19/09/2017 15:00

16 ERC-funded projects were translated into comics. In this way, ERC wants to draw inspiration from science, tell stories and create images.

One of the projects is TREECLIMBERS by Hans Verbeek (UGent).

More information about the project

Tropical forests play an essential role in the global carbon cycle - a well-known fact. Something that not many people know, however, is that lianas are key components of these forests, and furthermore, they have been increasing in abundance and biomass over the last two decades, but nobody knows why. Therefore, the ERC council awarded Prof. Hans Verbeeck a grant to discover the reason why. Liana proliferation might be a key adaptation mechanism of tropical forests to climate change, with large impacts on the long term tropical forest carbon balance, and until now no single terrestrial ecosystem model currently includes lianas!

The protagonist of our webcomic will not be Tarzan, who in reality could have never swung on lianas as in the movies, because lianas are not attached at the top, but at the bottom (they are plants, with roots in the ground). Our protagonist will be the forest itself, with its plants, its insects, its animals, and its fragile balance.