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Forest ecosystems cover around 30% of the terrestrial land surface and on average absorb 1.1 +/- 0.8 petagrams of carbon each year – approximately 30% of annual anthropogenic emissions. However, the forest sink is highly variable in space and time and is associated with high uncertainties in both its magnitude as well as the driving ecological and climatic processes. Long-term and large-scale empirical data are thus required to improve our understanding of possible future trajectories of ecosystem services provided by forests.
WSL researchers, together with various colleagues at other institutions, are currently developing a network of biomass-oriented sampling plots across Switzerland, Europe, and the globe. Extensive tree-ring sampling at each study location is used to produce annually-resolved estimates of above-ground biomass in forest ecosystems.
On-going and recently completed projects
Babst F, Bouriaud O, Alexander R, Trouet V, Frank D (2014) Towards consistent measurements of carbon accumulation: a multi-site assessment of biomass and basal area increment across Europe. Dendrochronologia. doi:10.1016/j.dendro.2014.01.002
Babst F, Bouriaud O, Papale D, Janssens I, Nikinmaa E, Ibrom A, Wu J, Bernhofer C, Köstner B, Grünwald T, Seufert G, Ciais P, Frank D (2014). Above‐ground woody carbon sequestration measured from tree rings is coherent with net ecosystem productivity at five eddy‐covariance sites. New Phytologist 201, 1289-1303.
Nehrbass-Ahles C, Babst F, Klesse S, Noetzli M, Bouriaud O, Neukom R, Dobbertin M, Frank D. (2014) The influence of sampling design on tree-ring based quantification of forest growth. Global Change Biology. doi:10.1111/gcb.12599