TreeDì projects

International Research Training Group TreeDì

“TreeDì - 林地 - Tree Diversity Interactions: The role of tree-tree interactions in local neighbourhoods in Chinese subtropical forests” is an International Research Training Group funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG) and the University of Chinese Academy of Sciences (UCAS). Biodiversity–Ecosystem-Functioning (BEF) research in forests has become a vibrant field of research in the last decade. The aim of TreeDì - 林地 (forest land) is to understand how tree–tree interactions in local neighbourhoods of varying diversity translate into the observed positive tree species richness effects on key ecosystem functions at the ecosystem scale. Tree–tree interactions range from above- and belowground competition to resource-use complementarity and facilitation. In-depth knowledge of each interaction type and interdisciplinary teamwork are essential to understand the underlying processes. All research projects are carried out on the BEF-China platform in subtropical China - the largest forest BEF experiment worldwide.


  • P1: Spatial above- and belowground complementarity
    • P1G: Spatio-temporal dynamics of canopy space filling
    • P1C: Belowground productivity and complementarity
  • P2: Complementarity through trait variation
    • P2G: Causes and effects of leaf trait variation
    • P2C: Roots and mycorrhizal traits
  • P3: Tree interaction history and temporal complementarity
    • P3G: Spatio-temporal complementarity
    • P3C: Seasonal complementarity of wood growth
  • P4: Herbivory
    • P4G: Associational effects of herbivory across spatial scales
    • P4C: Associational effects mediated by parasitoids
  • P5: Leaf fungal pathogens
    • P5G: Drivers of leaf fungal pathogen load
    • P5C: Effects of leaf pathogens on leaf litter decomposition
  • P6: Complementarity in root functions
    • P6G: Biodiversity effects on tree root exudate metabolomes
    • P6C: Complementarity in nitrogen uptake by roots
  • P7: Rhizosphere and root microbes
    • P7G: Rhizosphere microbiome and meta-transcriptome of TSPs
    • P7C: Mycorrhizal and endophytic fungal communities of TSPs
  • P8:Functional diversity of soil organisms
    • P8G: Functional diversity of soil microbial and nematode communities
    • P8C: Microbial function potential and its linkage with ecosystem functioning
  • P9: Modelling generalised diversity interactions
    • P9G: Integrated modeling of tree individuals and animal population dynamics
    • P9C: Modeling forest community dynamics and neighbor TSP competition

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