Successful restoration towards a long-term supply of ecosystem services requires a fundamental understanding of the link between ecosystem composition, related ecosystem functions and services, and influencing environmental factors. Measurable plant traits have been recognized as such a link. Until now, however, trait-based research to reliably support restoration in Mediterranean-type ecosystems is missing. We started closing this gap by integrating empirical research and process-based simulation modelling. We developed an individual-based eco-hydrological simulation model complementing an ongoing large-scale restoration project in Western Australia (the Ridgefield experiment). For a given vegetation composition and other properties of the ecosystem processes for vegetation, nutrient and water dynamics are calculated, and the delivery of ecosystem functions/services are quantified. In this talk, I am going to present our approach, give some preliminary results and an outlook on how we aim at synthesizing our findings across Mediterranean-type ecosystems.
Sebastian Fiedler is a Ph.D. student at the Freie Universität Berlin in Germany supervised by Prof Dr. Britta Tietjen, Dr. Michael Perring, and Prof Dr. Fernando Maestre. He is visiting the Berkeley Lab for three months, working together with Dr. Jennifer Holm and Prof Dr. Trevor Keenan on synthesizing the relationship between plant traits and ecosystem functioning across Mediterranean-type ecosystems. He is particularly interested in research questions related to plant/functional ecology and applies integrated empirical and theoretical methods for answering these questions.