Maja Sundqvist

Maja Sundqvist
My research focuses largely on how plants, soils and herbivores interact and affect ecosystem functions under changing environmental conditions. It explores these topics in a wide range of ecosystems while maintaining a strong focus on those that are currently experiencing rapid climatic changes such as arctic and mountain systems. It combines a range of approaches (natural gradients, field manipulations, common garden and laboratory experiments). I aim to use new knowledge on how communities respond to a rapidly changing environment to help develop better predictions for ecosystem responses to global environmental changes.


Ph.D. in Biology. 2012. Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Umeå, Sweden.

Degree in M.Sc. in Biology. 2006. University of Gothenburg, Sweden. 



Supervision of PhD students:

Barryette Oberholzer. Co-advisor. Main advisor Paul Kardol

Arvid Lindh. Co-advisor. Main advisor Ulrik Ilstedt.

Elin Lindén. Co-advisor. Main advisor Johan Olofsson.

Publikationer i urval

Google scholar profile


Spitzer CM, Sundqvist MK, Wardle DA, Gundale MJ, Kardol P (2022) Root trait variation along a subarctic tundra elevational gradient.

Gavazov, K, Canarini A, Jassey VEJ, Mills R, Richter A, Sundqvist MK, Väisänen M, Walker TWN, Wardle DA, Dorrepaal E. (2022) Plant-microbial linkages underpin carbon sequestration in contrasting mountain tundra vegetation types. Soil Biology and Biochemistry 165, 108530

Spitzer CM, Wardle DA, Lindahl BD, Sundqvist MK, Gundale MJ, Fanin N, Kardol P. (2022) Root traits and soil micro-organisms as drivers of plant-soil feedbacks within the subarctic tundra meadow. Journal of Ecology 110 (2), 466-478

Prager CM, Jing X, Henning JA, Read QD, Meidl P, Lavorel S, Sanders NJ, Sundqvis, MK, Wardle DA, Classen AT. (2021) Climate and multiple dimensions of plant diversity regulate ecosystem carbon exchange along an elevational gradient. Ecosphere 12(4) e03427

Spitzer CM, Lindahl B, Wardle DA, Sundqvist MK, Gundale MJ, Fanin N, Kardol P. (2021) Root trait-microbial relationships across tundra plant species. New Phytologist, 229:1508-1520.

He J-S, Dong S, Shang Z, Sundqvist MK, Wu G, Yang Y. (2021) Above-belowground interactions in alpine ecosystems on the roof of the world. Plant and Soil, 458:1-6.

Blume-Werry G, Krab EJ, Olofsson J, Sundqvist MK, Väisänen M, Klaminder J. (2020) Invasive earthworms unlock arctic plant nitrogen limitation. Nature Communications, 11:1-10.

Sundqvist MK, Sanders NJ, Dorrepaal E, Lindén E, Metcalfe DB, Newman GS, Olofsson J, Wardle DA, Classen AT. (2020) Responses of tundra plant community carbon flux to experimental warming, dominant species removal and elevation. Functional Ecology,

Sarneel JM, Sundqvist MK, Molau U, Björkman MP, Alatalo JM. (2020) Decomposition rate and stabilization across six tundra vegetation types exposed to > 20 years of warming. Science of the Total Environment, 138304.

Sundqvist MK, Moen J, Björk RG, Vowles T, Kytöviita M-M, Parsons MA, Olofsson J (2019) Experimental evidence of the long-term effects of reindeer on Arctic vegetation greenness and species richness at a larger landscape scale. Journal of Ecology 107:2724-2736.

Cameron EK, Sundqvist MK, Keith SA, CaraDonna PJ, Mousing EA, Nilsson KA, Metcalfe DB, Classen AT (2019) Uneven global distribution of food web studies under climate change. Ecosphere 10(3):e02645. 

Metcalfe DB, Hermans TDG, Ahlstrand J, Becker M, Berggren M, Björk RG, Björkman M, Blok D, Chaudhary N, Chisholm C, Classen AT, Hasselquist NJ, Jonsson M, Kristensen JA, Kumordzi B, Lee H, Mayor J, Prevéy J, Pantazatou K, Rousk J, Sponsellor RA, Sundqvist MK, Tang J, Uddling J, Wallin G, Wenxin Z, Ahlström A, Tenenbaum DE, Abdi AM (2018) Patchy field sampling biases understanding of climate change impacts across the Arctic. Nature Ecology and Evolution 2:1443-1448. 

Zhao Q, Sundqvist MK, Newman GS, Classen AT (2018) Soils beneath different arctic shrubs have contrasting responses to a natural gradient in temperature. Ecosphere, 9(6): e02290. 

Bokhorst S, Veen GF, Sundqvist MK, De Long JR, Kardol P, Wardle DA. (2018) Contrasting responses of springtails and mites to elevation and vegetation type in the sub-Arctic. Pedobiologia - Journal of Soil Ecology 67:57-64. 

Blüme-Werry G, Lindén E, Andresen L, Classen AT, Sanders NJ, von Oppen J, Sundqvist MK (2018) Proportion of fine roots, but not plant biomass allocation belowground, increases with elevation in arctic tundra. Journal of Vegetation Science 29:226-235. 

