Systems Ecology section

We investigate how changes in climate and land-use alter biodiversity, ecological interactions and thereby the fates and process rates of carbon, nutrients and water in ecosystems. We also study how these changes in turn influence atmospheric chemistry, surface hydrology and climate. The great diversity in functional traits of plant, animal and microbial species provides us with a unifying concept in these investigations.

Particular ‘hotspots' of climate warming research are the cool and cold peatland regions and forests with their great organic carbon stocks. We investigate the present and past to predict the future, using methods ranging from field experiments, ecological garden experiments and laboratory analysis to regional and global data synthesis and modelling.