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I am interested in the role of functional trait variation in plant and ecosystem functioning, with a particular focus on how vegetation composition impacts on carbon and nutrient cycling. I like to find out not only what determines the functional (trait) diversity of plants in ecosystems, but also how (much) this functional diversity drives important carbon cycling processes. These processes include plant carbon and nutrient gain processes (photosynthesis, nutrient uptake strategy – e.g. snow roots) but especially carbon and nutrient loss processes, such as litter decomposition, fire and herbivory. I study linkages between traits and carbon cycling through lab and field experiments, trait database analyses and meta-analyses, from local to global scale. Via collaborations with modellers I also study how plant trait variation feeds back to climate via carbon cycling processes. Furthermore I study evolutionary patterns in these processes: the Tree of Life of carbon cycling. This approach helps us to reconstruct carbon cycling in the past. In the fire lab, FLARE, we carry out ecological fire experiments. I also coordinate the large ‘tree cemetery’ experiment, LOGLIFE, on tree trait effects on coarse wood decomposition and associated biodiversity. Finally, I am heavily involved in various global change impact experiments and meta-analyses.

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Research Output 1996 2018

Advances in flowering phenology across the Northern Hemisphere are explained by functional traits

König, P., Tautenhahn, S., Cornelissen, J. H. C., Kattge, J., Bönisch, G. & Römermann, C. 1 Mar 2018 In : Global Ecology and Biogeography. 27, 3, p. 310-321 12 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Continental mapping of forest ecosystem functions reveals a high but unrealised potential for forest multifunctionality

van der Plas, F. , Ratcliffe, S. , Ruiz-Benito, P. , Scherer-Lorenzen, M. , Verheyen, K. , Wirth, C. , Zavala, M. A. , Ampoorter, E. , Baeten, L. , Barbaro, L. , Bastias, C. C. , Bauhus, J. , Benavides, R. , Benneter, A. , Bonal, D. , Bouriaud, O. , Bruelheide, H. , Bussotti, F. , Carnol, M. , Castagneyrol, B. & 51 others Charbonnier, Y., Cornelissen, J. H. C., Dahlgren, J., Checko, E., Coppi, A., Dawud, S. M., Deconchat, M., De Smedt, P., De Wandeler, H., Domisch, T., Finer, L., Fotelli, M., Gessler, A., Granier, A., Grossiord, C., Guyot, V., Haase, J., Haettenschwiler, S., Jactel, H., Jaroszewicz, B., Joly, F-X., Jucker, T., Kambach, S., Kaendler, G., Kattge, J., Koricheva, J., Kunstler, G., Lehtonen, A., Liebergesell, M., Manning, P., Milligan, H., Mueller, S., Muys, B., Nguyen, D., Nock, C., Ohse, B., Paquette, A., Penuelas, J., Pollastrini, M., Radoglou, K., Raulund-Rasmussen, K., Roger, F., Seidl, R., Selvi, F., Stenlid, J., Valladares, F., van Keer, J., Vesterdal, L., Fischer, M., Gamfeldt, L. & Allan, E. Jan 2018 In : Ecology Letters. 21, 1, p. 31-42

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Forests in flux as climate varies

Luyssaert, S. & Cornelissen, J. H. C. 5 Apr 2018 In : Nature. 556, 7699, p. 35-37 3 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Interactive trait effects of plant species, organs, decomposition stages and moisture on litter fire behavior

Zhao, W. 2018 140 p.

Research output: ThesisPhD Thesis - Research VU, graduation VU

Open Access

Inter- and intraspecific variation in leaf economic traits in wheat and maize

Martin, A. R., Hale, C. E., Cerabolini, B. E. L., Cornelissen, J. H. C., Craine, J., Gough, W. A., Kattge, J. & Tirona, C. K. F. Feb 2018 In : AOB Plants. 10, 1

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle