Thesis defence on Dynamic Modelling of the Forest Ecosystem: Incorporation of the Phosphorus Cycle
Lin about his thesis:
The forest ecosystem is one of the most important ecosystems on our planet. Forests provide us with many benefits, which are nowadays referred to as ecosystem services. Forests provide and regulate many important ecosystem services, such as biodiversity, soil and water protection, the provision of fiber, fuel, and non-wood forest products, climate regulation, and sociocultural values and services.
However, the area covered by forests has declined in recent centuries. Policies have therefore been formulated in an attempt to ensure that forests are managed sustainably, i.e. a balance should be reached among multiple goods and services. It will be difficult to achieve such a balance in the future due to changes in social, physical and environmental conditions: for example, our increasing demand for timber and bioenergy, the increase in atmospheric nitrogen deposition and carbon dioxide concentrations due to industrialization, and climate change which has caused an increase in global temperature as well as extreme events such as fires, droughts and storms.
Lack of phosphorus cycle identified as possible problem in models
It is important to know how forests will be affected by all these changes, and dynamic modeling provides a powerful tool with which this can be studied. However, some important processes are completely missing, or are oversimplified, in present-day models, which will lead to unreliable predictions about the future of forests. For example, the lack of the phosphorus cycle has been identified as a possible problem in many models.
In the work described in this thesis, I first combined the dynamic forest biogeochemistry model, ForSAFE, with empirical monitoring data, to study the effects of management intensification and storm disturbances on two Swedish forest sites. I then included the phosphorus cycle in the ForSAFE model and evaluated the model at one of the site.
Powerful approach to study processes and ecosystem services in forests
My work shows that the combination of forest dynamic modeling and empirical data has proved to be a powerful approach to study the processes and ecosystem services of the forest, and could be useful in the future to support forest management and policy-making. The inclusion of the phosphorus cycle in ForSAFE could be valuable for other terrestrial models for the same task. Some of the important findings presented in the thesis could be significative and constructive not only in forest management, but also in regional or global carbon and nutrient cycling, thus potentially contributing to future climate regulation or biodiversity conservation.
Why environmental science?
I grew up in a small town in China where enormous environmental changes occurred during my childhood, therefore it has always been a great interest of me to understand why environment changes. I feel really lucky for studying environmental science at CEC, where the multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary research environment has greatly broadened my view in environmental science. It helps me understanding the many different processes in forests and enables me to better represent them in the model.
The dissertation, Oct 28th
Lin is defending his thesis on Friday October 28th at 10.00. Venue: The Ecology building, lecture hall “Blå hallen”, Sölvegatan 37, Lund.
Contact Lin Yu