Variation of biomass and stand structure along a land use intensity gradient

This study aims to clarify the relationship between land use intensity and biomass and structure in the Jambi province as well as its influence on understory light intensity and spectrum.

The field work will consist of assessment of about 100 circle plots of 500 m2 area (r=12.62 m} in different land use areas, namely oil palm plantation, rubber plantation, secondary forest and shrubland. In order to gather biomass data, tree height and diameter will be measured, and wood density data will be gathered using a Pilodyn . Furthermore, understory vegetation will be assessed toward nativity or invasiveness. Apart from data for this specific thesis, branch samples from trees will be collected and serve as the data foundation for other parts of the CRC 909 project. Measurement of light spectrum and intensity within the plots will be taken via spectrometer, together with the crown cover ratio. The intensity gradient may be defined by revenue or expenditure within the according stand. This data will not be collected in the field but will be extracted from data gathered independently from this particular study. The field work, in combination with land use intensity data, should deliver a dataset for each plot, reflecting its biomass and diversity structure. The data will then be analyzed with regard to the according land use type and intensity.

It is expected that with rising level of land use intensity, there will be lighter crown cover and higher intensity of light of a broader spectrum. Biomass is also expected to decrease with rising land use intensity. Furthermore, a rising land use intensity is expected to positively correlate with abundance of non-native plants.