Bin Hu

Influences of air warming and / or drought on different oak species and provenances and their association with soil microorganisms


My PhD project on “Influences of air warming and/or drought on different oak species and provenances and their association with soil microorganisms” is part of the QUERCO project initiated in 2007 at the model-ecosystem facility at the Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research in Birmensdorf, Switzerland. Overall, QUERCO aims to investigate the above- and belowground processes in young oak seedlings under different environmental conditions (drought and/or air-warming) single and in combination in an interdisciplinary approach.

In my project (as a part of QUERCO), I will investigate the effects of drought and enhanced temperature in three oak species from four different provenances on plant metabolism and its interaction with soil microorganisms. Namely, I will study the physiological responses to drought / enhanced temperature in roots and leaves using a metabolomics (i.e. metabolite profiling using (a) GC/MS followed by quantification of drought / temperature sensitive metabolites and (b) HPLC and spectro-photometry for specific groups of metabolites involved in stress defense) and a proteomics approach (LC/GC-MS analyses of protein profiles with special emphasis on stress related proteins and proteins involved in N-nutrition). Furthermore, I will investigate the interaction between plant physiological responses and soil microbial N fluxes (i.e. gross ammonification, ammonium immobilisation, gross nitrification, nitrate immobilisation, N microbial biomass, C microbial biomass) as affected by drought / temperature.


Supervisors: Heinz Rennenberg; Judy Simon; Siegfried Fink

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