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Latest Projects

Research project (§ 26 & § 27)
Duration : 2017-06-01 - 2020-05-31

The impact of climate change in terms of altered precipitation amounts and patterns on agroecosystems of the Pannonian area is rarely studied. Even less is known to what extent different soils might alter ecosystem responses. Using a large lysimeter facility, this transdisciplinary project examines effects of a future rainfall scenario on soil water dynamics, the turnover of organic substances – the carbon and nitrogen cycle, soil biodiversity and crop and weed production on three different soil types.
Research project (§ 26 & § 27)
Duration : 2015-05-01 - 2018-12-31

To secure and manage forest ecosystem function we must understand how climate change interacts with other nascent environmental threats such as reactive nitrogen deposition. New evidence suggests that soluble nitrogen drives organic matter breakdown in forest soils with major implications for forest ecosystems and global climate change; as it is decomposition which determines the carbon/CO2 flux from these high value soil carbon deposits. Moreover climate change combined with nitrogen deposition has ecological cascade effects on ecosystem function and resilience, as a result of the altered primary resource quality, which in-turn could lead to stand level vulnerability to insect pests and diseases. Understanding the effects of climate and nitrogen deposition at relevant ecosystem scales requires elegant experimental approaches which enable us to follow the consequences of reactive nitrogen on-site in natural forest or woodland systems, as one plus one in nature rarely equals two and cannot be readily replicated in the laboratory or glasshouse. In WOOD-N-CLIMATE we will: Investigate the impacts of N deposition on underlying biogeochemical processes of carbon decomposition in the field and study the cascade effects and consequences of changing detrital or microbial resource quality. We will use these data to elaborate on the improvement of existing carbon models taking the consequences of different N deposition scenarios on forest soil carbon.This project aims to be part of an emergent experimental array, which is closely watching nature react to global climate change, by means of a bespoke toolbox of stable isotope and molecular techniques. Using predictive modelling we hope to develop management options that elicit pro-active responses to conserve our ecosystem services and woodland heritage.
Research project (§ 26 & § 27)
Duration : 2017-02-01 - 2018-03-30

In this project we want to communicate FWF funded and further biochar research findings to a wider public through a participation model of communication. Making the public aware of nature-based negative emission technologies (NETs), specifically biochar addition to soil as a viable climate change combating strategy. In creating this interest so we want to engage the public in a horizontal dialogue on climate change and inspire attitude and behavioral changes. We want to highlight and publicize the role science plays in ensuring that these potential technologies are risk free and good for humanity, and are grounded in evidence based findings.

Supervised Theses and Dissertations