We are offering theses to investigate the question “Does stoichiometry explain changes in ecosystem functioning under stress?”.
Stoichiometry (i.e. the ratio of central elements; C:N:P) is often used as surrogate to explain the interaction among trophic levels as well as the rate of ecosystem functioning. Literature supports this assumption also in heterotrophic systems, which are based on energy bound in leaf litter. Recent developments in the ability to determine traits of leaf associated microbial communities through, for instance, fatty acid composition as well as the activity of enzymes may challenge this perspective. To address this question, we aim at performing a quantitative literature review in collaboration with colleagues from the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences. This project is planned to be performed in Germany (location, however, can be discussed) and should be performed as a master thesis project.
The candidate should be familiar with techniques of literature searching and prepared for work that is to be performed mainly at the desk. Statistical knowledge and hands-on experience with “R” is an asset. Start date is flexible.