The effect of forest management intensity, tree species and fungal bacterial diversity on resource use, decomposition and gas emissions in dead wood

Scientific investigators:

Dr. Nico Jehmlich

Lydia Kipping

(Helmholtz-Centre for Environmental Research - UFZ, Leipzig)

Prof. Dr. Matthias Noll

Sarah Muszynski

Florian Maurer

(Coburg University of Applied Sciences and Arts)


Wood-decomposition in forest ecosystems is a very important process with immense ecological consequences. Dead wood is an important structural component of forest ecosystems and it influences a large number of ecosystem functions of which the most relevant are C sequestration, nutrient cycling, and habitat provision for wood dwelling organisms. FunWood IV project will focus on ecosystem functions in dead wood decomposition and corresponding biodiversity. It aims to test experimentally whether increasing species richness will result in higher functional diversity in dead wood decomposer communities, and how the decomposer diversity and ecosystem processes are influenced by forest management intensity.



The project FunWood IV targets three major objectives within the BeLongDead (Biodiversity Exploratories Long term Dead Wood) consortium:

(i) to investigate the functional diversity in dead wood decomposer communities

(ii) to assess the functional and structural response of the wood-decomposing community to temperature fluctuations

(iii) to analyse the effect of forest management intensity and tree species on biodiversity accomplished with decomposition rates in dead wood



FunWood IV will combine a range of state-of-the-art techniques

  • amplicon gene sequencing
  • metaproteomics
  • protein-based stable isotope probing (protein-SIP)
  • CO2 emission rate
  • C/N content analyses

to provide an improved understanding on how decomposer communities execute wood degradation processes under fluctuating temperatures. In addition, we provide the opportunity to correlate between ecosystem processes such as wood decay and microbial diversity over tree species and along a gradient of forest management intensity on various geographic scales.


Project in previous phases