Functional Forest Ecology
The research unit Functional Forest Ecology seeks to understand how human-accelerated environmental change affects key functions of natural or semi-natural ecosystems. Our research focuses on biogeochemical cycles of forests and other ecosystems which are major carbon sinks. Above all, belowground properties and processes are decisive for the strength of these sinks and feedbacks to global change and are therefore a research focus of the research unit.
In order to be able to predict the small-scale but important interactions between roots and their immediate environment also at a regional or larger scale, the key role of the occurrence of specific functional plant groups such as mycorrhizal association types are tested.
Major research themes are:
- Tree-mycorrhizal-soil feedbacks to global change
- Drought adaptation strategies of plants and consequences for carbon and nutrient cycles
- Relationship between species diversity loss and ecosystem functioning