maret.gerz [ät] ut.ee
The main focus of my PhD thesis is the mycorrhization of plant communities. During my studies I plan to develop a method which enables to evaluate communities’ mycorrhization quantitatively and then describe different plant communities using this method. I’m also interested in the connections between the mycorrhization of plant communities and environmental and human impact gradients (soil fertility, pH, land use intensity). In addition I want to find out how different mycorrhizal types are distributed in plant communities in local and broader scale.
siim-kaarel.sepp [ät] ut.ee
During my PhD studies, I focus mainly on arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungal communities. I study AM community composition in different land use intensities from natural to agricultural habitats both locally and globally. Further, I am looking into host preference patterns in plant-AM fungal interactions by using network ecological methods. In recent times, I have been taking a broader view of the soil eukaryotic microbiome (including other fungi and soil animals, for instance) and how different organism groups co-vary in response to habitat change.
tanel.vahter [ät] ut.ee
The main goal of my doctoral research is to get closer to the application of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi in real problem situations in order to improve plant performance. Until now, the inoculation success has frequently been sub-optimal. Therefore, I aim to determine critical factors required for successful inoculation and to develop applicable inoculation methodology. I plan to use arbuscular mycorrhizal fungal inocula in field experiments of ecosystem restoration, where areas of differing ecological state will be inoculated with local mycorrhizal fungal communities similar to those of the target-ecosystems. In this manner, I aim to achieve mycorrhizal fungal communities adapted to the local conditions to increase the speed and quality of restoration. As a part of my doctoral project, a fatty acid profiling-based soil biological health indicator will be developed. This would help assessing the biological condition and restoration potential of different soils and the need for inoculation with arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi.
Daniela Leon Velandia
daniela.leon [ät] ut.ee
In my PhD project, I am studying how mycorrhizal trait composition of plant communities varies depending on land use and under different climatic and edaphic conditions. I am targeting the following main questions: (i) how does the distribution of plant mycorrhizal traits vary across major environmental gradients, considering mainly climatic and edaphic gradients, and (ii) how does anthropogenic land use alter the plant mycorrhizal trait composition in vegetation. I shall also consider the interaction between the effects of natural environmental gradients and land use.
siqiao.liu [ät] ut.ee
The aim of my PhD project is to disentangle the effect of different land-use disturbances on the communities of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) and understand how disturbances influence the restoration of these communities. During my PhD study, I will examine if mechanical and chemical disturbances differ in their effect on AMF and their restoration potential. In addition, I will try to find out if AMF, which respond to specific disturbances, share some characteristics (e.g. growth rate, hyphal density, etc.). With this knowledge we can improve our predictions about the effect of disturbances on AMF in the future.
yiming.meng [ät] ut.ee
I aim to answer the following question during my PhD studies: 1) what are the roles of phylogeny vs environmental conditions in determining the mycorrhizal status of plant species? 2) is there a common set of geographic, environmental or phylogenetic contexts that explains why some plants do not form mycorrhizal symbiosis? 3) do fungal communities associating with plants being always and sometimes mycorrhizal differ in relation to one another and in relation to biotic and abiotic environmental factors? I hope to provide new empirical information about how plant mycorrhizal traits change along environmental gradients and predict mycorrhizal fungal traits and plant communities in changing ecosystems.