Project proposal details
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Understanding responses of ecosystem carbon flux to climatic temperature change
Project based at
Silwood Park (Imperial)
Climatic temperature first and directly impacts ecosystems by changing the metabolic rate (rate of energy use) of individual organisms. Therefore, understanding how temperature-driven changes in individual metabolism scale up to the dynamics of whole networks of interactions is key for predicting impacts of ongoing climate change on ecosystems. This project will combine global datasets on ecosystem respiration (e.g., Fluxnet, Silwood Mesocosms) and individual-level metabolism (especially, photosynthesis and respiration rate) with mathematical modelling to study how ecosystem carbon fluxes respond to temperature changes. A key question will be whether and how much species interactions and population dynamics matter to fluctuations in ecosystem carbon flux.
1. Allen, A. P., Gillooly, J. F. & Brown, J. H. Linking the global carbon cycle to individual metabolism. Funct. Ecol. 19, 202–213 (2005).
2. Enquist, B. J. et al. Scaling metabolism from organisms to ecosystems. Nature 423, 639–42 (2003).
3. Yvon-Durocher, G., Allen, A., Montoya, J. M., Trimmer, M. & Woodward, G. The temperature dependence of the carbon cycle in aquatic ecosystems. Adv. Ecol. Res. 43, 267–313 (2010).
4. Yvon-Durocher, G. et al. Reconciling the temperature dependence of respiration across timescales and ecosystem types. Nature 487, 472–6 (2012).
Project proposal limitations
The project proposer has indicated that there are some limitations to the availability of this project. It may only be available at certain times of year or suit a specific project length. It may also need skills taught to students on a particular course or courses.
Research project proposals are usually part of an active research programme. If supervisors have stated limitations to a proposal, then they are unlikely to have any flexibility. If you are very interested in the topic but have problems with the stated limitations, the supervisor may still be happy to talk to you about other options around the proposal, but you should not expect that any alternative arrangements can be made.
Available date limitations
Winter (January), Spring (April-May)
Ecology Evolution and Conservation, Conservation Science, Computational Methods in Ecology and Evolution (MSc), Computational Methods in Ecology and Evolution (MRes), Ecological Applications, Ecosystem and Environmental Change MRes