Linking tree growth measurements to forest net carbon uptake

Summary: Forests are complex ecosystems which cover more than a third of the Earth's land surface. They play an important role in the global carbon cycle since they bsorb large quantities of carbon dioxide (CO2) from the atmosphere. Net carbon (C) uptake by forest ecosystems is called net ecosystem productivity (NEP). In order to quantify the role of forests in the global C cycle, we can choose among a large number of methods to calculate or measure the amount of C which is released (negative NEP) or absorbed (positive NEP) by forests. However, many of these measurement or modelling methods are temporally or spatially limited. The two most important problems are: (1) It is still very difficult to extend NEP measurements over longer periods of time and also over a sufficient number of sites in order to obtain accurate estimates which can be applied to a continental or global scale. (2) Knowledge about NEP drivers is still fragmentary. In particular, the possibility of estimating NEP from climatic factors is limited. With this dissertation we put the main emphasis on this second issue. With several chapters of this dissertation I contribute to understanding better that forests are complex ecosystems that are more than the sum of their parts.

Haeni M. 2014. Seeing the forest for the trees: Linking tree growth measurements to forest net carbon uptake, Dissertation, Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule ETH Zürich, Nr. 21968.