Vegetation

Tom's Point

My field site at Tom’s Point, California

I am interested in vegetation dynamics under global change, especially species invasions, anthropogenic disturbances and climate change. I also work on restoration of vegetation, particularly in grasslands.

I address questions such as:

  • How does human land use shape vegetation patterns?
  • What are the long-term trends and drivers of vegetation greenness?
  • How fast will vegetation respond to climate changes?
  • What determines the pattern and influence of species invasions?

I use a mixture of approaches, including field studies and ecoinformatics. I make heavy use of massive data sources such as remote sensing and mega-databases (such as sPlot, TRY and BIEN).

Tree cover and terrain

Remote sensing data on tree cover and terrain over the Carolinas. From Sandel and Svenning 2013.

Plant functional traits can provide a useful “common currency” to describe plant community composition and its dynamics. Further, they can be used to develop predictions under climate change (such as Sandel et al. 2010, New Phytologist, Sandel and Dangremond 2012, Global Change Biology), or to predict restoration outcomes (Sandel et al. 2011, Ecosphere).