“Biodiversity And Climate Change: A Risk Analysis” (BACCARA) is an international research project funded by the European Community's Seventh Framework Programme. Its main goal is to build the scientific foundation for developing tools allowing forest managers and policy makers to evaluate the risk of European forest biodiversity and productivity loss under climate change.
The scope of BACCARA encompasses forest composition at multiple trophic levels, i.e. assemblages of forest symbionts (mycorrhiza), producers (keystone tree species), consumers (herbivores and pathogens) and their predators. The concept of the project is to construct a 3-dimensional risk assessment model linking climate change, functional diversity, and forest productivity through a three-step process (cf. Fig. 1):
BACCARA brings together a wide range of researchers from all over Europe and from many disciplines to study the effects of climate change on forest biodiversity using observational, experimental as well as modelling approaches.
Additional general information on BACCARA can be found here: http://www.baccara-project.eu/
Work done by ETH Forest Ecology in the context of BACCARA
The Forest Ecology Group is involved in Work Package 4 of BACCARA: “Impact of climate change on forest functioning through alteration of biodiversity”.
We assess quantitatively (1) the effects of climate change on tree diversity in European forests, and (2) the effects of changes in the species and functional diversity on forest productivity. The project build upon the succession model ForClim, which is being developed, tested and applied in a range of research projects of the group. The main areas for model application include the ten most frequent European forest types to assess European tree diversity in the 21st century.
We study changes in forest composition and productivity at two levels: for species, and for groups of species, i.e. plant functional types (PFTs). We will use functional groups preliminarily as defined in the literature, but we will also develop new PFTs that will be derived from a consideration of species traits by carrying out classification analyses. Then, once the suitability of the ForClim model for simulating forest dynamics in the European forest types will have been assessed, it will be used to project changes in the relative abundance of species and PFTs under various climate change scenarios in the main European forest types.
Lastly, we predict the response of biomass production to changes in biodiversity (species and PFTs levels) (e.g. Fig. 1) and how climate change will affect the relationship between diversity and productivity.
Contact persons: Xavier Morin, Lorenz Fahse, Harald Bugmann
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