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Niles Hasselquist

Niles Hasselquist
My research interests fall broadly within the discipline of ecosystem ecology, while encompassing aspects of ecohydrology, plant physiology, soil biogeochemistry, plant-soil interactions, mycology, and restoration ecology. With global climate change, the frequency and intensity of acute, large-scale disturbances such as hurricanes and wildfires is expected to increase, along with an increase in more chronic disturbances like nitrogen deposition and atmosphere CO2 concentrations. Furthermore, with increasing human population, our dependence on natural resources is ever increasing. Using this platform, I am particularly interested in understanding how global climate change, natural resource extraction, and large-scale disturbances affect plant communities and in turn the biogeochemical cycling of carbon, water, and nutrients in managed and natural ecosystems. Given the feedback nature of these interactions, I am also interested in how changes in biogeochemical cycles affect plant productivity and diversity. The overarching goal of my research is to better understand how climate change and natural resource management affects the cycling of energy and nutrients among organisms and their environment.


2015-        Guest Lecturer, Watershed Ecology and Biogeochemistry

2014-15   Instructor, Mycorrhizal Symbioses and Ecosystem Functioning

2014        Instructor, Annual Fall Fungal Foray

2013-  Guest Lecturer, Forest Vegetation Ecology

2012        Guest Lecturer, IUFRO, Boreal forest ecosystems and Future Forests

2009        Instructor, Plant Physiology

2009        Teaching assistant, Ecology and Conservation Biology

2008        Teaching assistant, Organisms in their Environment

2007        Workshop Instructor, CENS, Sensing Technology for the Soil Environment

2007        Teaching assistant, Introductory Microbiology

2002        Teaching assistant, General Biology


Recent Grants

2018-2020 Southeast Asia-Europe Joint Funding Scheme for Research and Innovation; Assessments of vulnerability of mature and secondary forests to climatic water stress in Southeast Asia Co-PI; 351,320 Euros)

2017 ( King Carl XVI Gustafs 50-years award in science; Main PI; 85,000 SEK)

2017-2021 (FORMAS; Balancing production and ecosystem services from degraded tropical rain forests to aid the transition to a more sustainable bio-based economy; Main PI; 10,600,000 SEK)

2016-2019 (VR young researcher; Quantifying and characterizing the important role trees play in the boreal hydrologic cycle; Main PI; 3,600,000 SEK)

2017-2018 (Kempe Foundation; Applications for funds to develop a new method to quantify the oxidation of methane "in situ" in a boreal bog; Co-PI; 1,500,000 SEK)


Natalia Kozii - Postdoctoral Fellow (co-supervisor) “Effects of climate change and canopy structure on snow interception and water losses back to the atmosphere” (2016-present)

Cecilie Skov Nielsen - Postdoctoral fellow (co-superviosr) “Isotopic partitioning to quantify methane oxidation in a boreal peatland” (2017-present)

Rosa Goodman – Postdoctoral Fellow (main supervisor) “Balancing production and ecosystem services from degraded tropical rain forests to aid the transition to a more sustainable bio-based economy” (2017)

Nadia Maaroufi – PhD student (co-supervisor), SLU, Umeå; Thesis title: “Effects of anthropogenic nitrogen  deposition on the carbon balance of boreal soils” (2012-16)

Aida Bargués Tobella – PhD student (co-supervisor), SLU, Umeå; Thesis title: “The importance of tree cover for water resources in semiarid West Africa” (2010-16)

Javier Angulo – MS student (co-supervisor), SLU, Umeå; Thesis title: “Autumn water sources for understory vegetation and fungi in a boreal forest: an evaluation using stable isotopes” (2012-13);  Awarded “Meritorious master thesis by a forestry student in 2013”

Johan Åhs – MS student (co-supervisor), SLU, Umeå; Thesis title: “Interactive effects of nitrogen and water limitations on tree growth in northern boreal forests” (2015-2016)

Selected publications


Kozii N, Laudon H, Ottosson-Löfvenius M, Hasselquist NJ. Increasing water losses from snow captured in the canopy of boreal forests: A case study using a 30 year data set. Hydrological Processes. doi: 10.1002/hyp.11277.

Cascio ML, Morillas L, Ochoa-Hueso R, Munzi S, Roales J, Hasselquist NJ, Manrique E, Spano D, Jaoude RA, Mereu S. Contrasting effects of nitrogen deposition on soil respiration in two Mediterranean ecosystems. Environmental Science and Pollution Research doi: 10.1007/s11356-017-8852-5.

Bargués Tobella A, Hasselquist NJ, Bazié HR, Nyberg G, Laudon H, Bayala J, Ilstedt U. Strategies trees use to overcome seasonal water limitation in an agroforestry system in semiarid West Africa. Ecohydrology doi:10.1002/eco.1808.

Hasselquist EM, Hasselquist NJ, Sparks JP, Nilsson C. Changes in nitrogen cycling in riparian zones along a chronosequence of restored streams in northern Sweden. Plant and Soil 410: 423-436.


Hasselquist EM, Hasselquist NJ, Sparks JP, Nilsson C. (In Press) Changes in nitrogen cycling in riparian zones along a chronosequence of restored streams in northern Sweden. Plant and Soil.

Hasselquist NJ, Metcalfe DB, Marshall JD, Lucas RW, Högberg P. Seasonality and nitrogen supply modify carbon partitioning in understory vegetation of a boreal coniferous forest. Ecology 97: 671-683.

