PhD tree microbiomes in a changing climate, University of Birmingham

The two oak tree pathosystems we study are the bacterial complex associated with acute oak decline (AOD) disease and the oak powdery mildew fungus Erysiphe alphitoides. In addition, the Birmingham Institute of Forest Research (BIFoR) is host to the only Free-Air CO2 Enrichment (FACE) experiment in the northern hemisphere (Hart et al. 2019). This unique experiment immerses a native woodland, dominated by 150 yr-old oak trees, in a high-CO2 environment anticipated to exist decades from today. The BIFoR-FACE experiment provides a fantastic opportunity to ask how this futuristic atmosphere alters tree physiology and the interactions of trees and the environment.

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