Climate change: Effect on vulnerable ecosystems
Altered competition between plants. Increased turnover of nitrogen. These are some of the preliminary results of the EU project VULCAN, which investigates the effects of a warmer climate and a changed pattern of precipitation on vulnerable ecosystems.
The project examines the effects of warming and drought in shrubland ecosystems that are particularly sensitive to climate change in six European countries. Among other things, the preliminary results show that a minor increase in night-time temperature of 1oC increases the turnover of nitrogen and carbon in the topsoil. This stimulates plant growth, but also changes competition between the plants. In addition, leaching of nitrate increases in ecosystems subjected to high levels of nitrogen loading.
The aim of the project is to provide decision-makers, shrubland managers and land users with improved knowledge of the interplay between the future climate and shrubland ecosystem function.
Further information: Inger Kappel Schmidt, Danish Centre for Forest, Landscape and Planning. Phone: + 45 4576 3200. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Read more about project VULCAN (Vulnerability assessment of shrubland ecosystems in Europe under climate changes) at: http://www.vulcanproject.com
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