Dr Lars Markesteijn
Lecturer in Forest ScienceThoday Building, room S10
Tel: 01248 382337 (from U.K.)
+44 1248 382337 (International)
Anita Weissflog Assessing the role of fungus-mediated plant-soil feedbacks during secondary succession of tropical forests. NERC Envision PhD. 2017 - 2021. (co-supervised with Prof John Healey)
Mark Mosbery Experimental assessment of the ecological processes determining the potential for climbing plants to improve biodiversity and ecosystem function in the urban landscape. KESS - PhD. 2016 - 2020. (co-supervised with Prof John Healey)
- DXX-1003 Forestry in the 21st Century
- DXX-1007 Academic Tutorials & Key Skills
- DXX-3701 Honours Project
- DXX-3305 Field course: Tenerife
- DXX-4999 MSc Dissertation
- DDL-4545 Tropical Forestry Study Tour
- DDL-4999 Distance learning Dissertation
Tropical forest ecology, Functional ecology, Restoration ecology, Plant-enemy interactions
As a researcher I am foremost fascinated by biodiversity and as such most of my work is carried out in biologically complex tropical forest ecosystems. My research addresses processes underlying function and co-existence of tropical plants and mechanisms of biodiversity generation and maintenance. I take a special interest in density-dependent mortality or negative density dependence (NDD), as mediated by plant natural enemies, and how it affects regeneration dynamics of tropical plants. I further work on physiological plant responses to limiting resources, resource competition, and tolerance to environmental and global change - principally with respect to water and light. I explore the effects of variation in plant functional traits on individual plant performance and species distribution from local to cross-ecosystem scales.
I currently lead a research project funded by a Sêr Cymru II - EU Horizon 2020 Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA) COFUND scheme, entitled ‘Plant-soil feedbacks; unearthing the mechanisms of successional tree species turnover in tropical forest’. This project takes place in Panama and is part of my ongoing collaboration with the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI), Bangor University and the Multi-land project of the Welsh National Research Network for Low Carbon Energy and Environment (NRN-LCEE).
- The hydraulic efficiency–safety trade-off differs between lianas and treesvan der Sande, MT, Poorter, L, Schnitzer, SA, Engelbrecht, BMJ & Markesteijn, L 2019, 'The hydraulic efficiency–safety trade-off differs between lianas and trees', Ecology. https://doi.org/10.1002/ecy.2666
- The role of herbivorous insects and pathogens in the regeneration dynamics of Guazuma ulmifoliain PanamaSolé, R, Gripenberg, S, Lewis, OT, Markesteijn, L, Barrios, H, Ratz, T, Ctvrtecka, R, Butterill, PT, Segar, ST, Metz, MA, Dahl, C, Rivera, M, Viquez, K, Ferguson, W, Guevara, M & Basset, Y 2019, 'The role of herbivorous insects and pathogens in the regeneration dynamics of Guazuma ulmifoliain Panama', Journal for Nature Conservation, vol. 32, pp. 81-101.
- Seed predation by insects across a tropical forest precipitation gradientJeffs, CT, Kennedy, P, Griffith, P, Gripenberg, S, Markesteijn, L & Lewis, OT 2018, 'Seed predation by insects across a tropical forest precipitation gradient', Ecological Entomology, vol. 43, no. 6, pp. 813-822. https://doi.org/10.1111/een.12672
- Fungal pathogens and insect herbivores mediate seedling dynamics and diversity patterns along a tropical forest humidity gradientMarkesteijn, L & Lewis, OT 2018, 'Fungal pathogens and insect herbivores mediate seedling dynamics and diversity patterns along a tropical forest humidity gradient' Paper presented at Association for Tropical Biology and Conservation Annual Meeting, Kuching, Malaysia, 1/07/18 - 5/07/18, .
