Ecosystem stability along a primary succession gradient

Royal Society

Plant-soil interactions play a crucial role in determining the impact of warming and drought, which are predicted to increase with climate change, on ecosystem functioning. This study is testing the hypothesis that ecosystem response to climate change will change along a primary succession gradient in a glacier foreland, and identify the relative role of soil and plants in modifying this response. Specifically, we are testing whether the resistance of plant performance and soil processes to warming and drought will increase with ecosystem age, with the expectation that with increasing ecosystem age both plant performance and soil processes of carbon and nitrogen cycling will become more resistant to both drought and warming. This project will provide insight into fundamental controls of ecosystem response to climate change, and will quantify the relative role of soil and plants in this response. This project is led by Franciska De Vries in collaboration with Wolfgang Wanek of the University of Vienna, and is funded by the Royal Society.

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Ecosystem stability along a primary succession gradient