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ALTER-Net: A Long-Term Biodiversity, Ecosystem and Awareness Research Network

Europe’s ecosystem research network


Multi Site Experiments

Side event on previous and new ALTER-Net multi-site experiments

Organizers: Jutta Stadler (UFZ)
When: Wednesday 17 April 2013, morning
Duration: 0.5 day

The initial ALTER-Net Multi-Site Experiment (MSE I) was set up within ALTER-Net in 2007 to explore the feasibility of using the LTER network of sites for an experiment, bringing together multiple partners working in different ecosystems and biogeographic regions. This experiment assembled 16 partners working at 35 (mostly LTER) sites. This experiment was designed to examine the resilience of ecosystems to trampling pressure in grassland as well as forest ecosystems from Boreal to Mediterranean biomes. The results of the experiment were published in 2011 (Journal of Ecology, 99, 777-787).

In 2011 the consortium of MSE I designed a further experiment, this time investigating the variation of litter decomposition across this broad biogeographic gradient by using standard litter material (barley leaves). This experiment is now in its 3rd year and includes a couple of side experiments which took advantage of the biogeographical gradient as well as the long term treatments (addition of N- or C-source of the experiment to test the degradation of persistent organic pollutants or isotope signatures).

This side event will present results on these multisite experiments and will also use the chance to discuss the potential of forthcoming experiments using the experience and creativity of the consortium.

Previous multi-site experiments

Markus Bernhardt-Römermann (University of Regensburg) Functional traits and local environment predict vegetation responses to disturbance
Jutta Stadler (Helmholtz-Ctr for Environmental Research) The Impact of C and N treatment on the decomposition of standard litter along a biogeographic gradient
Karin Wiberg/ Ulf Grandin (Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences) Impact of C and N treatments on the degradation of persistent organic pollutants (POP)
Rebecca Hood/ Thomas Dirnböck (University of Vienna) Imprints of priming effects on soil organic matter isotope signatures

Ideas for new experiments

Steffen Herrmann Dead wood pools and drivers in Swiss and European forests


A related side event is on Developing new ALTER-Net initiatives.