilient secondary tropical forests? Although deforestation is rampant across the tropics, forest has a strong capacity to regrow on abandoned lands. These “secondary” forests may increasingly play important roles in biodiversity conservation, climate change mitigation, and landscape restoration. Poorter et al . analyzed the patterns of recovery i...
Article
Significance Tropical forests disappear rapidly through deforestation but also have the potential to regrow naturally through a process called secondary succession. To advance successional theory, it is essential to understand how these secondary forests and their assembly vary across broad spatial scales. We do so by synthesizing continental-scale...
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Dead wood is a source of life as it provides habitat and substrate for a wide range of fungal species. A growing number of studies show an important role of wood quality for fungal diversity, but in most cases for a limited number of wood traits or tree species. In this study, we evaluate how abiotic and biotic factors affect the fungal diversity a...
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Conifers face increased drought mortality risks because of drought-induced embolism in their vascular system. Variation in embolism resistance may result from species differences in pit structure and function, as pits control the air seeding between water transporting conduits. This study quantifies variation in embolism resistance and hydraulic co...
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Plant functional traits determine plant performance and have therefore the potential to shape and predict species distributions along environmental gradients. This study analyses how traits affect tree species distribution along an elevational gradient in the Himalayas, Nepal. We addressed three questions: 1) what plant strategies can be distinguis...
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Background and aims: Conifers are key components of many temperate and boreal forests and are important for forestry, but species differences in stem growth responses to climate are still poorly understood and may hinder effective management of these forests in a warmer and drier future. Methods: We studied 19 Northern Hemisphere conifer species...
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• Background and Aims Conifers are key components of many temperate and boreal forests and are important for forestry, but species differences in stem growth responses to climate are still poorly understood and may hinder effective management of these forests in a warmer and drier future. • Methods We studied 19 Northern Hemisphere conifer species...
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Natural forests contain a large amount of deadwood, which is a key contributor to biodiversity, especially by providing dynamic habitats and resources for a huge variety of invertebrates. However, for managing forest biodiversity we need to better understand what drives the dynamics of invertebrate communities in deadwood. We hypothesized that the...
Article
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Plant functional traits and strategies hold the promise to explain species distribution, but few studies have linked multiple traits to multiple niche dimensions (i.e., light, water, and nutrients). Here, we analyzed for 29 liana species in a Chinese tropical seasonal rainforest how: (1) trait associations and trade-offs lead to different plant str...
Article
Tropical forests are the most diverse and productive ecosystems on Earth. While better understanding of these forests is critical for our collective future, until quite recently efforts to measure and monitor them have been largely disconnected. Networking is essential to discover the answers to questions that transcend borders and the horizons of...
Article
Tropical forests are the most diverse and productive ecosystems on Earth. While better understanding of these forests is critical for our collective future, until quite recently efforts to measure and monitor them have been largely disconnected. Networking is essential to discover the answers to questions that transcend borders and the horizons of...
Preprint
Full-text available
In a time of rapid global change, the question of what determines patterns in species abundance distribution remains a priority for understanding the complex dynamics of ecosystems. The constrained maximization of information entropy provides a framework for the understanding of such complex systems dynamics by a quantitative analysis of important...
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Light is a key resource for tree performance and hence, tree species partition spatial and temporal gradients in light availability. Although light distribution drives tree performance and species replacement during secondary forest succession, we yet lack understanding how light distribution changes with tropical forest development. This study aim...
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1. Lianas are increasing in relative abundance and biomass in many tropical forests. We tested the hypothesis that lianas conform to the fast and acquisitive end of the continuum of plant strategies, allowing lianas to acquire resources faster than trees. 2. We assessed functional traits representative of the leaf (LES) and wood economics spectrum...
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Understanding how environmental factors drive community assembly remains a major challenge in community ecology, especially in biodiverse tropical forests. We investigated how environmental filters affect functional trait distribution in two contrasting types of floodplain forest in the Brazilian Amazon: white-water forest (várzea) and black-water...
