Permeability of forest edges for non-forest species


Increasing forest fragmentation in Flanders has led to an increased isolation and decreased area of the remaining forest patches.  Furthermore the amount of forest under influence of an edge has relatively increased.  The impact and penetration depth of edge effects in forest fragments is a central issue in this PhD research.  Therefore diverse aspects of edge effects over the gradient from arable field over forest edge into an ancient forest are studied.
A potentially important biotic aspect is the flux of diaspores from the landscape matrix into the forest edge.  To asses this flux, seed bank sampling as well as a study of seed dispersal, using seed traps, are being executed in the forest edge.
Because of the elevated receptor area and high roughness of a forest edge, elevated atmospheric deposition occurs in the edge zone.  This may influence the soil chemistry and forest vegetation.  Through analysis of throughfall samples the deposition of acidifying and fertilising compounds is being examined.
Furthermore the consequences of fragmentation upon colonisation of forest plant species is an important topic.  The vegetation of recent forests differs substantially from those of ancient forests.  Most typical forest species have only limited colonisation capacities and therefore only seldom occur in recent forests.  By means of a sowing experiment an attempt is made to gain understanding in the importance of isolation and competition on the germination and subsequent establishment and survival of forest plant species in recent forest fragments.


forest edges, invasive species


Name Role Start End
Devlaeminck, Rebecca member 2001-10-01 2005-10-01


Name Role Start End
Plant Ecology and Nature Conservation member 2001-10-01 2005-10-01


Reference Role
Devlaeminck, Rebecca; Bossuyt, Beatrijs; Hermy, Martin, (2004) Inflow of seeds through the forest edge: evidence from seed bank and vegetation patterns: Plant Ecology, Volume 176, Issue 1, 2005 author

created:2011-12-14 14:18:59 UTC, source:web

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