Education Policy | Post Primary | Preschool | Primary | Tertiary | Search

 


Danish expert at UC for two years to study climate change

Danish expert at UC for two years to study climate change impact on NZ ecosystems

In recent years, it has become increasingly clear that human activities are driving global environmental changes, including increasing temperatures.

The changes have had a dramatic influence worldwide on how different organisms interact with each other and with the environment where they live, a University of Canterbury (UC) researcher says.

Dr Stinus Lindgreen, Danish post-doctoral researcher who is currently working on biological sciences at the University of Canterbury, is studying climate change’s impact on ecosystems. Dr Lindgreen was recently awarded a prestigious Marie Curie Fellowship from the European Union as part of his New Zealand study.

``It is extremely important we get a better understanding of what mechanisms are at work and how climate change is influencing the biosphere,’’ he says.

``One of the most serious concerns about climate change is the possibility of so-called positive feedback between rising temperatures and increasing emission of carbon from the soil which then leads to an even greater increase in the greenhouse effect.

``This increasing emission is partly caused by micro-organisms living in the soil. It is also important to remember that micro-organisms are involved in some of the most crucial environmental processes such as nitrogen metabolism, respiration and decomposition.

``We need to investigate how microbes respond to climate change. To date, research in climate change and ecosystems has focused mostly on plants and animals, ignoring the important role of micro-organisms. So my research at UC is important at scientific, political and socio-economic levels.’’

Dr Lindgreen will use a field study where UC researchers have established a number of plots to investigate how the ecosystems respond to different drivers of climate change. Some plots have been heated by cables to have a temperature 3Cdegrees above the daily temperature. Other plots have been treated with nitrogen to simulate the use of fertilisers. The role of invasive species is also studied. All of these factors will also be combined during the study.

Dr Lindgreen will investigate how factors affect the microbial community in the soil by looking at which micro-organisms are there and what they do. This can be done using the latest technology to directly find out which genes are actively being used and from this he can find out not only which micro-organisms are present but also what they are doing.

``In our research we’ll be asking `does increasing temperatures change the composition of micro-organisms in the soil? If so, how does that affect the ability to fix nitrogen in the soil? Do other micro-organisms take over a specific function when an organism disappears or does the ecosystem as a whole change behaviour?’

``The answers to those questions can be used to guide decisions about how to respond to changes in the climate and it will help us get a much better understanding of an important part of the ecosystems on which we all depend.’’

Dr Lindgreen will return to the University of Copenhagen, Denmark, in early 2015. He will be researching on the project in collaboration with Professor Jason Tylianakis, Dr Anthony Poole and Dr Paul Gardner.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 
Scoop Review Of Books: Excerpt - Ice Bear: The Cultural History Of An Arctic Icon

“During the last decade the image of the polar bear has moved in the public imagination from being an icon of strength, independence and survival in one of the most climatically extreme of world environments, to that of fragility, vulnerability and more generally of a global environmental crisis.” More>>

NZ Opera: Max Rashbrooke Reviews The Mikado

So concerns about the work of the piece have to be addressed; but they are complex, and probably better handled in another post. So what about this production itself? More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Review Of Books: The Typewriter Factory

I finished reading Don’t Dream It’s Over not long after it came out last August. I even started writing a review, which took something of an ‘I’m sorry people, but it’s already over’ approach. I’ve been pretty negative about journalism as it’s practiced in the mainstream (or MSM, or corporate media or liberal media or whatever terminology you prefer) for quite some time (see for example Stop the Press), and I believe the current capitalist media model is destructive and can’t be reformed. More>>

Sheep Update: Solo World Shearing Record Broken In Southland

Southland shearer Leon Samuels today set a new World solo eight-hours strongwool ewe-shearing after a tally of 605 in a wool shed north of Gore. More>>

ALSO:

Howard Davis Review: Dick Frizzell At The Solander Gallery

One of the most influential and celebrated contemporary Pop artists working in New Zealand, Dick Frizzell is mostly known for his appropriation of kitsch Kiwiana icons, which he often incorporates into cartoon-like paintings and lithographs. Not content with adhering to one particular style, he likes to adopt consciously unfashionable styles of painting, in a manner reminiscent of Roy Lichtenstein. More>>

Old Music: Pop Icon Adam Ant Announces NZ Tour

Following his recent sold out North American and UK tours, Adam Ant is celebrating the 35th anniversary of the release of his landmark KINGS OF THE WILD FRONTIER album with a newly-remastered reissue (Sony Legacy) and Australasian tour. More>>

Get More From Scoop

 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
Education
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news