“We study carbon, nutrient and water cycling in native and managed ecosystems to understand their vulnerability and feedbacks to climate change.”
Our key research questions investigate how climate change and ecological disturbances might impact carbon storage and water loss from these sensitive ecosystems. Recently, we have shown that plant species mediate feedbacks to climate change by altering decomposition and nutrient cycling processes, and ecosystem respiration decreases with warming in a semiarid grassland, with important influences of prior soil moisture and temperature.
Our research interests centre on how linkages between aboveground and belowground ecosystem components regulate carbon, water and nutrient cycling in grasslands, forests and crops. We use stable isotope techniques to investigate carbon storage in soils, water losses from plants, and nitrogen turnover by soil microbes.