Rooting patterns, root growth, and water uptake in response to interspecific competition

PhD student

Amani Saul Lwila

Research Outline

The major challenge of forest management global is to manage forest in such a way that aspect of wood production and forest conservation are combined, in order to have a productive and stable forests which continuously provides multiple ecosystem goods and services such as wood production, habitat and biodiversity, balanced water and nutrient fluxes, carbon sequestration, landscape protection, and recreation. Against this background it is important to study the interaction of mixed forest of European beech (Fagus sylvatica), a deciduous tree species which would be the dominant tree species in Central Europe under natural conditions), Norway spruce (Picea abies), a native conifer species mainly cultivated outside its natural range) and Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii), a nonnative conifer species, which originates from the Pacific Northwest of North-America.
As a result of climate change, dry periods during summer are expected to occur more frequently and with higher intensity. Therefore, improved knowledge about rooting patterns, root growth, and water uptake of trees and stands in relation to site characteristics and species mixture is needed. It is well known that tree species differ in their rooting patterns, root growth, and water uptake, but the effect of interspecific competition on these functional traits and resulting ecosystem functioning is still unclear.

Principal Investigator / Supervisor

Prof. Dr. Christian Ammer, Silviculture and Forest Ecology of the Temperate Zones, Faculty of Forest Sciences and Forest Ecology