Linking plant traits to ecosystem processes in a willow biomass production system
Salix is an energy crop with favorable economical energy balance, and production potential, which is promising regarding their ability to provide important ecosystem services. Breeding programs are under way to improve crop performance of Salix through selection and modification of desirable traits from a production perspective.
I am interested on how different genotypes of Salix create, maintain, and change biological diversity and affect ecosystem processes which are relevant for productivity, nutrient cycling and carbon sequestration.
In the current project (ECOLINK-Salix ), we examine how the diversity of four Salix genotypes in mono and mixed culture affect (1) ecosystem productivity; (2) nutrient use and nitrogen accumulation; (3) decomposition rate; and (4) abundance and structure of mycorrhizal communities.
In addition, I am working on a pot experiment, in which I am analyzing the water use and productivity of two different Salix genotypes by comparing nutrient and water use.
Apart from a better understanding of the functional links between individual plant traits and ecosystem processes, the goal is to evaluate the consequences of introducing new plant genotypes with different characteristics into biomass production systems.
Hoeber S, Fransson P, Prieto-Ruiz I, Manzoni S & Weih M (2017). Two Salix genotypes differ in productivity and nitrogen economy when grown in monoculture and mixture. Frontiers in Plant Science 8: 231.
Meyer S, Hoeber S, Nehring S & Leuschner C (2014). Effects of energy crop cultivation on the plant diversity of arable land. Natur und Landschaft 89 (9/10): 429-433. [In German with English summary]
Hoeber S, Leuschner C, Köhler L, Arias Aguilar D, Schuldt B (2014). The importance of hydraulic conductivity and wood density to growth performance in eight tree species from a tropical semi-dry climate. Forest Ecology and Management, doi: 10.1016/j.foreco.2014.06.039.
Weih M, Hoeber S, Beyer F and Fransson P (2014). Traits to ecosystems: The ecological sustainability challenge when developing future energy crops. Front. Energy Res. 2:17. doi: 10.3389/fenrg.2014.00017
Meyer S, Hoeber S, Leuschner C (2014). The effects of energy crop cultivation on the plant diversity of arable land: results of a literature review. BfN-Skripten 361: 61 S. [In German with English summary]