Project: Predicting European forest soil biodiversity and its functioning under climate change

Acronym SoilForEUROPE (Reference Number: 129)
Duration 31/12/2016 - 30/12/2019
Project Topic Despite being the largest ecosystem in Europe forests remained marginal in the past research efforts on how soil biodiversity affects ecosystem services. This is critical since forest soils play a key role in the carbon (C) cycle, with a strong impact on climate change mitigation policy. In order to anticipate changing climatic conditions, decision making in forestry concentrates on the choice of tree species to be planted and their densities, neglecting belowground diversity entirely. However, soil biodiversity can strongly affect ecosystem resistance and resilience to climate change. With SoilForEUROPE we propose to assess (1) how soil biodiversity is related to tree diversity across a broad climatic gradient, (2) how changes in soil biodiversity affect soil processes, (3) how soil biodiversity and the processes it drives respond to severe drought events, and (4) how the limited knowledge on soil biodiversity by forest managers, stakeholders and the general public may impair proper decision making in the face of climate change. We address these issues by taking advantage of an existing network of field sites in six different European countries. Additional experiments in the field and in the European Ecotron will allow a detailed mechanistic understanding of soil biodiversity effects on ecosystem functioning. With approaches ranging from genomics, to high resolution flux measurements, and to surveys and choice experiments for forest managers and end-users, our cutting edge interdisciplinary research will change the perception and management of soil biodiversity in Europe.
Network BiodivERsA3
Call BiodivERsA3 Joint Call 2015

Project partner

Number Name Role Country
1 CNRS Coordinator France
2 CNRS Partner France
3 University of Leuven Partner Belgium
4 Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences Partner Sweden
5 Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam Partner Netherlands
6 Helmholtz-Centre for Environmental Research Partner Germany
7 Ghent University Partner Belgium
8 University of Freiburg Partner Germany
9 French National Institute for Agricultural Research Observer France