We live in a time of dramatic changes. Besides being a cause of global climate change, the increasing atmospheric CO2 concentrations have a direct bearing on plant functioning as well, since carbon dioxide is he substrate of photosynthesis. Thus we are witnessing an involuntary CO2 fertilisation experiment of global scale. Together with other aspects of global change (e.g. land use changes) we expect complex effects on the functioning of individual plants and entire communities. We approach this problem at different levels:
1.The direct short- and long term consequences of elevated CO2 and altered climatic conditions on selected plant groups (see also Moss-FACE)
2.The consequences of land use changes on the biodiversity of tropical ecosystems, e.g by comparing primary, secondary forests and pastures with few remaining trees on the diversity of epiphytic plants.
Photo: Kerstin Poltz
Monteiro JAF, Zotz G & Körner C. 2009. Tropical epiphytes in a CO2-rich atmosphere. Acta Oecologica 35: 60-68.
Zotz G & Bader MY. 2009. Epiphytic plants in a changing world: Global change effects on vascular and non-vascular epiphytes. Progress in Botany 70: 147-170.
Asshoff R, Zotz G & Körner C. 2006. Phenological and growth response of mature temperate forest trees to four years of CO2-enrichment. Global Change Biology 12: 848-861.
Körner C, Asshoff R, Bignucolo O, Hättenschwiler S, Keel S, Peláez-Riedl S, Pepin S, Siegwolf R & Zotz G. 2005. Carbon flux and growth in mature deciduous forest trees exposed to elevated CO2. Science 309: 1360-1362.
Leuzinger S, Zotz G, Asshoff R & Körner C. 2005. Responses of deciduous forest trees to severe drought in Central Europe. Tree Physiology 25: 641-650.