When I started as PhD in the 70's I had as my special task to determine fungal biomass, which species that were common and how fast fungi grew in soil with the Swedish Coniferous Forest Project. Although it did result in a thesis, I didn´t succeed in finding all these answers, especially when it came to growth and production of microbes in soil. Therefore I have been working for more then 30 years with broad aspects of soil microbiology both with fungi (saprophytic and mycorrhizal) and bacteria, including assessments of biomass, activity and community composition of these different groups in relation to biotic and abiotic environmental conditions. The latter involves soil microorganism response to temperature, moisture, heavy metals, drying-rewetting, freeze-thawing, substrate additions and pH.
In my lab we use isotope-based methods to differentiate between bacterial and fungal growth (leucine incorporation and Ac-in-erg incorporation, respectively); methods that we are unique in combining in soil at the moment. We have also pioneered the use of the PLFA technique to study changes in microbial community composition in soil. We are a research group with an international focus, and have earlier and ongoing cooperation with scientist from Scotland, England, France, Italy, Germany, Spain, the Netherlands, Austria, Poland, Lithuania, Sri Lanka, Australia, Norway, Finland and Denmark in addition to Sweden.