EFForTS-CRC990 - A01 - Long-term vegetation dynamics, plant phenology and plant-pollinator interactions in rainforest and rainforest transformations in central Sumatra

During the last few decades, rainforests in Central Sumatra have undergone rapid conversions. It is often assumed that before transformations took place ecosystems persisted under limited disturbance. However, little is known about the long-term functioning and resilience of rainforests under changing natural and anthropogenic disturbance through time. The palaeoecological approach extends our knowledge of ecological functioning of rainforest ecosystems and provide important information on past vegetation response to disturbance and environmental variability. In the second phase of the EFForTS-CRC990 project, we will continue the palaeoecological and palaeoenvironmental investigations in Jambi Province and several new key sites from the heterogeneous landscape will be investigated covering the most representative ecosystems.
Modern pollen rain analysis is important for detailed and comprehensive studies on plant phenology, dispersal and reproductive strategies as related to climatic and environmental variability. We will continue the work which started in the first phase in the rainforests and in the different agricultural land-use systems (jungle rubber, rubber, oil palm). Additionally we will include the new riparian/wet sites and the enrichment experiment (B11 Hölscher/Kreft/Wollni). Our study will be the first complete pollen rain-vegetation study in Indonesia across a gradient of land-use change. Pollen traps analysis will be used to quantitatively assess the relationship between pollen and spore deposition and environmental parameters such as vegetation, land-use type and climate.
The differences in plant diversity, ecosystem dynamics, and reproductive phenology between rainforest and agricultural land-use systems should result in differences in plant - pollinator interactions and thus in pollination functions. However, community-level plant - pollinator interactions and the effect of land-use change on pollination function have yet to be studied. In collaboration with B09 Tscharntke/Grass we will investigate the pollen carried by pollinator groups in the CRC 990 core plots, B11 Hölscher/Kreft/Wollni experiment plots and in the management experiment in oil palm, as a tool to reconstruct quantitative interaction net-works and relate changes in food web complexity to rainforest transformation at the plot and landscape level.

view of Danau Nyalo (Kerinci, Indonesia) one of the lakes part of the research

The research is part of a DFG founded projects:

Project Principal Investigator
Prof. Dr. Hermann Behling

Dr. Siria Biagioni

PhD students
M.Sc. Kartika Anggi Hapsari
Dipl. Biol. Christina Ani Setyaningsih

Indonesia, Sumatra, plant phenology, palynology, vegetation and fire history, palaeoecology, palaeoclimatology, plant-pollinator interactions