- How does grazing management influence the functional diversity of oak woodland ecosystems? A plant trait approach.Ford, H, Healey, J, Markesteijn, L & Smith, A 2018, 'How does grazing management influence the functional diversity of oak woodland ecosystems? A plant trait approach.', Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment, vol. 258, pp. 154-161. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.agee.2018.02.025
- Contrasting patterns of insect herbivory and predation pressure across a tropical rainfall gradientWeissflog, A, Markesteijn, L, Lewis, OT, Comita, LS & Engelbrecht, BMJ 2018, 'Contrasting patterns of insect herbivory and predation pressure across a tropical rainfall gradient', Biotropica, vol. 50, no. 2, pp. 302-311. https://doi.org/10.1111/btp.12513
- Soil carbon stocks in tropical forests regulated by base cation effects on fine rootsCusack, DF, Markesteijn, L, Condit, R, Lewis, OT & Turner, BL 2018, 'Soil carbon stocks in tropical forests regulated by base cation effects on fine roots', Biochemistry, vol. 137, no. 1-2, pp. 253-266. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10533-017-0416-8
- Effects of the 2015-2016 El Niño on seedling dynamics across a rainfall gradient on Central PanamaComita, LS, Engelbrecht, BMJ, Markesteijn, L, Manzane, E, Wright, SJ & Jones, FA 2017, 'Effects of the 2015-2016 El Niño on seedling dynamics across a rainfall gradient on Central Panama' Paper presented at Association for Tropical Biology and Conservation Annual Meeting, Merida, Mexico, 9/07/17 - 14/07/17, .
- Intraspecific leaf trait variability along a boreal-to-tropical community diversity gradientC. Bastias, C, Fortunel, C, Valladares, F, Baraloto, C, Benavides, R, Cornwell, W, Markesteijn, L, de Oliveira, AA, Sansevero, JBB, Vaz, MC & Kraft, NJB 2017, 'Intraspecific leaf trait variability along a boreal-to-tropical community diversity gradient', PLoS ONE, vol. 12, no. 2, pp. 1-16. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0172495
- Soil carbon stock do not reflect aboveground forest biomass across geological and rainfall gradientsCusack, DF, Markesteijn, L & Turner, B 2016, 'Soil carbon stock do not reflect aboveground forest biomass across geological and rainfall gradients: Carbon stocks correspond to soil characteristics' 2016 American Geological Union Fall Meeting, 15/12/16, .
- Effects of pathogens and insect herbivores on plant dynamics and diversity across a natural rainfall gradientLewis, OT & Markesteijn, L 2016, 'Effects of pathogens and insect herbivores on plant dynamics and diversity across a natural rainfall gradient' Paper presented at European Conference of Tropical Ecology 2016, Göttingen, Germany, 23/02/16 - 26/02/16, .
- Insect herbivory and predation pressure across a tropical rainfall and tree species richness gradientWeissflog, A, Markesteijn, L, Lewis, OT & Engelbrecht, BMJ 2016, 'Insect herbivory and predation pressure across a tropical rainfall and tree species richness gradient' Paper presented at European Conference of Tropical Ecology 2016, Göttingen, Germany, 23/02/16 - 26/02/16, .
- Contrasting patterns of insect herbivory and predation acroiss a tropical rainfall and tree species richness gradientWeissflog, A, Markesteijn, L, Lewis, OT & Engelbrecht, BMJ 2016, 'Contrasting patterns of insect herbivory and predation acroiss a tropical rainfall and tree species richness gradient' BayCEER Workshop 2016, Bayreuth, Germany, 13/10/16, .
- Pervasive and strong effects of plants on soil chemistryWaring, BG, Alvarez-Cansino, L, Barry, KE, Becklund, KK, Dale, S, Gei, MG, Keller, AB, Lopez, OR, Markesteijn, L, Mangan, S, Riggs, CE, Rodriguez-Ronderos, ME, Segnitz, RM, Schnitzer, SA & Powers, JS 2015, 'Pervasive and strong effects of plants on soil chemistry: a meta-analysis of individual plant 'Zinke' effects', Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, vol. 282, no. 1812, pp. 91-98. https://doi.org/10.1098/rspb.2015.1001
