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This project examines the climate sensitivity of indigenous tree species in Rwanda.

Tropical montane forests in a changing climate

Research project
Active research
Project owner
Institutionen för biologi och miljövetenskap

Short description

Tropical rainforests—adapted to a thermally stable climate—may be particularly vulnerable to climate change but this hypothesis remains poorly evaluated due to data scarcity. In a unique elevation gradient experiment, we examine the sensitivity of tropical trees to warming and reduced water supply. Large multi-species plantations have been established at sites with large variation in climate, with water manipulation treatments applied at each site. We also study above and below ground carbon stock and fluxes in early and late succession tropical montane forest stands in permanent monitoring plots within Nuyngwe national park Rwanda.

The research is conducted in collaboration with researchers at the University of RwandaRwanda Agriculture and Animal Resources Development Board (RAB) and Rwanda Forestry Authority (RFA) and aims to explore: (1) Tree acclimation capacity to heat and drought; (2) Mechanisms and processes controlling responses of tree growth and survival; (3) Re- and afforestation potential using native species; (4) Carbon stocks and fluxes of tropical montane forests at different successional stages.  The project has strong connections with Rwandan stakeholders and policy makers. 

Watch this film about our research – and please visit our website

Göran Wallin
Donat Nsabimana
Johan Uddling
Mirindi Eric Dusenge
Aloysie Manishimwe
Olivier Manzi
Myriam Mujawamariya
Bonaventure Ntirugulirwa'
Lasse Tarvainen
Maria Wittemann
Etienne Zibera

Projects and support:

  • Promoting native tropical tree species for sustainable ecosystem services under climate change ((VR Development Research grant 2021-05265)
  • Heat stress in tropical trees and its implications for tree plantation success, forest carbon storage and biodiversity (Formas project grant 2020-01497)

  • Drought and heat as tropical tree killers (Formas project grant 2019-01470, call for research and development projects for early-career researchers)
  • Tropical tree mortality in a changing climate (EU H2020-MSCA-IF-2018, grant 844319)
  • Climate sensitivity and reforestation of tropical trees (VR Development Research grant 2018-04669)
  • Tropical montane forests in a warming world (VR Development Research grant 2015-03338)
  • Tropical montane trees in a warmer climate (Formas project grant 2015-1458)