Carla Cruz Paredesaffiliated with the university
I am interested in understanding the interactions between the different groups of microbes in soil and different environment factors.
I did my PhD in Denmark in the Terrestrial Ecology group in the University of Copenhagen. I was part of a project (ASHBACK project) looking at the effects of wood ash addition on forest soils. My research was focus on the effects of wood ash in microbial communities, focusing more on ectomycorrhizal fungi. There are concerns on the use of wood ash on forest soil due to the high concentrations of heavy metals in the ashes. However, this project showed that the effects of wood ash are due to an increase in pH (wood ash has very high pH) and not to toxic effects of heavy metals.
After my PhD I continue working in the University of Copenhagen in the Plant and Soil section. During this postdoc I investigated the interaction of arbuscular mycorrhizal with other soil microorganisms and how this could affect the mycorrhizal transfer of phosphorus to plant. The main objective of this project was to find biotechnological tools to improve plant nutrition through arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi and other soil microorganisms and their interactions.
Currently, I am working in the Rousk Laboratory investigating how the microbial community adaptation to warming will affect the soil carbon (C) feedback to climate change. Microorganisms play an important role in C cycling; releasing C to the atmosphere due to respiration, but also storing C in soil by microbial growth. The primary factor that determines how microorganisms partition their C-use into catabolic energy generation or for anabolic growth is the carbon-use efficiency (CUE). As part of climate change temperatures will increase altering the activity and adaptation of microorganisms. Therefore, we still need to determine if the microbial feedback will add to or mitigate the effects of climate change-induced warming. This C feedback to the atmosphere is probably one of the most critical, yet least known, parts of climate modelling. The main objective of my project is to determine the effects of soil warming on microbial CUE by assessing the temperature dependences of microbial growth and respiration in soil.