- BAADFalster, DS, Duursma, RA, Ishihara, MI, Barneche, DR, Fitzjohn, RG, Varhammar, A, Aiba, M, Ando, M, Anten, N, Aspinwall, MJ, Baltzer, JL, Baraloto, C, Battles, JJ, Bond-Lamberty, B, van Breugel, M (ed.), Camac, J, Claveau, Y, Coll, L, Dannoura, M, Delagrange, S, Domec, J-C, Fatemi, F, Feng, W, Gargaglione, V, Goto, Y, Hagihara, A, Hall, JS, Hamilton, S, Harja, D, Hiura, T, Holdaway, R, Hutley, LS, Ichie, T, Jokela, EJ, Kantola, A, Kelly, JWG, Kenzo, T, King, D, Kloeppel, BD, Kohyama, T, Komiyama, A, Laclau, J-P, Lusk, CH, Maguire, DA, Le Maire, G, Makela, A, Markesteijn, L, Marshall, J, McCulloh, K, Miyata, I, Mokany, K, Mori, S, Myster, RW, Nagano, M, Naidu, SL, Nouvellon, Y, O'Grady, AP, O'Hara, KL, Ohtsuka, T, Osada, N, Osunkoya, OO, Peri, PL, Petrotan, AM, Poorter, L, Portsmuth, A, Potvin, C, Ransijn, J, Reid, D, Ribeiro, SC, Roberts, SD, Rodriguez, R, Saldama-Acosta, A, Santa-Regino, I, Sasa, K, Selaya, NG, Sillett, SC, Sterck, F, Takagi, K, Tange, T, Tanouchi, H, Tissue, D, Umehara, T, Utsugi, H, Vadeboncoeur, MA, Valladares, F, Vanninen, P, Wang, JR, Wenk, E, Williams, R, De Aquino Ximenes, F, Yamaba, A, Yamada, T, Yamakura, T, Yanai, RD & York, RA 2015, 'BAAD: a Biomass And Allometry Database for woody plants', Ecology, vol. 96, no. 5, pp. 1445. https://doi.org/10.1890/14-1889.1
- Natural enemies shape changes in plant diversity across a humidity gradient in central PanamaMarkesteijn, L & Lewis, OT 2015, 'Natural enemies shape changes in plant diversity across a humidity gradient in central Panama' Paper presented at Annual meeting of the European Ecological Federation (EEF), Rome, Italy, 21/09/15 - 25/09/15, .
- The relationship of leaf venation architecture to life history in tropical dry forest treesSack, L, Markesteijn, L, Rawls, M, Scoffoni, C, Barlett, M & Poorter, L 2015, 'The relationship of leaf venation architecture to life history in tropical dry forest trees' Paper presented at Association for Tropical Biology and Conservation Annual Meeting, Honolulu, United States, 12/07/15 - 16/07/15, .
- Leaf Vein Length per Unit Area Is Not Intrinsically Dependent on Image MagnificationSack, L, Caringella, M, Scoffoni, C, Mason, C, Rawls, M, Markesteijn, L & Poorter, L 2014, 'Leaf Vein Length per Unit Area Is Not Intrinsically Dependent on Image Magnification: Avoiding Measurement Artifacts for Accuracy and Precision', Plant Physiology, vol. 166, no. 2, pp. 829-838. https://doi.org/10.1104/pp.114.237503
- Sapling performance along resource gradients drives tree species distributions within and across tropical forestsSterck, F, Markesteijn, L, Toledo, M & Poorter, L 2014, 'Sapling performance along resource gradients drives tree species distributions within and across tropical forests', Ecology, vol. 95, no. 9, pp. 2514-2525. https://doi.org/10.1890/13-2377.1
- Diverging drought-tolerance strategies explain tree species distribution along a fog-dependent moisture gradient in a temperate rain forestSalgado Negret, B, Perez, F, Markesteijn, L, Jimenez Castillo, M & Armesto, JJ 2013, 'Diverging drought-tolerance strategies explain tree species distribution along a fog-dependent moisture gradient in a temperate rain forest', Oecologia, vol. 173, no. 3, pp. 625-635. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00442-013-2650-7
- Are lianas more drought-tolerant than trees? A test for the role of hydraulic architecture and other stem and leaf traitsvan der Sande, MT, Poorter, L, Schnitzer, SA & Markesteijn, L 2013, 'Are lianas more drought-tolerant than trees? A test for the role of hydraulic architecture and other stem and leaf traits', Oecologia, vol. 172, no. 4, pp. 961-972. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00442-012-2563-x
- Functional traits determine trade-offs and niches in a tropical forest communitySterck, F, Markesteijn, L, Schieving, F & Poorter, L 2011, 'Functional traits determine trade-offs and niches in a tropical forest community', Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA, vol. 108, no. 51, pp. 20627-20632. https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1106950108
- Global patterns of leaf mechanical propertiesOnoda, Y, Westoby, M, Adler, PB, Choong, AMF, Clissold, FJ, Cornelissen, JHC, Diaz, S, Dominy, NJ, Elgart, A, Enrico, L, Fine, PVA, Howard, JJ, Jalili, A, Kitajima, K, Kurokawa, H, McArthur, C, Lucas, PW, Markesteijn, L, Perez-Harguindeguy, N, Poorter, L, Richards, L, Santiago, LS, Sosinski, EEJ, Van Bael, SA, Warton, DI, Wright, IJ, Wright, SJ & Yamashita, N 2011, 'Global patterns of leaf mechanical properties', Ecology Letters, vol. 14, no. 3, pp. 301-312. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1461-0248.2010.01582.x
- Ecological differentiation in xylem cavitation resistance is associated with stem and leaf structural traitsMarkesteijn, L, Poorter, L, Paz, H, Sack, L & Bongers, F 2011, 'Ecological differentiation in xylem cavitation resistance is associated with stem and leaf structural traits', Plant Cell and Environment, vol. 34, no. 1, pp. 137-148. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-3040.2010.02231.x
