Our Research 2017-04-19T17:17:10+00:00

Current Research Projects

Warming and (species) Removal in Mountains (WaRM)

Mycorrhizal impacts on soil carbon dynamics

Fungal-plant interactions along environmental gradients

Plant-microbe interactions

How small mammals shape soil legacies

Other Ongoing Research Projects

Effects of gradients on soil communities

We are testing how soil communities change along elevational gradients by conducting a litter bag experiment in Abisko, Sweden, and by metabarcoding bacteria, fungi, and invertebrates in soil samples collected at high and low elevations on mountains (the WaRM sites).

The Circle of Influence

We are studying how plant neighbor identity can influence belowground traits of trees, including nitrogen and phosphorus dynamics, mycorrhizal colonization, and pathogen load. We will explore how these belowground interactions can affect above ground biomass, and scale up to alter ecosystem level patterns.

Exploring the predominant controls on litter decomposition rates at regional scales

We are collaborators on a project led by Mark Bradford and Ciska Veen exploring the extent to which local factors – in addition to climate and plant litter quality – affect litter decomposition in managed grasslands across a regional climate gradient.

Danish Biodiversity and Function

We are part of the BIOWIDE project exploring above- and below-ground biodiversity and ecosystem function across Danish ecosystems.

Ant impacts on communities and ecosystems

Ants can alter the soil they nest in by redistributing nutrients to create islands of fertility on the landscape. We ask: will the impact of ants be seen in plant and soil communities for decades after the colony leaves, or will the impact diminish quickly?

Incorporating soil biota in a long-term climate change experiment

In collaboration with Aaron Ellison (Harvard Forest), Nick Gottelli (UVM), Nathan Sanders (U Copenhagen), Rob Dunn (NCSU), Melissa Cregger (ORNL), Emily Austin (New Hampshire) we are using experimental warming studies at both Harvard Forest, MA and Duke Forest, NC to quantify the response of soil and wood biota to temperature.

What controls fungal communities in decomposing logs?

On a project lead by Emily Austin, we are collaborating with Chris Schadt (ORNL) to investigate what factors structure lignocellulolytic fungal communities and how changes in those communities alter wood decomposition rates under warming.

Completed Research Projects