Migration of forest plant species in a fragmented landscape: an ecological, population genetic and modelling approach


The increased fragmentation of the forest area in Flanders hampers successful migration of forest plant species. It can be expected that especially long distance seed dispersal will be affected. At present little is known about long distance seed dispersal processes in fragmented landscapes, althought the importance of long distance seed dispersal in determining ecological and evolutionary processes of plant species since long has been acknowledged. The main objective of this research is to gain better insights in plant dispersal processes in fragmented landscapes. By integrating ecological research with genetic analyses the present study aims at elucidating the role of spatial characteristics and dispersal processes in determining distribution pattersn of forest plant species in fragmented landscapes. At the same, the viability of plant species in small woodlands will be investigated based on ecological and genetic traits.

Aim of the research:
1. Assessment of the relative importance of dispersal limitation vs. recruitment limitation in the colonization of forest plant species.
2. Assessment of the effects of forest fragment isolation on the species richness and the incidence of individual species. Quantification of species specific dispersal rate.
3. Validation of the derived dispersal rates by genetic analyses (AFLP).
4. Development of a plant dispersal model at the landscape scale, based on 2-Dsoil leaching models.
5. Make spatial recommendations and guidelines for reforestation based on the analysis of different fragmentation scenarios. Incorporating the short time (restoration of plant diversity) and the long term (climate change, plant migration) vision.


Angiospermae, anthropogenic influence, Belgium, colonization, conservation, agriculture, Flanders, forest fragmentation, forestry, forests, fragmented landscape, genetics, genetic diversity, long distance seed dispersal, population viability, habitat fragmentation, habitat management, habitat restoration, isolation, landscape ecology, limitation, modelling, molecular markers, monitoring of biodiversity, plant breeding, plant genetics, plant migration, population genetics, recruitment, reforestation, restoration and sustainable use of biodiversity, restoration ecology, species richness, terrestrial, vascular plants, Viridaeplantae, woodlands


Belgium {Geographical scope}
Forest {Habitat type}


Name Role Start End
Jacquemyn, Hans member
Honnay, Olivier member
Coart, Els member
Feyen, Jan member
Hermy, Martin promotor


Name Role Start End
Division Forest, Nature and Landscape Research member


Name Role Start End
Migration of forest plant species through a fragmented landscape: integrating local demography and regional dispersal. partner

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

© 2012 by the Belgian Biodiversity Platform