Understanding responses and resilience of central Congo basin forests to a changing environment – FORMONCO IIOngoing
Congo basin forests are very poorly investigated, because of logistic and research capacity constraints. Efforts of Congolese Universities and Ghent University resulted in unique data on carbon and nitrogen cycling in the central Congo basin. We wish to continue and further specify our research, education and outreach efforts by investigating the role of nutrients for forest growth and resilience. Here we test the hypothesis that atmospheric nitrogen deposition is a key driver for functioning of Congo basin forests. Therefore we will 1) develop a preliminary forest nitrogen budget and continue previous nitrogen deposition monitoring; 2) investigate in situ nitrogen and phosphorous dynamics, and 3) investigate origin and chemical speciation of atmospheric nitrogen input. This will improve carbon sequestration predictions, a key ecosystem service. Our research relates to UN Sustainable Development Goals, especially with #15: Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss.
01/01/2018 - 31/12/2021