Forest soil scientists study the properties and processes operating in forest soils, and the interactions between the above- and belowground ecology and biogeochemistry of forest ecosystems. Forest soil is the basis for renewable forest resources and a living environment for tree and understory roots, fungi, bacteria and soil animals. It stores and cycles carbon and nutrients and filters precipitation for groundwater and runoff. Knowledge about forest soil is a prerequisite for understanding of what happens to forest ecosystems and landscapes under human impact.
Our research topics vary from forest soil basic functions to impacts of disturbances and management. We ask questions such as: what happens to organic matter decomposition in changing climate? How much carbon do forest soils store? Do dead roots transfer more carbon to soil than aboveground litter? What is the impact of storm and insect damage on carbon sequestration in forest ecosystems? How does forest harvesting affect soil nutrient availability and the water cycle? Can biochar be used for improving forest soil properties? Research in forest soil science gives answers to the sustainability of man-made activities affecting forest soils. We cooperate within international and interdisciplinary networks, are in contact with the practice, and integrate our research results also into teaching. We educate students from bachelor to post graduate studies on boreal, temperate and tropical forest soils.
More information, please visit the Forest Soil Science website.