View on the Amazon rainforest from above



In the Theoretical Ecosystem Ecology group of the Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry, we study transfers and transformations of energy and matter within terrestrial ecosystems with a strong focus on mathematical models to represent relevant processes. The allocation of carbon to different vegetation components and the transformations of organic matter within the soil system are two main topics of our research group. We are particularly interested in studying the responses of forest carbon stores to changes in climate and interactions among multiple biogeochemical cycles. An important part of our research is developed on tropical regions.


Current Projects

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Stochastic understanding of ecosystem productivity under elevated CO2 and changes in rainfall regimes

In the project, we use models and observations to address the question: does a stochastic treatment of rainfall and atmospheric CO2 concentration lead to different predictions of CO2 fertilization effects in ecosystems compared to strictly deterministic approaches?

Funding: Alexander von Humbolt Foundation
Measurement and global interpretation of greenhouse gases at the ATTO tower in the Amazon rain forest
This is a collaborative project with the MPI for Chemistry in Mainz and multiple Brazilian investigators around the Amazon Tall Tower Observatory ATTO. We are contributing to this project with the collection of atmospheric flask samples for analyses of greenhouse gases and 14CO2. We also collect data and calculating the age structure of carbon stocks and fluxes in a central Amazon forest.

Funding: German Federal Ministery for Education and Research more
Geo-ecosystems in transition on the Tibetan Plateau (TransTiP)

Geo-ecosystems in transition on the Tibetan Plateau (TransTiP)

TransTiP is a Sino-German Reserach Training Group that studies ecosystems in transition in the Tibetaen Plateu. Our group participates in this project developing models of carbon fluxes in permafrost soils.

Funding: Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft DFG


Previous Projects

Nonlinearities and Alternative States of Biogeochemical cycling in terrestrial ecosystems

In this project we attempt to better link mathematical models of biogeochemical cycling with a theoretical framework of ecosystem function; in particular, a theory that encompasses the prediction of the residence time of biogeochemical elements in terrestrial ecosystems and possible alternative states of biogeochemical cycling.

Funding: Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft DFG

An Ecological Observatory System for Colombia: a prototype for monitoring changes in biodiversity and ecosystem function

The objective of this project is to develop a research plan to promote and design the implementation of an Ecological Observatory System that monitors changes in ecosystem and climate in Colombia.

Funding: German Federal Ministery for Education and Research

National carbon stocks of mangroves in Colombia: capacity building for their inclusion in climate change mitigation strategies

In this project we are developing a model for the estimation of carbon stocks in Colombian mangroves, and will explore policy mechanisms to include these ecosystems in the climate change mitigation strategy of Colombia.

Funding: Alexander von Humboldt Foundation
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