Article
Wild deer exert strong top-down control on forest composition by browsing on palatable trees, and these effects are exacerbated as red, fallow, and roe deer populations increase in northern temperate forests. However, the relationship between deer abundance and plant recruitment remains poorly documented. Here, we combined camera trap and vegetatio...
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A Correction to this paper has been published: https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-020-20537-x
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Ungulates have become abundant in many temperate forests, shifting tree species composition by browsing and altering soil physical conditions by trampling. Whether these effects cascade down to other trophic levels and ecosystem processes is poorly understood. Here, we assess the paths through which ungulates have cascading effects on other trophic...
Article
Wild deer exert strong top–down control on forest composition by browsing on palatable trees, and these effects are exacerbated as red, fallow, and roe deer populations increase in northern temperate forests. However, the relationship between deer abundance and plant recruitment remains poorly documented. Here, we combined camera trap and vegetatio...
Article
Full-text available
Aim Tree crowns determine light interception, carbon and water exchange. Thus, understanding the factors causing tree crown allometry to vary at the tree and stand level matters greatly for the development of future vegetation modelling and for the calibration of remote sensing products. Nevertheless, we know little about large‐scale variation and...
Article
Full-text available
Aim: Tree crowns determine light interception, carbon and water exchange. Thus, understanding the factors causing tree crown allometry to vary at the tree and stand level matters greatly for the development of future vegetation modelling and for the calibration of remote sensing products. Nevertheless, we know little about large‐scale variation and...
Article
Full-text available
The carbon sink capacity of tropical forests is substantially affected by tree mortality. However, the main drivers of tropical tree death remain largely unknown. Here we present a pan-Amazonian assessment of how and why trees die, analysing over 120,000 trees representing > 3800 species from 189 long-term RAINFOR forest plots. While tree mortality...
Article
Full-text available
The carbon sink capacity of tropical forests is substantially affected by tree mortality. However, the main drivers of tropical tree death remain largely unknown. Here we present a pan-Amazonian assessment of how and why trees die, analysing over 120,000 trees representing > 3800 species from 189 long-term RAINFOR forest plots. While tree mortality...
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Full-text available
Questions: Lianas are a conspicuous element of tropical forests but have largely been ignored in species–level vegetation surveys. As a result, there is a limited understanding of how environmental factors structure liana communities. Location: A 20–ha forest dynamics plot in Xishuangbanna National Nature Reserve, Southwest China. Methods We evalu...
Article
Full-text available
The carbon sink capacity of tropical forests is substantially affected by tree mortality. However, the main drivers of tropical tree death remain largely unknown. Here we present a pan-Amazonian assessment of how and why trees die, analysing over 120,000 trees representing > 3800 species from 189 long-term RAINFOR forest plots. While tree mortality...
Article
Full-text available
Aim Palms are an iconic, diverse and often abundant component of tropical ecosystems that provide many ecosystem services. Being monocots, tree palms are evolutionarily, morphologically and physiologically distinct from other trees, and these differences have important consequences for ecosystem services (e.g., carbon sequestration and storage) and...
Article
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Aim: Palms are an iconic, diverse and often abundant component of tropical ecosystems that provide many ecosystem services. Being monocots, tree palms are evolutionarily, morphologically and physiologically distinct from other trees, and these differences have important consequences for ecosystem services (e.g., carbon sequestration and storage) an...
Article
Full-text available
The sensitivity of tropical forest carbon to climate is a key uncertainty in predicting global climate change. Although short-term drying and warming are known to affect forests, it is unknown if such effects translate into long-term responses. Here, we analyze 590 permanent plots measured across the tropics to derive the equilibrium climate contro...
Article
The sensitivity of tropical forest carbon to climate is a key uncertainty in predicting global climate change. Although short-term drying and warming are known to affect forests, it is unknown if such effects translate into long-term responses. Here, we analyze 590 permanent plots measured across the tropics to derive the equilibrium climate contro...
