High-latitude climate is strongly changing. How is high-latitude vegetation responding and how will it contribute to this change? Our key research regions are i) the ecotone of the Arctic treeline from the treeless tundra in the colder north, towards single-tree stands and open forest towards taiga in the warmer south ii) the transition from summergreen larches to evergreen needle-leafed taiga in Siberia and summergreen needle-leafe refugia in the North American boreal region.
Our main research questions are
- How strong are the climate-vegetation feedbacks, and what can we expect in the upcoming decades?
- What are the consequences of changing vegetation communities on the local to regional carbon, water and energy balances, on the permafrost and on the ecosystem functions?
Our research tools are
- Simulating the structure and dynamics of past, current and future forest stands by applying the individual-based and spatially explicit vegetation simulation model LAVESI
- Mapping of high-latitude vegetation, its bio-physical quantities and actual changes by applying Remote sensing at all spatial scales.
- Tracing biodiversity and land cover change through time on climate-scale by applying genetics and palaeogenetics and pollen from terrestrial and aquatic archives.