research centre at Aarhus University
STABFOR is a research project funded by The Danish Council for Independent Research (FNU Major Research Project).
The project aims to improve the understanding of the impact of past climate change on forests. It will clarify if paleoclimatic stability shapes assembly of forest-tree communities and their ecosystem effects, thereby linking two separate topics: Paleoclimatic effects on biodiversity and Biodiversity effects on ecosystems
Forests are a vital component of Earth’s biosphere, but future climate change looms as a major
threat and the potential impacts are poorly understood. The STABFOR project studies how forests
are affected by past climate change. Our overall aim is to elucidate if and how paleoclimatic stability
has shaped the ecology of forests, notably the assembly of forest biotic communities and associated
ecosystem effects. This project thereby links hitherto separate aspects of ecological theory, namely
paleoclimatic effects on biodiversity and biodiversity effects on ecosystem structure and
functioning. We employ an ecoinformatic-macroecological approach, assembling large data sets on species distribution and composition, functional traits, phylogenies, ecosystem structure and functioning, and present, past and future environments, and analyzing them using spatialphylogenetic statistical and other advanced modeling.