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Biogeochemical cycles in forests

The research area – an overview

The research group “Biogeochemical cycles in forests” is a group spanning over our department, the Department of Physical Geography at Stockholm University and CEC at Lund University. We use empirical data in combination with the dynamic forest ecosystem models to develop process understanding about nutrient and carbon cycling in forests. We also use this to make predictions of:

  • effects of climate change,
  • different types of forest management and atmospheric deposition on soil chemistry,
  • runoff water quality and
  • tree growth

One important aim with our research is to provide mainly Swedish stakeholders, e.g. the Energy Agency, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Forest Agency and the Swedish Agency for Marine and Water Management, with decision support.

We work both with analysis of empirical data for analysis, e.g. at the SWETHRO monitoring network, and with modelling. The model framework that we use is the ForSAFE modelling family, mainly the steady state PROFILE model (for weathering rates and critical loads) and the dynamic ForSAFE model (for dynamic modelling of processes like weathering, decomposition and tree growth as well as of indicators such as soil chemistry and runoff water quality). We apply the models at different well-investigated field sites, e.g. sites in the SWETHRO monitoring network, the Krycklan catchment and various experimental sites, such as four long-term whole-tree harvesting experiments. Applying the models at well-investigated sites enables us to compare our model results with measurements, increase our process knowledge and improve the models continuously.

The research falls within the strategic research area BECC (Biodiversity and Ecosystem services in a Changing Climate). We cooperate with many researchers outside Lund University, nationally and internationally. On a national level the SWETHRO network group at IVL and a large number of researchers at SLU are our most frequent collaborators.

Topics in focus 2017

  • Weathering for sustainable forestry (through the FORMAS strong research environment QWARTS)
  • Improving hydrology in ForSAFE (through previous strong research environments ForWater and Multistressors, and projects following that)
  • Effects of whole-tree harvesting on nutrient cycling and acidification (through a project financed by the Energy Agency and BECC)
  • Increasing the understanding of nitrogen leaching from forest soils – why do some forest leach nitrogen and others not in southern Sweden (final work of a previous FORMAS project)
  • Dynamic modelling as a basis for policy decisions - Reducing the gap between modelling and policies through stakeholder interactions (a PhD project mainly financed by CEC and our department)
  • Development of methods for sustainability analysis for harvesting of forest fuels, using the decision support model ToSia (through a project financed by the Energy Agency)
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Research group

Group members at the Department of Physical Geography and Ecosystem Science
Cecilia Akselsson (Lecturer, group leader together with Salim Belyazid)
Martin Erlandsson Lampa (Researcher)
Veronika Kronnäs (PhD student)
Klas Lucander (PhD student)
Jörgen Olofsson (Researcher)
Giuliana Zanchi (Researcher)

Group members with other affiliations
Salim Belyazid (Lecturer, Department of Physical Geography, Stockholm University, group leader together with Cecilia Akselsson)
Nick Rosenstock (Researcher, CEC, Lund University)
Lin Yu (Post doc, Max Planck Institute, Jena)

Department of Physical Geography and Ecosystem Science
Lund University
Sölvegatan 12
S-223 62 Lund
Sweden