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New DFG research project on the influence of forest floor changes on the success and composition of tree regeneration in beech forests.

 

Climate change will greatly impact tree species composition and hence biodiversity and ecosystem functioning of forests. So far indirect effects such as changes in regeneration success as a result of altered substrate conditions for seed germination, modifications in nutrient availability or seed predation and subsequent shifts in the competition among tree species have received very little attention, although they may be crucial for future forest resilience and adaptive capacity. In central Europe, drivers such as increasing temperatures, increasing proportions of deciduous species and ongoing eutrophication may lead to a reduction in forest floor (FF) mass and other FF properties with unknown consequences for the regeneration of tree species. Most research on the influence of FF on tree regeneration dates back to the 1960-1970s, long before widespread P deficiency and climate change were important considerations.

Ourproject aims to close this knowledge gap by studying the influence of changes in FF properties on the regeneration success of important tree species in temperate mixed European beech forests in interaction with other ecological influence factors.

=>read full project description


The work is a subproject of the DFG Research Unit "Forest floor: Functioning, dynamics and vulnerability in a changing world" in which twelve different international research projects are joining forces to form a joint project.

 =>Press release on the start of the DFG research group

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