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The joint Austrian-Taiwanese FWF-NSC project gets underway

A joint Austrian-Taiwanese (FWF-NSC) project on the “Effects of extreme events on carbon cycling along a terrestrial-aquatic continuum at the catchment scale” (ECATA) began in December 2013. The project’s first work meetings were held in Taiwan between December 15 and 20. Mr. Gerhard Götz, the director of the Austrian Commercial Office in Taiwan, hosted an evening reception in Taipei on Saturday, December 14 to mark the launch of this joint research undertaking.

The ECATA project will involve researchers from the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences (BOKU) in Vienna, Austria and from National Taiwan University, National Pingtung University of Science and Technology, I-Shou University, and Academia Sinica in Taiwan. They will focus on mountainous catchments in Taiwan, where landslides are frequent and the export of terrestrial OC (organic carbon) to aquatic ecosystems is high. More specifically, they will quantify the re-accumulation and stabilization of OC in terrestrial ecosystems, and characterize the processing of exported biomass-, soil-, and rock-derived OC in freshwater ecosystems.

The ECATA project will be built on the extensive experience of the partners from Taiwan in the monitoring and modeling of landslides and sediment discharge, and combine this with the long-standing expertise and use of cutting-edge techniques to characterize OC in soils and sediments provided by the Austrian partners. It is anticipated that this cutting-edge international collaboration will yield fundamentally new insights into the fate of OC at the terrestrial–aquatic continuum, particularly when impacted by extreme events. This will provide the essential data inputs necessary to improve modeling of the effects of extreme events on carbon cycling at the regional scale, and for better global estimations.