CP 2    Research Centre of Excellence, PLECO, Department of Biology, University of Antwerp (PLECO) Belgium

The main focus of the PLECO research group is to study the effects of (global) changes in the abiotic (i.e. non-living) environment on ecological systems and on the condition of plants. The group has long experience (since 1976) in eco-physiology and the functioning and modelling of plants and vegetation at all scales (from leaf to continent). The group operates a number of large-scale experimental field sites, such as eddy covariance flux measuring towers and sunlit controlled growth chambers, to monitor the combined effects of climate warming and biodiversity on annual carbon budgets over several years. Since 2007 the research group has been formally recognized as a Centre of Excellence within the University of Antwerp.

Contribution to the RID (research and innovation development) objectives: 
PLECO will support SFI on C dynamics assessments and modelling belowground C turnover, data interpretation and publishing. PLECO operates a number of large-scale field experimental sites. As no studies have experimentally assessed the combined effects of climate warming and biodiversity on annual carbon budgets over several years, the PLECO research group has performed intensive studies on this topic over the last five years. At the University they have established an experimental platform with more than 300 mesocosms. The group also developed a couple of process-based simulation models, used internationally (FRACPO-fractal model for poplar growth and structure, ANAFORE-Analysis of Forest Ecosystems, SECRETS-Simulator for Ecosystems Carbon and Evapotranspiration processes).

Short profile of staff members
Prof. Dr. Reinhart Ceulemans is a full professor of Plant Ecology and Director of the Centre of Excellence at the University of Antwerp. He is among the 20 most cited authors in plant science.
Prof. Dr. Ivan Janssens is professor of Vegetation Ecology (Earth Sciences, Systems Ecology, Ecological Modelling, Practical Training Ecology).
Dr. Gaby Deckmy has a Ph.D. in Biology from the University of Antwerp (1996) and since 2000 has been a senior research associate at the University of Antwerp. She has more than ten years of experience with modelling.
Dr. Matteo Campioli is an early-stage scientist (Ph.D. 2008, University of Gent) and junior postdoc researcher in the PLECO. He has knowledge of ecosystem dynamics and the C cycle.



4th EUFORINNO Advisory Board Meeting

will be held from 10th to 11th March 2016 at the Slovenian Forestry Institute ...


14. januarja 2016 od 9. do 13. ure v dvorani Slovenske akademije znanosti ...