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Effects of forest diversity on aquatic-terrestrial linkages and processes


School of Biological Sciences

Egham United Kingdom Biodiversity Ecology Zoology

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.  

This PhD project will be supervised jointly by:

1. Prof. Julia Koricheva, Department of Biological Sciences, Royal Holloway University of London

2. Dr Pavel Kratina, Queen Mary University of London


References

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
Gessner MO, Swan CM, Dang CK, McKie BG, Bardgett RD, Wall DH, Hattenschwiler S. 2010. Diversity meets decomposition. Trends Ecol Evol 25:372-80

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