Thesis subject

What does diversity mean? Testing the diversity-functioning paradigm

Microbial diversity in soils is huge with thousands of species present in a single gram of soil. But what does this diversity mean? Is it as important as often shown for increase plant diversity?

You will perform novel biodiversity-ecosystem functioning as almost all we know from this research line is on plants with a limited diversity of mostly up to 16 species. You will expand that to up to 100 species! The focus will be on protists that you will combine in different diversity treatments and test for the functional importance such as by structuring soil microbiomes, controlling greenhouse gas emissions and nutrient leaching, decomposition, affecting plant performance and as potential controller of plant pests. Analytical tools are diverse and depend on the exact direction you design your experiment!