Ieva Bebre


I graduated with my BSc and MSc in Forest Science from the Latvia University of Agriculture (now Latvia University of Life Sciences and Technologies). More than two of the six years in higher education, I spent studying at the University of Eastern Finland (Joensuu) and the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (Alnarp). My bachelor's thesis was about afforestation trials of cutaway peatlands, and my master's thesis was more focused on the economic and ecological aspects of different reclamation afforestation scenarios.
For nearly 2.5 years, I worked at the Latvian State Forest Research Institute Silava. I was mainly involved in projects seeking sustainable and responsible management strategies of degraded peatlands, focusing on the development of a decision support system for reclamation planning of degraded peatland areas, and carrying out field measurements of GHG emissions.
In October 2017, I joined the research training group "Enrichment of European beech forests with conifers: impacts on functional traits on ecosystem functioning" (RTG 2300) at the Georg-August University of Göttingen. The main goal of my doctoral project is to study indicative response traits of seedlings to varying light availability and competition types.
Additionally, I am working on a project exploring the potential of mobile laser scanning for the habitat assessment of small mammals. Since October 2020, I am also co-leading a working group "Planting for the Future", of a newly funded COST Action (CA 19128) - PEN-CAFoRR.
My research interests are in the areas of afforestation, reforestation, and reclamation of degraded areas, particularly the seedling establishment phase.

PhD Research Project

Light availability is one of the main factors influencing seedling survival, establishment, and growth. Growth is a crucial element of plant fitness, and it determines the plant’s size and the outcome of competitive interactions. Competition for light is asymmetric, giving the taller individuals a competitive advantage for obtaining the light resource. The growth and biomass partitioning among plant organs depend not only on resource availability but also on the presence of various stressors. When plants have to share the resources, the net competitive effect on seedling performance is comprised of the community’s effect on resource availability and species-specific response to reduced resource availability.
The project focuses on studying the growth, morphology, and biomass allocation of seedlings grown under different light availability levels and competition types, which is crucial to better understand species-specific growth requirements in early development stages.

Growth, morphology, and biomass allocation of seedlings grown under different light availability levels and competition types