The researchers of the forest vegetation ecology group
Professor Michael Gundale
My research is focused on understanding how forest plants interact with soils to control a variety of ecosystem services, such as productivity, carbon sequestration, and biodiversity. To accomplish this, I combine several disciplines, including plant community ecology, biogeochemistry (particularly the N cycle), and microbial ecology. A further goal of my research program is to understand how forest environments respond to global and regional change factors (e.g. climate change or biological invaders). Finally, I aim to use new knowledge about forest ecosystem functioning to develop or improve silvicultural and forest management approaches that maintain the sustainable supply of forest ecosystem services into the future.
Professor Marie-Charlotte Nilsson
My research is focused on understanding fundamental ecological processes underpinning successful forest regeneration and stand development of boreal forests. My work include studies on the abiotic and biotic factors that constrain or facilitate regeneration of both conifers and broadleaves when environmental conditions change, such as after wild-fire, climate warming or forest management interventions. The ultimate aim of my research is to provide data on both natural and assisted regeneration that will be useful in achieving global targets on climate and biodiversity as well as to provide greater insights into the sustainable use of forest resources in practical forestry.
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.
In my current position I focus on characterising the diurnal and seasonal dynamics of mesophyll conductance, and on exploring the relationship between stomatal and mesophyll conductance. I'm working with three nordic species: scots pine, Norway spruce and silver birch. In my work I take advantage of recent advances in measurement technology as well as our deepening understanding of stable isotopes in plant tissues and during leaf gas-exchange.
To improve our ecological understanding and to effectively apply our expanding ecological knowledge to contemporary societal issues, such as land use and climate change, fields of conceptual, strategic and applied ecology should become fully integrated. As an ecologist, I build on basic ecological theory in investigating the effects of natural and anthropogenic disturbances on terrestrial ecosystems. It has become increasingly acknowledged that individual species’ responses to environmental changes strongly depend on community context and on multi-trophic interactions. Single species experiments may provide little information on whole ecosystem functioning under environmental change. Therefore, in my research, I explicitly focus on community dynamics, both under natural conditions (e.g. succession) and as affected by global change factors. My research particularly regards linkages between plant communities and soil communities (microbes, nematodes, and other small creatures) and the consequences of plant-soil interactions for ecosystem functioning. In my group, we are currently mostly working in boreal forest and subarctic tundra ecosystems. But, we also work on large, international projects spanning a broader variety of ecosystems. @PaulKardo
Professor David Wardle (Affiliated)
David Wardle works as the Smithsonian Professor of Forest Ecology at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore. His research explores the links between aboveground and belowground communities, and how these in turn drive the functioning of terrestrial ecosystems. A large proportion of this work is field based and in natural ecosystems, including in forested ecosystems around the world as well as subarctic and subalpine tundra. Major regions of current field research include northern Sweden, New Zealand, Australia, Brunei and Singapore.
My research investigates the role of plant-microbe interactions (e.g., moss-diazotroph nitrogen fixation) in boreal forest nitrogen cycling. Other interests include mycorrhizal ecology, plant community response to disturbance, silviculture, and forest management.
My research is focused on understanding the highly beneficial feather moss-cyanobacteria symbiosis in boreal forests. The nitrogen-fixing cyanobacteria are hosted by these non-vascular plants to meet their nitrogen demands. My role is targeted towards deciphering and characterizing the biochemical, and genetic cues which underlie the communication between these symbionts.
My research focuses on understanding how plant interactions with soil organisms impact and structure plant communities. I am interested in exploring the role of plant-soil feedbacks in invasion, native plant range expansions, and the maintenance of diversity in ecosystems.
My research focuses primarily on plant functional traits, specifically root traits and their roles in ecosystem functioning. I am particularly interested in plant-soil feedback in boreal and sub-artic ecosystems.
My research focuses on plant-soil interactions and their role in ecosystem functions, particularly in the context of warming climate. I am generally interested in vegetation ecology, conservation biology and soil ecology.
I love plant ecology and biogeography. I particularly enjoy unravelling the complex patterns of plant communities, how they function, and how they are likely to respond to global change. Find me by name on Twitter and Tiktok for research updates!
Mengya Song (visiting)
I am interested in plant-plant interactions, plant-soil feedbacks, C:N:P stoichiometric relationship, and forest ecophysiology in responses to abiotic and biotic stress. Recently, I focus on trait-mediated temperature effects on intra- and interspecific competition and the physiological adaptability of Mountain birch and pine seedlings
I’m interested in how soil organisms and plants interact and shape ecosystem functions such as carbon and nutrient cycling. My current projects focus on the effects of temperature using elevational gradients as well as climate chamber experiments.
Visiting doctoral studentsDa Guo
I work with biochar applications in plantation soils and focus on wood decomposition changes especially the related C, N cycling, and fungal community response.