Forest restoration is on the rise, but how we go about it is crucial
Politicians have long been fond of tree-planting ceremonies, but today, well-thought-out forest restoration schemes are increasingly important.
In my current research I aim to mechanistically understand the biotic control of ecological processes and how global change drivers - such as climate change, land use change, nitrogen deposition, or invasive species - are interacting with this control at various temporal and spatial scales.
Within this field I focus on the functional role of biodiversity for biogeochemical cycles, especially in forest ecosystems.
In addition to this process-orientated basic research, I consider applied aspects by quantifying the relationship between ecosystem functioning and the delivery of ecological goods and (dis-)services.
I am further interested in the relations between biodiversity and human health, and I am coordinating the European project Dr.FOREST. I also coordinated the EU Framework Programme VII project FunDivEUROPE, which aims to quantify the role of forest biodiversity for ecosystem functioning and the delivery of goods and services in major European forest types.
More recently, I started new projects in Soundscape Ecology, i.e. the study of acoustic signatures within ecosystems and landscapes. Here, we focus on the effect of land use intensity on acoustic diversity of grassland and forest ecosystems.