Reeds are dying back at a fast rate in sizable areas of Europe, with significant impacts on important wetland functions (biodiversity, stability of river and lake margins, water quality) and local economies.
EUREED II is a three-year strategic fundamental research initiative that aims at analyzing the mechanisms which control the growth dynamics and stability of reed-dominated ecosystems, at modelling and predicting how the ecosystem is disturbed by human activity and climate change, and at developing remedial management options. Expected achievements include (i)assessment of the functional role of reed-dominated ecotones as nutrient accumulators and transformers and as sources for atmospheric greenhouse gases, (ii) an ecosystem model capable of predicting future changes in ecosystem functioning in relation to climatic conditions, trophic status and water table management, (iii) assessment of genetic diversity of reed populations and its relation to die-back, and (iv) development of management tools, including preventative and restQrative measures in relation to die-back.
The scientific approach of the workprogramme is multi-disciplinary and co-operative, and comprises observational field studies, field experiments, controlled greenhouse and laboratory experiments, data collation and treatment, and mathematical modelling. A significant part of the studies is carried out during multi-disciplinary workshops. The project is carried out by research groups with complementary skills and expertise from nine European countries. A reference site is selected in each country as the basis for the field studies. The reference sites cover boreal-mediterranean and oceanic-continental climatic gradients, and the observational and experimental studies at these sites permit interpolation between sites, extrapolation of results to the European scale, and prediction of future response in relation to global climate change. The project tasks involve studies on (i) biogeochemical cycling (C, N, P), including quantification of carbon dioxide and methane emissions, (ii) growth dynamics and ecophysiology in relation to the environmental conditions, (iii) direct and indirect effects of eutrophication, (iv) effects of water, salinity, fire, harvesting, competition, and grazing on reeds, and (v) genetic variability within reeds and the relation to plant phenology and ecophysiology. Keywords: Wetland; land-water ecotone; die-back; climate change; land use;eutrophication; greenhouse gas; genetics; biogeochemical cycles;management
Funding SchemeCSC - Cost-sharing contracts
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