Mechanisms of ecosystem services in alluvial hardwood forests: Scientific analysis and optimisation through nature conservation management

Project lead (UFZ): Dr. Mathias Scholz

Staff:  Timo Hartmann , Hans Dieter Kasperidus, Christian Hecht
Funding: Bundesprogramm Biologische Vielfalt (BMBF)
Project duration: 2017 bis 2023

Project description

Biodiversity in ecosystems is the basis for a wide range of services provided by nature: hardwood floodplain forests have a high level of biodiversity and serve to store carbon by fixing CO2 from the atmosphere. In addition, they influence flood retention through their roughness for flowing water.

Hartholz-Auenwald bei Wittenberge/Elbe; Foto: M. Scholz, UFZ
Floodplain forest  near Wittenberge/Elbe; Photo: M. Scholz, UFZ
Floodplain forest near Wittenberge/Elbe; Photo: T. Hartmann, UFZ
Floodplain forest; Photo: T. Hartmann, UFZ

Research questions

The work at the UFZ in the MediAN project aims, among other objectives, to investigate in more detail the significance of hardwood floodplain forests for ecosystem services that are important for biodiversity. In the area of the Lower Middle Elbe, studies are to be carried out on the biodiversity and C balance of vegetation in hardwood floodplain forests of different ages in the activefloodplain, in the former floodplain and in the floodplain of selected tributaries, and the water balance as a formative site factor is to be analysed. The goals are:

  • What does the vegetation of the different stages of development of the herb and shrub layer of hardwood alluvial forests look like?
  • Which control variables are responsible for the changes in vegetation?
  • Are there indicator species of the herb and shrub layer of alluvial hardwood forests for the characterisation of abiotic site conditions and different stages of age?
  • How can the results of the C-stock accountings be up scaled to relevant scale level for the entire project area?

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