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School of Geography

Liam Caldwell Liam Caldwell

Contact details

School of Geography
University of Leeds
University Road
Leeds LS2 9JT   UK



Masters by Research project title

The relationship between tree species growth rates and their life span

Current literature contents a potential negatively correlated relationship between tree species growth rates and their longevity. Evidence has shown that increased growth rates can cause increase extrinsic mortality risk (with larger growth rates and a consequent larger size at earlier ages increasing risk of trees being involved in wild fires and wind throws) and intrinsic mortality risks (with larger growth rates and a subsequent enhanced metabolism augmenting the tree ageing process). However, more investigation within this field is required to fully evaluate the accuracy of these debated claims. This research aims to uncover this growth-longevity relationship for trees at biome, family, genus, species and site levels, before evaluating how tree longevity could be impeded in the future by anthropogenically driven climate changes (increased temperature and precipitation) increasing tree growth rates.


  • To evaluate the relationship between tree growth rates and longevity at biome, family, genus, species and site levels.
  • Uncover potential factors underpinning this relationship by assessing how temperature, precipitation, tree growth rates over the first 10 years, and tree growth rates up to a certain diameter influence tree longevity.
  • Model how tree longevity could change in the future under differential future climate change scenarios.


Cluster & research affiliation


Self funded


  • 1st class BSc (Hons) Geography degree from the University of Leeds