Biogeochemistry of tropical forests
Tropical forest are the most productive ecosystems on Earth and are responsible for about half of the terrestrial carbon sink, that is the anthropogenic CO2 that is sequestered in terrestrial ecosystems rather than accumulating in the atmosphere. The productivity of forest ecosystems is closely linked to its nutrient status and cycling. Very few studies have been conducted in tropical Africa. We are conducted biogeochemical research both in the Amazon Basin as well as Central Africa . Large-scale tropical deforestation turns these ecosystems into carbon sources, augmenting global warming, but at the same time tropical reforestation and forest regrowth act as additional carbon sinks. How is nutrient cycling evolving during secondary forest growth? This is one of our main questions, which we address by studying forest chronosequences.