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Full-text available
Competition among trees is an important driver of community structure and dynamics in tropical forests. Neighboring trees may impact an individual tree’s growth rate and probability of mortality, but large‐scale geographic and environmental variation in these competitive effects has yet to be evaluated across the tropical forest biome. We quantifie...
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Question Bivariate relationships among functional traits reflect how plants adjust to environments through allocation of limiting resources. Bivariate relationships are well studied across species, but whether the nature of these trait relationships change across organizational levels (individual, species, community), and whether processes driving...
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Aim Predictions of plant traits over space and time are increasingly used to improve our understanding of plant community responses to global environmental change. A necessary step forward is to assess the reliability of global trait predictions. In this study, we predict community mean plant traits at the global scale and present a systematic eval...
Article
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1. The importance of wood decay for the global carbon and nutrient cycles is widely recognized. However, relatively little is known about bark decay dynamics, even though bark represents up to 25% of stem dry mass. Moreover, bark presence versus absence can significantly alter wood decay rates. Therefore, it really matters for the fate of carbon wh...
Article
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Lianas, woody climbing plants, are increasing in many tropical forests, with cascading effects such as decreased forest productivity, carbon sequestration, and resilience. Possible causes are increasing forest fragmentation, CO2 fertilization, and drought. Determining the primary changing species and their underlying vital rates help explain the li...
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Higher levels of taxonomic and evolutionary diversity are expected to maximize ecosystem function, yet their relative importance in driving variation in ecosystem function at large scales in diverse forests is unknown. Using 90 inventory plots across intact, lowland, terra firme, Amazonian forests and a new phylogeny including 526 angiosperm genera...
Article
Full-text available
Higher levels of taxonomic and evolutionary diversity are expected to maximize ecosystem function, yet their relative importance in driving variation in ecosystem function at large scales in diverse forests is unknown. Using 90 inventory plots across intact, lowland, terra firme, Amazonian forests and a new phylogeny including 526 angiosperm genera...
Article
Full-text available
As countries advance in greenhouse gas (GHG) accounting for climate change mitigation, consistent estimates of aboveground net biomass change (∆AGB) are needed. Countries with limited forest monitoring capabilities in the tropics and subtropics rely on IPCC 2006 default ∆AGB rates, which are values per ecological zone, per continent. Similarly, res...
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Tropical forests are shifting in species and trait composition, but the main underlying causes remain unclear because of the short temporal scales of most studies. Here, we develop a novel approach by linking functional trait data with 7000 years of forest dynamics from a fossil pollen record of Lake Sauce in the Peruvian Amazon. We evaluate how cl...
Article
Tropical forests are converted at an alarming rate for agricultural use and pastureland, but also regrow naturally through secondary succession. For successful forest restoration, it is essential to understand the mechanisms of secondary succession. These mechanisms may vary across forest types, but analyses across broad spatial scales are lacking....
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2019, The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Nature Limited. In this Letter, the middle initial of author G. J. Nabuurs was omitted, and he should have been associated with an additional affiliation: ‘Forest Ecology and Forest Management Group, Wageningen University and Research, Wageningen, The Netherlands’ (now added as affiliation 18...
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Tree mortality appears to be increasing in moist tropical forests¹, with potentially important implications for global carbon and water cycles². Little is known about the drivers of tree mortality in these diverse forests, partly because long-term data are lacking³. The relative importance of climatic factors and species functional traits as driver...
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A spatially explicit global map of tree symbioses with nitrogen-fixing bacteria and mycorrhizal fungi reveals that climate variables are the primary drivers of the distribution of different types of symbiosis.
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Tropical forests are converted at an alarming rate for agricultural use and pastureland, but also regrow naturally through secondary succession. For successful forest restoration, it is essential to understand the mechanisms of secondary succession. These mechanisms may vary across forest types, but analyses across broad spatial scales are lacking....
Article
Full-text available
Old-growth tropical forests harbor an immense diversity of tree species but are rapidly being cleared, while secondary forests that regrow on abandoned agricultural lands increase in extent. We assess how tree species richness and composition recover during secondary succession across gradients in environmental conditions and anthropogenic disturba...