- Hydraulics and life history of tropical dry forest tree species: coordination of species' drought and shade toleranceMarkesteijn, L, Poorter, L, Bongers, F, Paz, H & Sack, L 2011, 'Hydraulics and life history of tropical dry forest tree species: coordination of species' drought and shade tolerance', New Phytologist, vol. 191, no. 2, pp. 480-495. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1469-8137.2011.03708.x
- Seasonal variation in soil and plant water potentials in a Bolivian tropical moist and dry forestMarkesteijn, L, Iraipi, J, Bongers, F & Poorter, L 2010, 'Seasonal variation in soil and plant water potentials in a Bolivian tropical moist and dry forest', Journal of Tropical Ecology, vol. 26, pp. 497-508. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0266467410000271
- Drought-tolerance of tropical tree speciesMarkesteijn, L 2010, Drought-tolerance of tropical tree species: Functional traits, trade-offs and species distribution. Wageningen Academic Publishers, Wageningen, the Netherlands.
- Seedling root morphology and biomass allocation of 62 tropical tree species in relation to drought- and shade-toleranceMarkesteijn, L & Poorter, L 2009, 'Seedling root morphology and biomass allocation of 62 tropical tree species in relation to drought- and shade-tolerance', Journal of Ecology, vol. 97, no. 2, pp. 311-325. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2745.2008.01466.x
- La disponibilidad hídrica estacional y topográfica en un bosque seco y húmedo tropical y la variación en la morfología de las plántulas arbóreasMarkesteijn, L, Poorter, L & Yanguas Fernandez, E 2008, 'La disponibilidad hídrica estacional y topográfica en un bosque seco y húmedo tropical y la variación en la morfología de las plántulas arbóreas', Revista Boliviana de Ecología y Conservación Ambiental, vol. 24, pp. 27-42.
- Light-dependent leaf trait variation in 43 tropical dry forest tree speciesMarkesteijn, L, Poorter, L & Bongers, F 2007, 'Light-dependent leaf trait variation in 43 tropical dry forest tree species', American Journal of Botany, vol. 94, no. 4, pp. 515-525. https://doi.org/10.3732/ajb.94.4.515
- Special variation of floodplain vegetation in Nong thung tong non-hunting area, peninsular Thailand
The overall objective of this dissertation is to ‘gain increased understanding of the processes that govern plant species composition and structure of floodplain vegetation in Nong thung tong Non-Hunting Area’, an isolated and threatened 61.5 km2 patch of native floodplain forest in Southern Thailand. In the dissertation Mr Ponlawat Pattarakulpisutti presents results from a set of compatible field surveys and experiments in four separate data chapters (chapters 2 – 5). A general introduction (chapter 1) highlights our state of understanding of the study system and highlights the mechanisms of flooding tolerance among species, and how it should drive species distributions in these forests. It provides the broader context for the study. A general discussion (chapter 6), aims to tie everything together in the end. The four data chapters specifically showcase;
a. A field vegetation survey, shows how species differ in occurrence among predefined flooding landforms and how their distribution is (co)determined by a set of abiotic factors (soil fertility, clay content, land use history etc.), using multivariate ordination techniques (NMDS). The derived species distributions and flooding regimes serve to justify species selection for experimental work in the following chapters,
b. A seedling growth and survival experiment on four dominant tree species subjected to different flooding and recovery from flooding treatments shows that species differ markedly in flooding tolerance.
c. A seed flotation and viability after flooding experiment again shows some differences among selected species, and
d. The final data chapter assesses the natural regeneration and recruitment of species in the field.
As very little is known about floodplain forest ecology in general, and especially the threatened floodplain forests of Thailand, this dissertation should be considered as a relevant and timely piece of work. This dissertation will add new and original understanding to the broader field of floodplain forest ecology.
