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Ecosystem Nutrition: Forest Strategies for limited Phosphorus Resources An introduction to the DFG/SNF Priority Programme 1685

Friederike Lang1, Jürgen Bauhus1, Emmanuel Frossard2, Klaus Kaiser3, Jaane Krüger1, Andrea Polle4, Jörg Prietzel5, Heinz Rennenberg1
1 University Freiburg
2 ETH Zürich
3 University Halle
4 University Göttingen
5 TU München

P 9.9 in Critical unknowns in the cycling of P in forest, grassland and wetland ecosystems

Poster Session 2 on Tuesday, 16:30-18:00

The broken P cycle in agriculture and uncertainties regarding the consequences of human impact on the P nutrition of forest ecosystems highlight insufficient knowledge in the field of (eco)systemic P-related interactions. Priority Programme 1685 addresses the ecological dimension of phosphorus nutrition, with ca. 70 researchers exploring the mechanisms underlying the ecological paradigm of the ‘whole being more than the sum of its parts’ for P nutrition of forest ecosystems. Thereby we promote the emerging field of ecosystem nutrition developing concepts and methods needed. We aim at testing whether there is any adaptation of forest ecosystems to sites with poor P supply, which are not a result of the adaptation of single organisms but of ecological interactions, which enable coordinated nutrient (re-)mobilization, uptake, usage and storage. The overall hypothesis to be tested is that the P nutrition strategy of living communities of forest ecosystems at sites rich in mineral P is characterized by high P uptake efficiency (acquiring systems). The acquiring strategy causes P depletion of the soils over long periods. In contrast, the P strategy of plant and microbial communities facing low soil P stocks is characterized by highly efficient mechanisms of P recycling. Phosphorus mobilization, uptake, usage and transfer will be studied at 5 long-term monitoring sites of the Forest State Research Institutes in Baden-Württemberg, Bavaria, Lower Saxony, and Thuringia, which represent a gradient in ecosystem P availability. This offers the unique possibility combining the results of specific analyses with long-term data sets. The collaboration of scientists from soil, plant, and forest science, as well as from geosciences and environmental sciences is essential to address the research question. Furthermore, we study the anthropogenic impact (choice of tree species, liming, element input, and climate change) on adaptation strategies. Beyond that, the knowledge on successful nutrition strategies of close-to natural systems can give fresh impetus to reshape agricultural nutrient management. Our presentation will give an introduction to basic concepts, innovative methods, and first results of the research programme.

Letzte Änderung 19.06.2014