Almost all nutrients for tree growth in boreal and temperate forests are taken up by mycelia of ectomycorrhizal (EM) fungi, and a great proportion of tree C photosynthetates is allocated to the fungal partner of this symbiosis. Soils in terrestrial forest ecosystems are important for C storage, containing more C than the aboveground parts.
This project intends to
- Estimate the quantity of C sequestered to forest soils via EM mycelia under realistic field conditions, by including the use of stable isotopes.
- The role of human influence (from anthropogenic N deposition, forest stand age and of elevated soil temperature) on C sequestration to soils via EM fungi will be followed in long-term field experiments in Europe, as well as
- The effect of N deposition on the diversity of EM mycelia.
- The quality of C sequestered to forest soil via EM mycelia, and the potential of EM mycelia as potential precursors for recalcitrant soil organic matter, will be evaluated from field data on soil stable isotopes and near-infrared (NIR) spectroscopy, and from laboratory incubation studies.
- Production of secondary metabolites by fungi will be analysed in order to find possible mechanisms for EM mycelial influence on forest soil C and N cycling.
By this project further steps will be taken in transferring studies of EM mycelia from the laboratory, into the field, and to an ecosystem level. Data emanating from this post-doc project will be important in research about effects of global climate change, modelling of these effects and thus important for policymakers and for foresters.
Additional knowledge about forest soil C cycling is necessary; due to the risk of climate change to switch soils from being sinks to being sources of atmospheric CO2. The proposal will be connected to European research programs (NitroEurope IP and CarboEurope IP) and can link researchers from several disciplines and from several research institutes within the European Union.
Call for proposal
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