The objective of the Chinese-European joint research project "BEF China" (DFG Research Unit 891) is to analyze the influence of tree and shrub species diversity on ecosystem functioning and services in one of the most prominent diversity hotspots in the northern hemisphere. Using a pool of 96 native tree and shrub species the project will plant a total of 345.600 trees and 277.824 shrubs to establish experimental forest stands, varying in both tree and shrub species richness, on a total area of about 100 ha. A range of biodiversity and ecosystem variables will be measured to assess community dynamics and its relation to primary productivity, carbon and nitrogen storage, nutrient cycling, and prevention of soil erosion, a so-far disregarded ecosystem service in other projects but with prominent importance for this region. Cooperation partners in Europe are the University of Halle, the University of Lüneburg, the University of Tübingen and the ETH Zürich. In China, the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) in Beijing (Botany, Ecology) and Nanjing (Soil Science) contribute to the project.
Subproject 6: Soil Properties and Soil Erosion
At the Institute of Geography in Tübingen, Subproject 6 (Soil properties and soil erosion) is situated. Two process systems will be analyzed in this subproject: (a) modification of kinetic energy of precipitation by its pass through the tree canopy and the shrub layer, and (b) connection between surface runoff, sediment transport and changing intrinsic soil properties as a function of biodiversity gradients. In the framework of the Research Unit, Subproject 6 also covers spatial and pedological aspects of soil genesis, substrate characteristics, landscape development, and land use history.
|Project||BEF China / DFG Research Unit 891 (main project page)|
Soil Properties and Soil Erosion
|Start/End||2010 – 2015|
|Keywords||Soil erosion, Soil properties, Biodiversity, Ecosystem Functioning|
|Contact||Steffen Seitz, Peter Kühn, Thomas Scholten|
Video: "Functioning through Diversity: Pioneering work in China - The largest ever forest experiment on biodiversity" (see below)
|Links||BEF China Data Portal (U Leipzig)|