My research combines broad-scale data synthesis with greenhouse and field experiments to examine how plant community composition affects belowground carbon (C) and nutrient cycling in terrestrial ecosystems. Currently, I am working on a collaborative Nutrient Network project to assess how nutrient addition affects plant and soil C and nitrogen dynamics across temperate grasslands. In my dissertation research, I focused on developing a better predictive understanding of how above- and below-ground plant traits both affect and respond to variation in soil properties to drive essential ecosystem processes. This work built on an emerging framework (MANE hypothesis; Phillips et al. 2013) suggesting the type of mycorrhizal fungi a tree associates with (e.g., arbuscular (AM) vs. ectomycorrhizal (ECM) fungi) can be a useful and scale-able integrative functional trait that links plant and soil properties.
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Forest C and N cycling