Ecosystem Functioning

Natural or semi-natural ecosystems provide various services which confer them ecological, economical or recreational value. To protect these areas, it is necessary to understand their functioning.

Our research projects focus particularly on the biotic interactions. How are plants and cattle interrelated? What are the interactions between plants within the community? What about above-belowground interactions? How do plants interact with soil fauna?

Ecisystem functioning may rapidly be disturbed by a disturbance (such as the arrival of an exotic species in the community) or a stress (water stress for example). We have to understand their implications in terms of ecosystem functioning. Are the different services still provided?

We have two projects focusing on the understanding of ecosystem functioning:

COMIN – Community Resistance to Plant Invasions

SUBFUNC – Effects of Subordinate Plant Species on Plant and Soil Community Structure

SPHAGNOL – Allelochemical arms race in peatlands: the role of polyphenols in aboveground-belowground interactions