The role of biodiversity in controlling biogeochemical processes under experimental climate change in grassland and forest systems.
Climate change and loss of biodiversity are two concurrent environmental trends and important ecological research areas. For model systems it has been shown that diverse communities are to some extent able to buffer negative effects of climate change on ecosystem processes. The diversity gradient established in the Biodiversity Exploratories offers a great opportunity to investigate how plant communities are able to modulate climatic change effects, which we simulate experimentally. Increasing spring temperature and reducing summer precipitation will lead to changes in vegetation composition, which will have repercussions for litter production, soil water depletion, and nitrogen cycling. Quantifying these biogeochemical processes under ambient and climate change conditions in dependence of plant diversity is the key aim of this project. It is linked to core and complementary contributing projects within the Biodiversity Exploratories in order to provide a sound understand of the interaction of climate change and biodiversity in grassland.
DFG-SPP "Biodiversity Exploratories": 2008-2011