12 Jun 2019
Activity: Examination (Examiner)
- Newton Fund International Workshop on Dry Forests
This workshop focussed on developing a better understanding of the species and habitats of dry forests and the interaction between dry forest biodiversity and its people. It brought together experts and researchers from the UK and Latin America with shared interests in dry forest biodiversity and sustainable management practices for rural communities. The workshop was led by a joint UK-Peru team with a recognised track record of biodiversity research and capacity building, including South American students successfully trained at doctoral and master's levels, publishing collaborative research in scientific journals, and experience in conservation and development projects in the region. Together, they exchanged knowledge and experiences of the common ecosystem and biodiversity issues across dry forest regions (e.g. from Colombia, Peru, Argentina) and forged a new roadmap that identifies the priority research areas relevant for sustainable management, match capacity building needs and opportunities, and identify key stakeholders. A jointly agreed programme of work produced by all participants outlined potential sources of funding for the longer-term sustainability of new research partnerships centred on exchange and research visits, and mentoring of a new generation of career-young Latin American researchers.
18 Jul 2018 – 20 Jul 2018
Activity: Participation in workshop, seminar, course (Participant)
- Innovation in commercial soil health analysis and practical on farm guidance.
1 May 2018 →
Activity: Examination (Examiner)
- Effect of freeze-thaw events on microbial activities in polar soils
1 Mar 2018 →
Activity: Examination (Examiner)
- Delineating protected honey-bee reserves at a regional scale. PhD.
1 Feb 2018 →
Activity: Examination (Examiner)
- Explaining tropical tree diversity
1 Dec 2017
Links: Summary of the meeting (in Spanish)
Activity: Invited talk (Speaker)
- Influence of canopy richness on regeneration and coexistence of woody species in European forests
15 Sep 2017
Activity: Examination (Examiner)
- Extreme drought effects on Mediterranean tree species and its modulation by microclimate and fragmentation
10 Nov 2016
Activity: Examination (Examiner)
- Drought tolerance of tropical tree species; functional traits, tradeoffs and species distribution
30 Apr 2013
Activity: Types of Public engagement and outreach - Public lecture/debate/seminar (Contributor)
- Drought tolerance of tropical tree species
25 Feb 2013
Links: Archived seminar
Activity: Invited talk (Speaker)
- The Secret Life of the Rainforest
Secret Life of the Rainforest
Rainforests cover just six percent of Earth’s surface yet contain almost half of the world’s plants and animals. On Barro Colorado Island in Panama, home to the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, a perfect microcosm of nature exists that boasts a diversity of mammals, birds, and bugs that is unrivaled almost anywhere in the world. Follow Smithsonian researchers Ben Hirsch, Lars Markesteijn, and Leonor Álvarez Cansino as they explore how life thrives in one of the most complex habitats on Earth. Winner, CINE Golden Eagle.
16 Jul 2012
External Organisation: Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute
Activity: Types of Public engagement and outreach - Media article or participation (Contributor)
- Analysis of litter samples
I obtained my PhD in 2010 at Wageningen University (the Netherlands). In my dissertation, I addressed the functional ecology of tropical tree species, aiming to understand how species’ drought and shade tolerance strategies explain species coexistence and distribution along resource gradients. In early 2010, I was awarded a 2-year Rubicon grant by the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO), that I used to collaborate with the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI) in Panama to study the role of plant hydraulics in explaining differences in drought performance between liana and tree species. Late in 2011, I moved to Spain where I collaborated with the Ecology and Global Change group at the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC) in Madrid for a year. Early in 2013, I started working on the NERC-funded project, entitled ‘Natural enemies, climate and the maintenance of tropical tree diversity’, at Community Ecology Research Oxford(CERO), University of Oxford, in collaboration with STRI. In this project we set out to test the hypothesis that humidity drives variation in tropical plant diversity through its influence on the interactions between plants and their natural enemies. The 2015-2016 El Niño event, and subsequent funding through a RAPID grant by the United States National Science Foundation (US NSF), provided an unique opportunity for a third postdoc to study the immediate effects of an extreme drought event on the physiological performance and regeneration dynamics of tropical plants along a rainfall gradient. This project resulted from collaboration between Oregon State, Yale, Bayreuth University and STRI. Finally, I joined SENRGy in 2016 as a Lecturer in Forest Sciences.
2010 PhD Tropical forest ecology Wageningen University, the Netherlands
2005 MSc Tropical land use Wageningen University, the Netherlands
2002 BSc Tropical land use Wageningen University, the Netherlands
Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute
Membership of Professional Bodies
2005 - present Association for Tropical Biology and Conservation (ATBC)
2013 - present British Ecological Society (BES)
2013 - present Red Española de Ecología Tropical (REDTROP)