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Impacts of forest disturbances on soil carbon stocks


Disturbances of forest ecosystems by storms and dieback following drought and insect infestation are increasing with ongoing climatic changes. They impact soil organic matter cycling by changing the quality and quantity of organic matter inputs into the soils, climatic conditions, and soil structure, potentially inducing carbon losses from soils. In the project, we (1) quantify the impact of the storms Vivian and Lothar on soil carbon stocks along an elevation gradient across Swiss forests; (2) perform a literature synthesis on the major disturbance agents, including fires, storms, droughts, insects, and pathogens. (3) Moreover, we assess the effects of post-disturbance management activities by a field study in the Austrian Alps combined with a meta-analysis.