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Microclimatic buffering of plant responses to macroclimate warming in temperate forests

Total Cost €


EC-Contrib. €






 FORMICA project word cloud

Explore the words cloud of the FORMICA project. It provides you a very rough idea of what is the project "FORMICA" about.

plants    interdisciplinary    quantify    experiment    forests    warming    trees    formica    recent    heating    lagging    biodiversity    modulating    geographic    communities    makers    mechanism    climate    vegetation    land    buffered    perform    plays    forestry    understand    climatology    time    measured    threatening    species    transplant    ignore    contains    ground    evident    localized    region    exist    diversity    slow    urgently    integrative    loggers    experimental    majority    microclimatic    macroclimate    managers    microclimate    arising    microtemperature    temperate    models    driving    terrain    policy    individual    plant    habitats    forest    temperature    understorey    vast    ecosystems    tubes    first    microclimates    overstorey    empirical    edge    buffering    acting    ecology    impacts    gradients    data    warms    demographic    global    cutting    almost    regimes    date    topography    reshape    fluorescent    ecosystem    strategies    biological    near    forecast   

Project "FORMICA" data sheet

The following table provides information about the project.


Organization address
city: GENT
postcode: 9000

contact info
title: n.a.
name: n.a.
surname: n.a.
function: n.a.
email: n.a.
telephone: n.a.
fax: n.a.

 Coordinator Country Belgium [BE]
 Project website
 Total cost 1˙498˙469 €
 EC max contribution 1˙498˙469 € (100%)
 Programme 1. H2020-EU.1.1. (EXCELLENT SCIENCE - European Research Council (ERC))
 Code Call ERC-2017-STG
 Funding Scheme ERC-STG
 Starting year 2018
 Duration (year-month-day) from 2018-02-01   to  2023-01-31


Take a look of project's partnership.

# participants  country  role  EC contrib. [€] 
1    UNIVERSITEIT GENT BE (GENT) coordinator 1˙498˙469.00


 Project objective

Recent global warming is acting across ecosystems and threatening biodiversity. Yet, due to slow responses, many biological communities are lagging behind warming of the macroclimate (the climate of a large geographic region). The buffering of microclimates near the ground measured in localized areas, arising from terrain features such as vegetation and topography, can explain why many species are lagging behind macroclimate warming. However, almost all studies ignore the effects of microclimatic buffering and key uncertainties still exist about this mechanism. Microclimates are particularly evident in forests, where understorey habitats are buffered by overstorey trees. In temperate forests, the understorey contains the vast majority of plant diversity and plays an essential role in driving ecosystem processes.

The overall goal of FORMICA (FORest MICroclimate Assessment) is to quantify and understand the role of microclimatic buffering in modulating forest understorey plant responses to macroclimate warming. We will perform the best assessment to date of the effects of microclimates on plants by applying microtemperature loggers, experimental heating, fluorescent tubes and a large-scale transplant experiment in temperate forests across Europe. For the first time, plant data from the individual to ecosystem level will be related to microclimate along wide temperature gradients and forest management regimes. The empirical results will then be integrated in cutting-edge demographic distribution models to forecast plant diversity in temperate forests as macroclimate warms.

FORMICA will provide the first integrative study on microclimatic buffering of macroclimate warming in forests. Interdisciplinary concepts and methods will be applied, including from climatology, forestry and ecology. FORMICA will reshape our current understanding of the impacts of climate change on forests and help land managers and policy makers to develop urgently needed adaptation strategies.


List of deliverables.
Data Management Plan Open Research Data Pilot 2019-04-26 10:00:10

Take a look to the deliverables list in detail:  detailed list of FORMICA deliverables.


year authors and title journal last update
List of publications.
2019 Pieter De Frenne, Florian Zellweger, Francisco Rodríguez-Sánchez, Brett R. Scheffers, Kristoffer Hylander, Miska Luoto, Mark Vellend, Kris Verheyen, Jonathan Lenoir
Global buffering of temperatures under forest canopies
published pages: 744-749, ISSN: 2397-334X, DOI: 10.1038/s41559-019-0842-1
Nature Ecology & Evolution 3/5 2019-09-09
2019 Shiyu Ma, Pieter De Frenne, Nico Boon, Jörg Brunet, Sara A O Cousins, Guillaume Decocq, Annette Kolb, Isa Lemke, Jaan Liira, Tobias Naaf, Anna Orczewska, Jan Plue, Monika Wulf, Kris Verheyen
Plant species identity and soil characteristics determine rhizosphere soil bacteria community composition in European temperate forests
published pages: , ISSN: 1574-6941, DOI: 10.1093/femsec/fiz063
FEMS Microbiology Ecology 95/6 2019-09-17

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