Barrio IC, Lindén E, Te Beest M, Olofsson J, Rocha A, Soininen EM, Alatalo JM, Andersson T, Asmus A, Boike J, Bråthen KA, Bryant JP, Buchwal A, Bueno G, Christie KS, Denisova YV, Egelkraut D, Ehrich D, Fishback L, Forbes BC, Gartzia M, Grogan P, Hallinger M, Heijmans MMPD, Hik DS, Hofgaard A, Holmgren M, Høye TT, Huebner DC, Jónsdóttir IS, Kaarlejärvi E, Kumpula T, Lange C, Lange J, Lévesque E, Limpens J, Marcias-Fauria M, Myers-Smith I, van Nieukerken E, Normand S, Post ES, Schmidt NM, Sitters J, Skoracka A, Sokolov A, Sokolova N, Speed JDM, Street LE, Sundqvist MK, Suominen O, Tananaev N, Tremblay J-P, Uvarov SA, Urbanowicz C, Watts D, Wilmking M, Wookey PA, Zimmermann HH, Zverev V, Kozlov MV (2017) Background invertebrate herbivory on dwarf birch (Betula glandulosa-nana complex) increases with temperature and precipitation across the tundra biome. Polar Biology 40: 2265-2278. 

Veen GF, De Long JR, Kardol P, Sundqvist MK, Snoek B, Wardle DA (2017) Coordinated responses of soil communities to elevation in three subarctic vegetation types. Oikos 126:1586-1599. 

Mayor JR, Sanders NJ, Classen AT, Bardgett RD, Clement J-C, Fajardo A, Lavorel S, Sundqvist MK, Bahn M, Chisholm C, Cieraad E, Gedelof Z, Griguilis K, Kudo G, Oberski D, Wardle DA (2017) Elevation alters ecosystem properties across temperate treelines globally. Nature 542:91-95.

De Long JR, Sundqvist MK, Gundale MJ, Giesler R, Wardle DA (2016) Effects of elevation and nitrogen and phosphorus fertilization on plant defence compounds in subarctic tundra heath vegetation. Functional Ecology 30:314-325. 

Siefert A, Violle C, Chalmandrier L, Albert CH, Taudiere A, Fajardo A, Aarssen LW, Baraloto C, Carlucci MB, Cianciaruso MV, Dantas VL, de Bello F, Duarte LDS, Fonseca CR, Freschet GT, Gaucherand S, Gross N, Hikosaka K, Jackson B, Jung V, Kamiyama C, Katabuchi M, Kembel SW, Kichenin E, Kraft NJB, Lagerström A, Bagousse-Pinguet YL, Li Y, Mason N, Messier J, Nakashizuka T, Overton J McC, Peltzer D, Perez-Ramos I M, Pillar VD, Prentice HC, Richardson S, Sasaki T, Schamp BS, Schob C, Shipley B, Sundqvist MK, Sykes MT, Vandewalle M, Wardle DA (2015) A global meta-analysis of the relative extent of intraspecific trait variation in plant communities. Ecology Letters 18:1406-1419. 

*Veen GF, *Sundqvist MK, Metcalfe DB, Wilson SD (2015) Above-ground and below-ground plant responses to fertilization in two subarctic ecosystem types. Arctic, Antarctic and Alpine Research 47:693-702. (*Equal contribution.)

Classen AT, Sundqvist MK, Henning JA, Newman GS, Moore JAM, Cregger MA, Moorhead LC, Patterson CM (2015) Direct and indirect effects of climate change on soil microbial and soil microbial-plant interactions: What lies ahead? Ecosphere 6(8):130. 

Veen GF, Sundqvist MK, Wardle DA (2015) Environmental factors and traits that drive plant litter decomposition do not determine home-field advantage effects. Functional Ecology 29:981-991. 

Sundqvist MK, Liu Z, Giesler R, Wardle DA (2014) Plant and microbial responses to nitrogen and phosphorus addition across an elevational gradient in subarctic tundra. Ecology 97(7):1819-1835. 

De Long JR, Kardol P, Sundqvist MK, Veen GF, Wardle DA (2014) Plant growth response to direct and indirect temperature effects varies by vegetation type and elevation in a subarctic tundra. Oikos 124:772-783. 

Vincent AG, Sundqvist MK, Wardle DA, Giesler R (2014) Bioavailable soil phosphorus decreases with increasing elevation in a subarctic tundra landscape. PLoS ONE 9(3): e92942. 

Sundqvist MK, Wardle DA, Vincent A, Giesler R (2014) Contrasting nitrogen and phosphorus dynamics across an elevational gradient for subarctic tundra heath and meadow vegetation. Plant and Soil 383(1):387-399. 

Sundqvist MK, Sanders NJ, Wardle DA (2013) Community and ecosystem responses to elevational gradients: processes, mechanisms, and insights for global change. Annual Review of Ecology, Evolution, and Systematics 44:261-280. 

Kardol P, De Long JR, Sundqvist MK (2012) Crossing the threshold: the power of multi-level experiments in identifying global change responses. New Phytologist 196:323-326. 

Sundqvist MK, Wardle DA, Olofsson E, Giesler R, Gundale MJ (2012) Chemical properties of plant litter in response to elevation: subarctic vegetation challenges phenolic allocation theories. Functional Ecology 26:1090-1099. 

Sundqvist MK, Giesler R, Wardle DA (2011) Within- and across-species responses of plant traits and litter decomposition to elevation across contrasting vegetation types in subarctic tundra. PLoS ONE 6(10):e27056. 

Sundqvist MK, Giesler R, Graae BJ, Wallander H, Fogelberg E, Wardle DA (2011) Interactive effects of vegetation type and elevation on aboveground and belowground properties in a subarctic tundra. Oikos 120:128-142. 

Sundqvist MK, Björk R., Molau U. (2008) Establishment of boreal forest species in alpine dwarf-shrub heath in subarctic Sweden. Plant Ecology and Diversity 1:67-75. 




Forskare vid Institutionen för skogens ekologi och skötsel; Institutionen för skogens ekologi och skötsel, gemensamt
Skogens ekologi och skötsel
901 83 Umeå
Besöksadress: Skogsmarksgränd 17, Umeå