|Supervisor name and surname:
Josu González Alday
Title of the research project:
Fungal community dynamics in forest soils in response to disturbances: consequences for Mediterranean mushrooms yields
Description of the research project:
Fungi inhabiting soils determine many ecological processes that are responsible of ecosystem functioning, such as many biochemical and nutrient cycle processes (e.g. soil organic carbon dynamics). However, belowground fungal communities have been difficult to study due to the inconspicuous nature of these organisms. Nowadays, to circumvent this problem, new molecular technologies such as next generation DNA sequencing platforms or quantitative PCR (qPCR) are used to study fungal community composition, biomass or fungal airborne communities. This open new research line about the processes and filters (drivers) that control fungal communities and mushroom yields in Mediterranean forest ecosystems.
Nowadays, there is a growing interest towards disturbance effects responses of forest ecosystems (i.e. sylvicultural treatment adequacy or negative effects in a new global change context). Any disturbance will influence above and belowground heterogeneity producing different environments and microhabitats (e.g. open gaps, underground new niches) to be occupied by diverse forest communities. However, fungal and mushroom dynamics in Mediterranean forest soils remains unknown. Understanding how fungal communities respond to disturbances is crucial to predict future mushrooms yields (edible and nonedible) and forests adaptations to environmental changes such as climate change.
The aim of the PhD is to contribute in identifying and understanding the processes and filters that affect fungal communities in forest ecosystems, providing a scientific foundation to develop tools oriented towards sustainable forest management preserving fungal communities and favoring edible mushroom productions.
Nowadays, edible mushroom picking has become one of the most important economic incomes for Mediterranean forest ecosystems. However, the impact of global change over this provision service is still not clear. This research project will try to bring light to soil fungal dynamics and their relationship with mushroom productions
Universitat de Lleida
Supervisor short biography:
Gross annual salary:
The employment contract in each recruiting institution will apply internal rules so final retribution might slightly differ.