Steven de Goede

Steven de Goede MSc

PhD Candidate


Droevendaalsesteeg 10
6708 PB Wageningen

+31 (0) 317 47 34 00

The Netherlands



I want to better understand how plants and soils respond to environmental change across space and time, focussing on soil carbon cycling and its interaction with climage change and land management.


I am an interdisciplinary researcher rooted in soil sciences and biogeochemistry, aiming to bring various (sub)disciplines within the fields of earth and life sciences closer together. My main research interest is to better understand the effects of environmental changes on plants and soils across various spatiotemporal scales. At the moment I work on soil carbon cycling in Dutch forest soils within the NWO-TTW project ‘Climate-smart forestry (CSF): delivering operational tools for managing forests with increasing drought’.

My research project
Global climate change induces an increase in the frequency of severe drought events, threatening forest ecosystems. Climate-smart forestry is needed to secure and enhance forest productivity, forest resilience and climate change mitigation potential via carbon storage in trees and soils. A way to increase forest resilience to drought is by reducing stand density (i.e., number of trees per area), lowering the competition between trees for water. My part of the project focusses on examining how stand density and drought affect carbon cycling and (microbial) carbon stabilization in Dutch forest soils, with special attention for the important role of soil fungi. I make use of a large field experiment with 15 forest stands that have all received the same combination of harvest treatments, creating different stand densities. This will be complemented by a pot experiment in which I will trace carbon from plant to soil microbial community to mineral soil along a drought gradient.

The obtained soil data will be combined with tree data (other PhD student WUR, Eva Meijers) and included in a model that will be upscaled from tree level to forest level (post-doc Jorad de Vries, WUR). All this knowledge will form the backbone of new and improved operational tools for foresters, including a training app to successfully implement climate-smart forestry.


Projecten & samenwerkingen


  • Climate-Smart Forests

    Project 2021–2026
    As a response to global climate change, which is putting increased pressure on most ecosystems, national and international agreements aim at creating forests that are productive, resilient to climate change, and that store carbon to mitigate global warming. However, these aims are being challenged by increased tree mortality rates and decreased tree growth rates in response to increased incidence of drought. The summer drought of 2018 alone resulted in 100 million m3 of dead trees in Europe, equivalent to a loss of approximately 3.5 billion euros wood.
    Therefore, the challenge is to develop climate-smart forestry (CSF) in order to sustain or increase forest productivity, forest resilience and forest carbon storage under climate change. Currently, there is a lack of crucial insights into the effects of forest management on the growth and survival of trees, and on carbon storage in both trees and forest soils, particularly under increased incidence of drought. We test the hypothesis that CSF aims can be achieved via controlling stand density by applying intermediate levels of tree harvest intensity. The main aim of this proposed project is to quantify the effects of drought and management-controlled stand density on forest productivity, forest resilience, and carbon storage in trees and soils.
    Beech forests in the Netherlands