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Ecosystems Ecology

The processes affecting carbon sequestration, nutrient and carbon cycling, hydrology and decomposition are poorly understood, especially below ground. We are using the tools of physiological ecology and root biology to better understand ecosystem processes.
Examining a minirhizotron in a forest plantation in China with Jori Sharda (PhD candidate in IBIOS) and Zhengquan Wang

Examining a minirhizotron in a forest plantation in China with Jori Sharda (PhD candidate in IBIOS) and Zhengquan Wang

Studies include

  • Effects of tree species on ecosystem properties (common garden in south central Poland; Shale Hills Critical Zone Observatory)
  • Effects of nitrogen deposition on belowground processes in temperate forests
  • Effects of warming on C and nutrient cycles (Arctic tundra in Greenland)

Specific Questions Include:

  1. How does root decomposition vary among species and what factors control it?
  2. What are the relative rates of decomposition of root-derived and leaf-derived soil carbon?
  3. What factors control belowground carbon fluxes at landscape levels?
  4. How does warming impact plant productivity and carbon and nutrient cycling in the Arctic?
  5. How does wood anatomy (ring porous, diffuse porous) associated with sapwood influence tree transpiration in forests?