SAFE stands for the Stability of Altered Forest Ecosystems, a large project that aims to understand how biodiversity and ecosystem functioning vary in a landscape of primary forest, logged forest, forest fragments and oil palm plantation.
We have seven intensive carbon cycling plots at SAFE, which allow us to capture the variation in carbon dynamics between land use types. We have two pristine forest plots, four logged forest plots, three of which will be future forest fragments surrounded by oil palm, and one plot that is currently logged forest but will be converted to oil palm plantation.
During the SAFE experiment we will study the effect of the conversion of logged forest into oil palm on forest carbon dynamics. We are looking at changes both in the converted area and in the remaining forest fragments surrounded by oil palm. The conversion will take place in 2012.
In addition to the forest plots we are also measuring the carbon dioxide exchange with the eddy covariance technique, from a 50m high flux tower located in the future oil palm area. The measurements are non-invasive and continuous and provide a continuous time series of the carbon dioxide exchange between the ecosystem and the atmosphere.
Although our project focuses mainly on forest dynamics and carbon cycling, SAFE Project is a large consortium that brings together different research groups investigating numerous topics, for example the biodiversity of a multitude of taxa, hydrology, soil processes, nutrient cycling, pollination and trophic interactions.
For more details see http://www.safeproject.net/
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I am Professor of Ecosystem Science at Oxford University.
I lead the Ecosystems Programme at the Environmental Change Institute, with a focus of understanding the functioning of tropical forests and...
Walter is an experienced botanist and plant biologist who focuses on carbon cycling in tropical forest ecosystems. He has been working on the Andes to Amazon transect established by the...