CLIMATE AND EARTH
3 May 2023
Photo: Torstein Klausen
We are proud to announce the successful disputation of our SICSS member Heather Shupe
Her dissertation “Carbon stocks and sequestration rates of hardwood floodplain forests along the Middle Elbe River, Germany” was supervised by Prof. Dr. Kai Jensen, Dr. Kristin Ludewig and Prof. Dr. Annette Eschenbach (all Universität Hamburg).
Heather investigated how the carbon stocks of hardwood floodplain forests differed by hydrological conditions and forest age and structure. She also analyzed the effect of hydrological conditions, flood, and drought on the carbon sequestration rates of Pedunculate oak trees. She found (a) carbon stocks developed positively with age, with old forests storing up to an average of 180 tonnes of carbon per hectare in vegetation, (b) old forests on the low active floodplain, the high active floodplain, the seepage water zone, and tributaries fulfill the same carbon storage function, (c) old oak trees on the active floodplain and tributaries have a higher carbon sequestration rate than in the seepage water zone, and (d) drought decreases while winter and spring flooding increases carbon sequestration rates of old oak trees. Her findings indicate that dike relocation and floodplain restoration may improve carbon storage and sequestration of hardwood floodplain forests while also providing other ecosystem services such as flood protection and habitat provision.
Heather was a member of the Applied Plant Ecology working group at the University of Hamburg's Institute of Plant Science and Microbiology.
Heather’s future plans?
Heather has moved to Stavanger, Norway, with her husband and eight-month-old daughter. She is interested in natural climate solutions and carbon capture and storage techniques.