Along with Greg Okin (UCLA, Department of Geography), Paolo D’Odorico (UVA, Department of Environmental Sciences), Natalie Mladenov (University of Colorado, Bolder), we have just been awarded a grant from NSF’s Division of Ecological Biology.
The research to be conducted over the next three years will address a major issue in dryland ecology: how belowground plant processes in water-limited ecosystems control belowground organic carbon dynamics under different climate conditions.
To address these central issues, this project will define the distribution and dynamics of belowground biomass and soil organic carbon through extensive field data collection and modeling at a suite of sites across a regional climate gradient in the Kalahari. The proposal seeks to understand (1) landscape- and species-level root morphology and dynamics and (2) the direction and rate at which belowground carbon stocks can change with climate change at multiple timescales. Funding is available for graduate research associates to participate in this research project.