I finished my PhD in 2000 at Lund University. The topic of my thesis was physiological integration in clonal plants and how interconnected clonal systems share resources and cope with environmental heterogeneity of resources and soil-borne pathogens.
The overall question that I am interested in is how plants cope with changes in their environment. During my postdoc I studied trait change in crop plants that become agricultural weeds (volunteers and ferals). Part of this variation was found to depend on crop-wild gene flow which is an important component in risk analysis of genetically modified (GM) crops. I have also studied temporal gene flow, where secondary dormancy in oilseed rape seeds allows them to be incorporated into the seed bank and occur as volunteers in subsequent crops. Risk analysis of GM plants needs to develop for both existing and new GM traits and we therefore continue with research in oilseed rape and other crops. Another aspect of weedy agricultural plants is their interactions with land management and soil biodiversity. In the EU-project Soilservice we investigate how the productivity of crops and weedy species are affected by land management and subsequent changes in soil biodiversity. This research links to the overall question of sustainable agriculture. Johanna Eneström and I have investigated functional traits in the noxious clonal weed Aegopodium podagraria. Johanna evaluated effects on local resource availability either under controlled conditions or in interaction with regional climate. She also investigated the distribution range in Sweden and the role of sexual recruitment in clonal populations. These different projects use ecological studies to investigate how plants respond to the environment, and what the ecological interactions are between plants (including plants with with new traits) and the environment.
The changed demands on modern agriculture include changes in crop types as well as crop management. My main interest lies in the functional responses of crops (annual and perennial) and weeds to future changes in cultivation, and ultimately how this feeds back to sustainable agriculture. In the near future the focus will be on the effects of biofuel crops on soil ecosystem services, and on volunteers in oilseed rape. Future research will continue with aspects of risk analysis in other GM crops. Future research will aim to continue to combine research on applied questions with basic plant ecological research.
-The effects of perennial biofuel crops (Salix, Phalaris, Populus) on soil ecosystem services (with Helene Bract-Jørgensen, LU, Soilservice)
-Weed-soil interactions in response to land management intensity (EU project Soilservice)
-The effect of Brassica napus - Brassica rapa gene flow on volunteer persistence
I regularly teach at the courses Advanced Ecology (BIO R13, where I am regularly head teacher), Plant Ecology, Risk analysis and Environmental Science.
I have a strong general ecological interest and am a member of the board of the Swedish Ecological Society Oikos. I am also a member of the Swedish Board for Gene Technology (Gentekniknämnden). I am Managing Editor of Nordic Journal of Botany. We have recently finished a Linnaeus-Palme exchange program with Nairobi university, Kenya. I am interested in educational questions and was previously director of studies.
Boberg, P., Rafaele, E., Chaia, E., Eneström, J.M. and D'Hertefeldt, T. (2010) The effect of high temperatures on seeds of one native and two alien conifers in Patagonia. Nordic Journal of Botany 28: 231-239.
Jørgensen, R.B., Hauser, T.P., D'Hertefeldt, T., Andersen, N.S. and Hooftman, D. (2009) The variability in processes involved in transgene dispersal - case studies from Brassica and related genera. Environmental Science and Pollution Research 16: 389-395.
Andersen, N.S., Poulsen, G., Andersen, B.A., Kiær, L.P., D'Hertefeldt, T., Wilkinson,
M.J., Jørgensen, R.B. (2009) Genetic variation and crop-wild introgression in wild and
cultivated Brassica rapa. Genetic Resources and Crop Evolution 56: 189-200