SLU news

PhD student from the department is first author of accepted paper in high impact journal

Published: 13 October 2017

About the effect on ecosystem functions by increased pesticide and nutrient use under an intensified agriculture in the future

The PhD student Alexander Feckler and the supervisors Mirco Bundschuh and Willem Goedkoop, all from the Department of Aquatic Sciences and Assessment, are authors of the paper "History matters: heterotropic microbial community structure and function adapt to multiple stressors" accepted by the journal Global Change Biology (impact factor 8.5). The article deals with ecosystem functions in streams, in this case the decomposition of leaf litter, and the effects of the expected agricultural intensification in the future with a predicted increased use of pesticides (fungicides) and increased fertilizer supply. Microbes from an agricultural stream managed to maintain, or even increase, the decomposition of the litter when they were exposed to fungicides and fertilizers, while microbes from a forested stream showed reduced decomposition rates. This is probably due to the fact that the microbes from the agricultural stream have become more tolerant towards pesticides. In the future, when previously natural land has to be used for crop cultivation, microbes and the ecosystem functions they provide can be adversely affected.

See link below to read the article.


Alexander Feckler will defend his PhD thesis, with the title ”Chemical stressors influence aquatic ecosystem processes - Fungicide effects on decomposer communities and primary consumers”, November 30.