Increased temperatures and changes in vegetation patterns are expected to dramatically alter northern ecosystems the next few decades. Little is known about how this translates into relative rates of formation and decomposition of soil organic C, but a general belief is that increasing temperatures and rising concentrations of atmospheric CO2 will be partly mitigated by elevated C sequestration.
However, results from CO2 fertilization and warming experiments vary widely between prolonged, temporary and no stimulation of plant growth and C sequestration. There is therefore a discrepancy between theory and data. Why is this? One answer is that current theories and models fail to accurately address three major factors of importance for C cycling and sequestration:
My research aims at resolving the importance of these factors. More specifically I aim at identifying links between above ground biota and belowground C and N turnover, but also to determine the relative importance of fungi, bacteria and archaea for the same processes, and the ways in which this is modulated.
PhD students, main supervisor:
PhD students, ext supervisor:
Carolyn Churchland, University of British Columbia, BC, Canada