Forest biodiversity and ecosystem functioning
With an unprecedented effort at the European level, the EU project FunDivEUROPE (Functional significance of forest biodiversity in Europe, http://www.fundiveurope.eu) funded within the FP7 ENVironment will examine the multifunctional role (e.g. productivity, carbon and nutrient cycling, water cycling, forest pest resistance) of tree diversity for forest ecosystem functioning.
This will be done by incorporating existing tree diversity experiments where tree species have been experimentally planted at different diversity levels, and the establishment of experimental plots within naturally occurring tree diversity gradients in six different regions of Europe harboring distinct forest ecosystems types (boreal forest - Finland ; mixed broadleved-coniferous forest - Bialowieza, Poland ; montane mixed broadleaved-coniferous forest- Romania ; temperate broadleaf forest - Germany ; submediterranean deciduous forest - Italy ; mediterranean evergreen forest - Spain).
The PhD thesis adv ertised here will focus on carbon and nutrient recycling during decomposition of aboveground plant litter across the different forest ecosystems.The two main questions asked in this PhD project are
1) how does tree diversity affect decomposition of organic matter as a major determinant of the ecosystem C cycle and nutrient fluxes, and
2) whether this biodiversity effect differs among major European forest ecosystems and to what extent these differences are related to climatic conditions.
This PhD thesis contributes to an integrative view of the importance of tree diversity for the productivity and stability of European forest ecosystems under climate change.
Please contact Stephan Hättenschwiler (firstname.lastname@example.org) for further details.
A 3-year PhD salary (starting in fall 2011) is available from the 4-year European research grant FunDivEUROPE. The PhD project is supervised by
Stephan Hättenschwiler (Centre d'Ecologie Fonctionnelle et Evolutive, CEFE-CNRS Montpellier) http://www.cefe.cnrs.fr/fe/staff/Stephan_Hattenschwiler.htm and
Michael Scherer-Lorenzen (University of Freiburg, Germany) http://www.biologie.uni-freiburg.de/data/bio2/geobotanik/Scherer-Lorenzen/index.html.
Applications including CV, letter of motivation and two letters of recommendation from supervisors of previous projects should be send to Stephan Hättenschwiler.
The successfull candidate should be trained in at least one of the scientific fields of plant ecology, functional ecology, biogeochemistry, or soil ecology. He/she should also be experienced in experimental approaches, should work easily in a team, take responsability and contribute to a collaborative research effort. He/she should be willing to travel across Europe for field work, and should have an exceptional capacity to communicate in English. Experience in chemical analyses, and knowledge in the statistical analysis of complex data sets would be welcome.
Dr. Stephan Hättenschwiler
Center of Functional Ecology and Evolution
1919, route de Mende
F-34293 Montpellier cedex 5
New phone and fax number!
Tel. +33 (0)4 67 61 32 36
Fax +33 (0)4 67 61 33 36
ESF EuroDIVERSITY project: http://biocycle.cefe.cnrs.fr/