Climate change and biodiversity loss are the two most pressing problems of the 21st century. The main objective of Terrestrial Ecology Group is to investigate how climate change and biodiversity loss affect the ecology of terrestrial organisms and ecosystem functioning. To achieve this broader objective, we study soil organisms and their interactions with grassland plants as our model system. We study climate change effects by studying the impacts of climate extremes, such as heat waves and extreme droughts by measuring the response and the recovery of soil organisms and plants, and how their interactions change during and after climate extremes.
Soil microbial interactions and plant strategies
Together with colleagues from Wageningen University, Netherlands Institute of Ecology and Technical University of Munich, we explored how interactions within and between key microbial groups (bacteria, fungi and protist) alter plant's resource allocation strategies. Soil microbial interactions matter! But their effects vary if a plant is a grass or a forb or if they are early-successional or mid-successional