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Querco - Oak ecosystems and climate change


The three native oak species with different resistance to drought were selected from four genetically known Swiss provenances each to be tested together for their tolerance, defense and acclimation strategies to realistic future climate change with drought ± air warming and other types of stress in the Querco experiment. 864 trees have been planted in a statistical design in the WSL model ecosystem lysimeters installation with the aim to study:

  • water and nutrient balances
  • climate evolution in the air and soil
  • soil and roots with and without a confined root pathogen
  • two different forest soils (acidic and calcareous)
  • system reactions during 3-4 years (starting 2007).

Goals of the experiment Querco

Enlarge the interdisciplinary knowledge on above- and belowground mechanisms under drought, air warming and their combination in an experiment with young oaks trees

  • Determine the potential of tolerance and adaptation of the 3 species (and their provenances) together with their associated organisms
  • Improve the diagnostic tools to monitor reactions to climate change by better interpreting the mechanisms of stress reactions
  • Deliver new results on the tree's reactions under drought and/or air warming for the scientific community, for educational purposes and for forestry (reforestation)

At present 25 interdisciplinary projects work together in a participative structure (Fig.2) and link the results to existing reforestations and oak sites.