Consortium > UA

University of Antwerp

Organization short name: UA
web page:

Description of the organization

The University of Antwerp was established in the early 1970’s. Environmental research is one of the key foci of the university; the university founded an Institute of Environmental Studies, while also the Faculties of Science and Medicine are very active in environmental research. The University of Antwerp is supporting four Centres of Excellence. One of these specializes in environmental research and is presided by the Research Group of Plant and Vegetation Ecology.

Expertise and experience of the organization

The main objectives of the research group of Plant and Vegetation Ecology are a better understanding of the functioning, the dynamics and the structure of vegetation, at the leaf, plant, community and ecosystem levels. Particular emphasis lies on global change impacts. The research group combines experimental work with process- based modelling.

Selected reference projects

 (FP4 , ENV4-CT95-0077) 

Key scientific / technical personnel

Prof. Dr. Ivan Janssens, Expert in ecosystem carbon cycling, with particular emphasis on the impact of climate change on soil carbon dynamics.
Prof. Dr. Ivan Nijs, Expert in plant- and ecosystem responses to climate change. Established experience in studies on effects of heat waves.
Dr. Sebastiaan Luyssaert, Expert in data base construction and network synthesis activities.
Dr. Hans De Boeck, Expert in climate manipulation experiments, including articifial heat waves.

Responsibilities in CARBO-Extreme

  • Soil process studies (WP1) (lead)
  • Network of Ecosystem Manipulation Experiments (WP2)
  • Data infrastructure and model support (WP4)

Selected recent relevant publications

de Boeck HJ, Lemmens CMHM, Vicca Sara, van den Berge J, van Dongen S, Janssens IA, Ceulemans R, Nijs I, How do climate warming and species richness affect CO2 fluxes in experimental grasslands? The New Phytologist, 175, 512-522, 2007. link to publisher

Davidson EA, Janssens IA, Temperature sensitivity of soil carbon decomposition and feedbacks to climate change. Nature, 440, 165-173, 2006. link to publisher

Janssens IA, Freibauer A, Ciais P, Smith P, Nabuurs G-J, Folberth G, Schlamadinger B, Hutjes RWA, Ceulemans R, Schulze ED, Valentini R, Dolman AJ, Europe's terrestrial biosphere absorbs 7 to 12% of European anthropogenic CO2 emissions. Science, 300, 1538-1542, 2003. link to publisher

Marchand FL, Kockelbergh F, Van de Vijver B, Beyens L, Nijs I, Are heat and cold resistance of arctic species affected by successive extreme temperature events? The New Phytologist, 170, 291-300, 2006. link to publisher

Luyssaert S, et al. CO2 balance of boreal, temperate, and tropical forests derived from a global database. Global change biology, 2007. link to publisher

Milbau A, Scheerlinck L, Reheul D, de Cauwer B, Nijs I, Ecophysiological and morphological parameters related to survival in grass species exposed to an extreme climatic event. Physiologia plantarum, 125, 500-512 , 2005. link to publisher

Marchand FL, Mertens S, Kockelbergh F, Beyens L, Nijs I, Performance of High Arctic tundra plants improved during but deteriorated after exposure to a simulated extreme temperature event. Global change biology, 11, 2078-2089, 2005. link to publisher