Managing stand structure to restore mixed oak-dominated forests for biodiversity conservation

PhD opportunity at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences. Deadline for applications: 16 April 2021

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Photo: pasja1000 / Pixabay
Photo: pasja1000 / Pixabay

The Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU) is offering an open PhD position on Managing stand structure to restore mixed oak-dominated forests for conservation of biodiversity. The successful candidate will work in Alnarp (Sweden) and will take up the position for 4 years.

About the PhD topic

Oak-dominated forests are widespread in Eurasia and North America, supporting high biodiversity and providing important ecosystem services. However, decreasing oak dominance and oak regeneration failure are occurring worldwide, putting oak-associated biodiversity and ecosystem services at risk. Not much is known about the stand structures and light conditions necessary for promoting natural regeneration of oak. This knowledge gap is causing problems for cost-effective forest management in oak forests valued for conservation. Our international project (Sweden-Spain-USA) aims to discover stand development pathways that lead to oak dominance in mixed broadleaf stands of ranging site productivities. This will be accomplished with well-replicated field studies designed to define relationships between stand structure, light availability, and growth of oak regeneration. The research is organized with supervision from specialists in ecology, eco-physiology, conservation, silviculture and tree growth. An external reference group from forestry and nature conservation will participate.

Qualifications

SLU is looking for a strongly motivated candidate with an MSc degree in ecology, environmental sciences, forestry or equivalent. Excellent written and spoken English is essential, as well as the ability to work both independently and in a team. A valid drivers’ license is required.

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