Most of the global changes in rivers are occurring as multiple interacting stressors and lead to a chain of effects on the ecosystem structure and functioning. The aim of the project is to investigate the response of aquatic plants to multiple stressors in order to determine the effect of response biological trait composition of the plant community to ecosystem functioning by utilizing field and experimental data. The overall goal of the project is to disentangle the effect of these stressors to morphological and functional plant characteristics, and to specify the cause-effect chains at the heart of the relationships between species response strategy and stream ecosystem functioning. I will seek to answer the following questions: a) what are the prevalent plant traits of aquatic plants to the stressors of increased nutrient loads (N, P and their combination) and high flow regime disturbance? b) what is the stoichiometry performance and variation of aquatic plants under different nutrient loading ratios (N:P)? c) how does nutrient and flow driven changes to macrophyte trait composition affect ecosystem functioning (denitrification, nutrient uptake and metabolism)?
Research interests involve freshwater ecology and management including functional aspects of river communities, evaluation of ecological quality, dynamics of aquatic and riparian vegetation, landscape ecology, human activities and change detection analysis, effects of global changes on aquatic ecosystems.
Effects of global changes on river ecosystem functioning: Understanding underlying mechanisms of multiple stressors using aquatic plant traits
Area of research:
01 Oct 2017 – 30 Sep 2020