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Geographical Variation in Effects of Global Climate Change on the Population Dynamics of Terrestrial Isopods


Significant uncertainty in predicting future climate change is caused by incompleteunderstanding of the terrestrial components of the global carbon cycle, particularly potential feed backsbetween climate change and CC>2 emissions resulting from changes to biological processes in the soil.Soil animals act as key system regulators of the microbial metabolism that generates CO2. Because soilanimals differ fundamentally from micro-organisms in their life cycles, physiology and mobility theywill respond very differently to changes in climate. The objectives of this project are to investigatehow the population processes of growth and survivorship of a model group of soil macro-decomposers,the terrestrial isopods, will respond to predicted changes in climate acr oss a trans-European gradient ofcontinentality from oceanic in SW Ireland to fully continental in Hungary. Intra-specific variation inresponses to changes in climate will be determined using ecotypes from along the climatic continuumthat have adapted diffe rently to different local climates. Predictions for changes in climate along thegradient of continentality will be made from current models of global climate change. Effects ofchanges in intensity and periodicity of rainfall and in magnitude of daily tempe rature fluctuationsevents on different ecotypes will be determined by a combination of laboratory and field experimentsthe results of which will be used to modify and develop existing population dynamics models. Effectsof biodiversity will be determined by using species with d ifferent m orphological, p hysiological andbehavioural responses to moisture stressThe proposed project will build on the existing skills and knowledge base of the applicant bytraining her in the design of experiments to test a priori hypotheses in both the laboratory and field,integrate the results in predictive models and extend her interdisciplinary expertise by training her inprediction of future #

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University Plain
United Kingdom