Project proposal details

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Project title
Understanding responses of ecosystem carbon flux to climatic temperature change
Contact name
Samraat Pawar
Project based at
Silwood Park (Imperial)
Imperial contact email
Project description
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).
Additional requirements
Computer programming in R, Python, or equivalent
Available support
Desk space, computer
Date uploaded

Project proposal limitations

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Project length limitations
5 months, 9 months
Available date limitations
Winter (January), Spring (April-May)
Suitable for
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