Funding to ecosystem process research

Experimental setup above canopy in an australian eucalyptus forest.

The Swedish Research funding research on soil nutrient cycles and the interaction with carbon dioxide uptake in forest ecosystems. Benjamin Smith and David Wårlind from our department got the funding, as part of a larger research group.

 

The project aims to increase understanding of how CO2 interacts with phosphorus in forest ecosystems (Application title in Swedish: Interaktioner av fosforcykeln med ökade koldioxidkoncentrationer i skogliga ekosystem: effekter från bestånds- till global skala).

Soil nutrient limitations to carbon dioxide uptake

The researchers will look into how the plants ability to absorb more of the CO2 is affected by nutrient cycles in the soil. In particular, they will look at the interactions with plants uptake of phosphorus over the large parts of the earth, where the soil's levels of phosphorus limit the functions and productivity of ecosystems. Tropical rainforests, many temperate forests, and even the eucalyptus forest that is characteristic of the earth's geologically oldest continent, Australia, are examples of large areas where phosphorus is a limiting resource.

Experimental setup to improve modelling

Measurements will be combined with modeling of ecosystem processes at the EucFACE field experiment near Sydney, Australia. Experimental results will be used to improve an ecosystem process model. This in turn, will be used for exploring the mechanisms behind the experimental results. An improved predictive power will in the long run improve our ability to map the global biosphere's capacity to store CO2 from the atmosphere - an important ecosystem service that helps to slow down the progress of climate change.