Disturbances

Uncovering the mechanisms behind positive diversity-productivity relationships in forests.

Globally, forests play a critical role in mitigating climate change by removing CO2 from the atmosphere and storing it in wood. The strength of this carbon sync depends on a number of factors, such as climate, availability of nutrients and disturbance. On top of this, it is becoming increasingly apparent that diverse forests tend to be more productive than monocultures. But why? What are the mechanisms that enable diverse forest to outperform ones which are species poor? This is what we aim to understand.  ...

Tree species diversity mitigates disturbance impacts on the forest carbon cycle

Biodiversity fosters the functioning and stability of forest ecosystems and, consequently, the provision of crucial ecosystem services that support human well-being and quality of life. In particular, it has been suggested that tree species diversity buffers ecosystems against the impacts of disturbances, a relationship known as the “insurance hypothesis”. Natural disturbances have increased across Europe in recent decades and climate change is expected to amplify the frequency and severity of disturbance events. ...

Dead wood and nitrogen stocks: the older, the richer

Dead wood (dead trees, branches, stumps and roots in all stages of decay process) plays an important role in element cycling (carbon, nitrogen, water, etc.) and builds-up forest nutrient stocks. Dead wood is also an essential structural component of forests, providing habitat for large variety of organisms with often highly specialized habitat requirements (e.g. xylobiontic beetles). Organisms inhabiting dead wood cause change in wood quality (its structure, chemical composition and density) preparing substrate for consecutive steps of ecological succession. Speed of this change depends...
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