2012-2016 I am part of the strong research environment IMPRESS which is financed by FORMAS. Besides from research I spend part of my time as director of studies for PhD education at the S- and NJ-faculties.
Mycorrhizal fungi have direct access to plant photoassimilates, and partition large quantities of carbon belowground. The carbon is used to build up soil mycelia or is released via respiration or exudation. The symbiosis between plant and fungus is affected by a range of changing environmental conditions, and as a result the carbon flow can be affected. My research aims at understanding soil carbon cycling and carbon storage in forest soil under climate change, especially focusing on the role and function of ectomycorrhizal fungi and other soil microorganisms.
In my work I combine community level analysis of fungi and bacteria and physiological profiles (CLPP) with chemical fingerprinting of for example exudates and cellwall composition. I also use respiration and fungal biomarker measurements to study carbon flow.
I am also interested in fungal gene expression related to carbon and nitrogen in the symbiosis, and have the on-going project ‘Understanding sink-source relationships in the mycorrhizal plant system – a functional study of Piloderma together with Liz Bent, Malin Elfstrand and Dan Bylund and his group at Mid Sweden University, Sundsvall.
Piloderma sp. growing on a stick, in soil, in culture and in synthesis with a pine seedling. Photos: Petra Fransson.
In 2014 I started a collaboration with Simeon Smaill at Scion in Christchurch, New Zeeland. We study how different genotypes of Pinus radiata affect the soil fungal communities through tree performance and belowground carbon flow.
2013-2015 Tanya Cheeke works on a post doc project on phosphorus dynamics and mycelial production and turnover in an ecto/arbuscular mycorrhizal gradient in Indiana, USA. Tanya's project is a collaboration with the Phillips and Beaver labs at Indiana University Bloomington, Anna Rosling at Uppsala University and IMPRESS.
For more information, do not hesitate to contact me!