Lucia Fuchslueger at the Department of Microbiology and Ecosystem at the University of Vienna coordinates a research stream with the „AmazonFACE“ project.

Description: The Amazon Forest is a crucial carbon sink and controlling our global climate, and potentially off-setting much anthropogenically released CO2. However, large areas of tropical forests grow on highly weathered soils, and little is known about their capacity to further sequester released CO2. The AmazonFACE is the first Free-Air-Carbon-Enrichment project in a mature tropical rainforests aiming to study the responses of all ecosystem components to elevated atmospheric CO2 – from leaf-level physiology, tree growth to soil microbial nutrient cycling.

The main goals of the project are to improve estimates of the ecosystem’s carbon balance, to elucidate interactions belowground at the interface of plant roots and mineral soils – the rhizosphere, where most competition for nutrients between microbial communities and plants occurs, as well as to investigate impacts on forest hydrology. A further large research field are socio-economic changes induced by climate change on the Amazonian region and its inhabitants. This project is so far unique and will for the first time allow to benchmark vegetation model predictions, and thereby significantly contribute to our understanding of tropical forest ecology.

Collaborators: Lucia Fuchslueger from the University of Vienna is part of a larger consortium of 11 Institutions.

Duration: 10 years (1.1.2020 – 31.12.2029)