Hasselquist NJ, Metcalfe DB, Inselsbacher E, Stangl Z, Oren R, Näsholm T, Högberg P. Carbon allocation to mycorrhizal fungi drives nitrogen limitation in boreal forests. Ecology 97: 1012-1022.


Craine JM, Augusto L, Brookshire ENJ, Cramer MD, Hasselquist NJ, Koba K, Marin-Spiotta E, Wang L. (2015) Ecological interpretations of nitrogen isotope ratios of terrestrial plants and soils. Plant and Soil 396: 1-26.

Maaroufi N, Nordin A, Hasselquist NJ, Holm Bach L, Palmqvist K, Gundale M. Anthropogenic nitrogen deposition enhances carbon sequestration in boreal soils. Global Change Biology 21: 3169-3180.

Craine JM, Elmore AJ, Wang L, Augusto L, Baisden WT, Brookshire ENJ, Cramer MD, Hasselquist NJ, Hobbie EA, Kahmen A, et al. Convergence of soil nitrogen isotopes across global climate gradients. Scientific Reports 5: 8280.


Hasselquist NJ, Högberg P. Dosage and duration effects of nitrogen additions on  ectomycorrhizal sporocarp production and functioning: an example from two N-limited boreal forests. Ecology and Evolution 4: 3015-3026. (Cover Photo)

Gao Q, Hasselquist NJ, Palmroth S, Zheng Z, You W. Short-term response of soil   respiration to nitrogen fertilization in a subtropical evergreen forest. Soil Biology and Biogeochemistry 76: 297-300.

Högberg MN, Blasko R, Holm Bach L, Hasselquist NJ, Egnell G, Näsholm T, Högberg P. The return of an experimentally N-saturated boreal forest to an N-limited state: observations on the soil microbial community structure, biotic N retention capacity and gross N mineralization. Plant and Soil 381: 45-60.


Metcalfe DB, Eisele B, Hasselquist NJ. Effects of nitrogen fertilization on the forest floor carbon balance over the growing season in a boreal pine forest. Biogeosciences 10: 8223-8231.

Hasselquist EM, Hasselquist NJ, Roger DL. Management of non-native annual plants to support recovery of the endangered perennial forb, Ambrosia pumila. Restoration Ecology 21: 224-231.


Hasselquist NJ, Metcalfe DB, Högberg P. Contrasting effects of low and high nitrogen additions on soil CO2 efflux components and ectomycorrhizal fungal sporocarp production in a boreal forest. Global Change Biology 18: 3596-3605.


Hasselquist NJ, Germino MJ, Sankey JB, Ingram LJ, Glenn NF. Aeolian nutrient fluxes following wildfire in sagebrush steppe: implications for soil carbon storage. Biogeosciences 8: 3649-3659.

Hasselquist NJ, Douhan GW, Allen MF. First report of the ectomycorrhizal status of boletes on the northern Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico determined using isotopic methods. Mycorrhiza 21: 465-471.


Hasselquist NJ, Allen MF, Santiago LS. Water relations of evergreen and drought-deciduous trees along a seasonally dry tropical forest chronosequence. Oecologia 164: 881-890.

Hasselquist NJ, Santiago LS, Allen MF. Belowground nitrogen dynamics in relation    to hurricane damage along a tropical dry forest chronosequence. Biogeochemistry 98: 89-100.

Hasselquist NJ, Vargas R, Allen MF. Using soil sensing technology to examine interactions and controls between ectomycorrhizal growth and environmental factors on soil CO2 dynamics. Plant and Soil 331: 17-29. (Cover Photo)

Vargas R, Hasselquist NJ, Allen EB, Allen MF. Effects of a hurricane disturbance on aboveground forest structure, arbuscular mycorrhizae and belowground carbon in a restored tropical forest. Ecosystems 13: 118-128.

Vargas R, Baldocchi DD, Querejeta JI, Curtis PS, Hasselquist NJ, Janssens IA, Allen MF, Montagnani L. Ecosystem CO2 fluxes of arbuscular and ectomycorrhizal dominated vegetation types are differentially influenced by precipitation and temperature. New Phytologist 185: 226-236.


Hasselquist NJ, Allen MF. Increasing demands on limited water resources: consequences for two endangered plants in Amargosa Valley, USA. American Journal of Botany 96: 620-626.


Germino MJ, Hasselquist NJ, McGonigle TC, Smith WK, Sheridan PP. Landscape and age-based factors affecting fungal colonization of conifer seedling roots at the alpine-treeline. Canadian Journal of Forest Research 36: 901-909.


Hasselquist NJ, Germino MJ, McGonigle TC, Smith WK. Variability of Cenococcum infection and its ecophysiological significance for young conifers at alpine-treeline. New Phytologist 165: 867-873.

Maher EL, Germino MJ, Hasselquist NJ. Interactive effects of tree and herb cover on survivorship, physiology, and microclimate of conifer seedlings at the alpine-treeline ecotone. Canadian Journal of Forest Research 35: 567-574.

Researcher at the Department of Forest Ecology and Management; Ecohydrology
Telephone: +46-90-786 8208, +46-76-148 4834
Work description: I am an ecosystem ecologist with a strong research background in botany, plant physiology, mycology, plant-soil interactions, terrestrial carbon and nitrogen cycling, and disturbance ecology. The unifying theme running throughout my research is the use of stable isotopes to increase our understanding of how anthropogenic stressors and climate variability affect the complex interactions and feedbacks among plants, soil microbes (namely mycorrhizal fungi), and biogeochemical cycles in terrestrial ecosystems.
Postal address:
Institutionen för skogens ekologi och skötsel
901 83 Umeå