Field Research Centre

About the Field Research Centre

About the Field Research Centre

Universiteit Hasselt - Knowledge in action


  27 th May, 2015 |Hasselt University
  Heathlands are very fragile ecosystems, that are vulnerable to both land-use change and human-made eutrophication. The two main ecosystem services they provide, tourism and C sequestration, are therefore as well under threat. These services are dependent on the pace of soil nutrient cycles, that are, directly or not, controlled by the activity of soil organisms. Very little is known on the biotic and abiotic factors that actually regulate this activity. It is therefore very difficult to predict if climate change will, or not, accelerate the decline of heathland’s ecosystem services.
This symposium aims at discussing future research directions on this topic.
  Natalie Beenaerts, UHasselt
Nele Witters, UHasselt
Mark Smits, UHasselt
  Francois Rineau, UHasselt
Frederik de Laender, UNamur
Richard Bardgett, Manchester University
  14:00   The construction of the ecotrons   16:05   Soil organisms as drivers of C and nutrient cycles in heathland ecosystems  
  14:15   Studying heathland ecosystems: their patrimonial value in Belgium   16:35   Linking organisms to ecosystem functions: modelling food webs  
  14:45   Heathland ecosystem services: an economical perspective   17:05   How are microbial communities affected by climate change? What could be the consequences on ecosystem functioning?  
      COFFEE BREAK   17:35   Wrap-up and conclusion  
  15:35   A major ecosystem service in heathlands: C sequestration       RECEPTION