Research internship to join the Mycorrhiza group at the Soil Microbiology and Symbiotic Systems Department at Zaidín Experimental Station (EEZ-CSIC) in Granada (Spain). The objective will be to evaluate the effects of Plant-Soil Feedbacks (PSFs) on plant recruitment patterns in Mediterranean forests. The group has great experience in the study of plant recruitment patterns and the maintenance of plant biodiversity in Mediterranean forests.
The recruitment process in plant populations (i.e. the addition of new individuals to populations) is one of the main processes promoting and modulating plants coexistence and, subsequently, maintaining global plant biodiversity. One of the main drivers of the recruitment process, that modulates the interactions between canopy plants and any other plants growing behind, are the Plant-Soil Feedbacks (PSFs). PSFs are the effects, on plants growth and survival, of the soils where other plants have previously been growing through the modification of communities of soil biota, soil structure and chemistry during their growth. To test the effect of PSFs on recruitment we will conduct field samplings and common-garden experiments.
The student would be involved in the different stages of the project:
- Field collection of soils associated to different Mediterranean woody species.
- Measurement of soil biotic and abiotic properties.
- Setting up of common-garden experiments.
- Plants growth intensive monitoring.
- Data registering and analyses.