Millions to research on the role of forests in climate change
Associate professor Per Stenberg at the Department of Ecology and Environmental Science at Umeå University, Sweden, is awarded a grant of almost 16 million SEK from Formas’ announcement The role of the Swedish forest in climate change. A total of nine projects were approved.
Text: Anna-Lena Lindskog
Associate professor Per Stenberg is awarded a grant of almost 16 million SEK from Formas’ announcement The role of the Swedish forest in climate change.
"The feeling is hard to describe, I could not believe it was true" says Per Stenberg. "It makes me really happy to see that others also believe in our research and our ideas! It is unusual to receive such a large grant that now give us time to carefully set up and execute this exciting collaborative project together with the co-applicants Xiao-Ru Wang, David Hall and Mats Forsman."
The research within Formas' major programme is expected to increase knowledge of the different values that the forest covers and provide a basis for decision-making in the forest area.
"The project will investigate the climate impact on forest biodiversity with the aid of weekly air samples that have been collected over several decades, where we are using DNA sequencing can study the changes in abundance of all types of organisms, from bacteria and fungi to plants and animals" says Per Stenberg. "With this data, in combination with mapping of the genetic variation in the trees, we will also make a focused analysis of how the forest is impacted by the increasing problem of fungal pests."
"Our results will improve how trees are selected for breeding, both from the perspective of tolerance to climate change and tolerance to fungal infestations. As a step on the way to deal with the impacts of the changing climate, we will also deliver improved decision basis for preservation efforts and damage forecasts" says Per Stenberg.