"We have done the easy stuff, working experimentally with herbaceous communities, and have learned a great deal about the diversity/ functioning/ stability relationship. However, we now must move on to the next level and address those ecosystems that control a good portion of the carbon, nutrient and water balances of the earth-the forests."

Prof. Dr. Harold Mooney, Foreword to Forest Diversity and Function (2005), edited by Scherer- Lorenzen, Körner & Schulze.

Ongoing biodiversity loss has prompted concerns that the functioning of ecosystems and the services humans derive from the environment may be compromised. While there is ample evidence supporting a significant role of biodiversity for ecosystem functioning in simple modelsystems, this role is less clear for forests. FunDivEUROPE answers the need for a new generation of research that brings functional biodiversity research into the complex world of the forest realm and examins ecosystem processes that provide important goods and services to humanity.


Project objectives

The overall scientific goal of FunDivEUROPE is to quantify the effects of forest biodiversity on ecosystem functions and services in major European forest types. A major aim is to understand and quantify how tree species diversity can be used to foster the provision of ecosystem services such as timber production, carbon sequestration and freshwater provisioning. Additionally, the implications of tree species diversity for the vulnerability of ecosystem services under climate change will be assessed by integrating field and modelling data on the performance of pure versus mixed species stands under different climates. The policy relevant objective is to strengthen the science-policy interface by delivering timely, relevant and understandable information to policy makers and stakeholders about the relationship of forest biodiversity and ecosystem services. This will help forest owners and forestry organizations to adapt management strategies to better utilize potential benefits of mixed species forests and ecosystem services.


Contribution of our working group to FunDivEUROPE

WP.I.4 Data management, data quality assessment and control
Lead: Christian Wirth, Sophia Ratcliffe

WP.II.2 A trait database for functional characterization of stands
Lead: Christian Wirth, Mario Liebergesell

WP.V.2 Uncovering causality and mechanisms : Structural Equation and Hierarchical Bayesian modeling
Lead: Christian Wirth, Sophia Ratcliffe

WP.V.4 Mapping management effects on forest functional diversity of important European forest types
Lead: Christian Wirth, Sophia Ratcliffe, Mario Liebergesell

WP.VI.2 Development of a web-based knowledge transfer tool
Lead: BOKU, Harald Vacik, Co-Lead: Karin Nadrowski

Prof. Dr. Christian Wirth, ULEI, WP V leader


At a glance

Instrument: Large scale integrating, collaborative project, FP7

Total Cost: 9,255,430 €
EC Contribution: 6,989,407 €

Duration: 54 months

Start Date: 01/10/2010

Consortium: 24 partners from 15 countries

Project Coordinator: Faculty of Biology ‐ Geobotany, University of Freiburg, Germany.

Project Web Site:

letzte Änderung: 12.12.2014