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Effects of forest diversity on aquatic-terrestrial linkages and processes

   School of Biological Sciences

About the Project

Tree species, functional and genetic diversity is known to mediate ecosystem processes and functioning of the forest ecosystems. However, natural ecosystems are connected to each other through the flow of species, energy and elements. This project will explore to what extent tree diversity affects linkages between terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems by using aquatic microcosms installed within a long-term forest diversity experiment in Finland (www.sataforestdiversity.org) and potentially other forest diversity experiments within TreeDivNet platform (www.treedivnet.ugent.be) in the UK and abroad. Aquatic microcosms containing community-specific leaf litter will be exposed in forest stands composed of different tree species and genotypes and effects of tree species richness, composition, functional diversity and genetic diversity on a variety of water and aquatic diversity parameters will be assessed. The project will be co-supervised by Prof. Julia Koricheva (RHUL) who has expertise in studying effects of forest diversity on ecosystem functioning and Dr. Pavel Kratina (QMUL) who is an expert in aquatic food web ecology and cross-ecosystem subsidies. The project offers a prospective PhD student an opportunity to develop skills in experimental design, field work, statistical analysis and both forest and aquatic ecology.   

Funding Notes

This is a self-funded PhD project


Scherer-Lorenzen, M., M. O. Gessner, B. E. Beisner, C. Messier, A. Paquette, J. S. Petermann, J. Soininen, and C. A. Nock. 2022. Pathways for cross-boundary effects of biodiversity on ecosystem functioning. Trends in Ecology & Evolution.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tree.2021.12.009
Greig H.S, Kratina P., Thompson P., Palen W.J., Richardson J.S. and Shurin J.B. 2012. Warming, eutrophication, and predator loss amplify subsidies between aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems. Global Change Biology 18, 504–514

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