WARM 2017-04-20T15:21:45+00:00

Warming and (species) Removal in Mountains (WaRM)

The amount of carbon in the atmosphere regulates how much warming will occur globally; yet the amount of carbon taken up and released from terrestrial ecosystems under warming remains uncertain in the models that predict future climates. We are simultaneous studying the ecosystem-level responses to the direct and indirect effects of warming with a coordinated project that combines experimental warming and dominant plant species removal among 12 globally-distributed elevational gradients. We have five overarching objectives with this network: (1) To determine the relative influences of climate and interactions among species on biodiversity and ecosystem carbon dynamics. (2) To examine the patterns and processes that shape ecosystem function among disparate ecosystems. (3) To investigate whether the functional composition of plant communities determines how communities respond to warming and dominant species removal. (4) To assess whether functional traits can be used to improve predictions of how ecosystem function and community structure change in response to climate and climate change. (5) To leverage the results of these experiments to improve a community land model to refine predictions about global carbon cycling.


  • PIs: Aimee Classen, Nathan Sanders, Maja Sundqvist, Toke Hoye, David Wardle, Jennie McLaren, Thomas Crowther, Mariano Rodrigues-Cabal, Mark Hovenden, Julie Deslippe, Jin-Sheng He, Christian Rixen, Soya Wipf, John-Arvid Grytnes, Sandra Lavorel, Noelia Barrios
  • Post-docs: Case Prager, Erin Cameron, Daan Block, Xin Jing
  • Technicians: Gregory Newman
  • Students: Quentin Reed, Jeremiah Henning, Chelsea Chisholm, Justyna Giejsztowt, Kenna Rewcastle

Project Publications

  • Hendershot JN, Read QD, Henning JA, Sanders NJ, Classen AT (2017) Consistently inconsistent drivers of patterns of microbial diversity and abundance at macroecological scales. Ecology 10.1002/ecy.1829

  • Mayor J, Sanders NJ, Classen AT, Bardgett R, Clément JC, Farjado A, Lavorel S, Sundqvist MK, Bahn M, Chisholm C, Cieraad E, Gedelof Z, Griguilis K, Kudo G, Oberski D, Wardle DA (2017) Elevation alters ecosystem properties across temperate treelines globally. Nature 542:91-95.

  • Read QD, Henning JA, Classen AT, Sanders NJ (2017) Aboveground resilience to species loss but belowground resistance to nitrogen addition in montane plant communities. Journal of Plant Ecology doi.org/10.1093/jpe/rtx015

  • Jing X, Sanders NJ, Shi Y, Chu H, Classen AT, Zhao K, Chen L, Jiang Y, He JS (2015) The links between ecosystem multifunctionality and above- and belowground biodiversity are mediated by climate. Nature Communications 6:8159.


Funded by the Carlsberg Foundation & the Swedish FORMAS program.