Student: Andreas Schneider

To ensure increasingly sustainable and efficient forestry practices, an understanding of how forest trees interact with their environments is crucial. This includes abiotic factors as well as biotic components such as microorganisms. Microbial lifeforms associated with plants can have beneficial effects on growth, health and fitness of individual plants. Through the rapid development of high-throughput sequencing technologies, it is now possible to get a full picture of microbial communities in all environments, including plants and their surroundings. Through so called amplicon sequencing, where a specific region of the genome of interest is amplified and sequenced, it is possible to get a profile of the microbial community in the original sample. This microbial count data can then be correlated with environmental parameters. This PhD will focus on the dynamics of the above-ground microbiomes of spruce and aspen; and the changes the below-ground microbiome of spruce and pine undergo depending on different nitrogen fertilisation.

Main supervisor: Nathaniel Street (Umeå universitet)
Co-supervisor: Vaughan Hurry (SLU, Umeå) and Torgny Näsholm (SLU, Umeå)
Industry partner: Daniel Hägglund (Holmen Skog)