This project will study fungal and bacterial communities in the rhizosphere of important forest species. These communities influence the growth and health of trees by increasing soil organic matter mineralization, nutrient uptake, water uptake and the production of plant growth regulators (PGR). With increasing pressure to produce more from less, a better understanding of the contribution of natural processes to plant growth will enable the design of new approaches to optimizing site resources for sustainable forest production. In particular, the project involves exploring existing molecular tools and developing new ones in order to characterise plant-soil microbe interactions.
The molecular laboratory research will be undertaken in Hobart, Tasmania. The successful candidate will use a national network of existing forestry trials located throughout New Zealand to investigate relationships amongst major soil orders, soil biodiversity and key plantation species. The project will contribute to a five-year New Zealand Government-funded programme titled “Protecting and enhancing the environment through forestry” and involves working closely with forest industry partners and collaborating scientists at Scion (a Crown Research Institute) and the University of Tasmania.
|Contact:||Assoc Prof Caroline Mohammed
Authorised by the Dean of Graduate Research
3 October, 2009