Microclimate and species distribution

PhD project - Ditte Christianssen

In my PhD project, I am studying how southern and northern forest understory species are affected simultaneously by climate and land use (forestry) changes, and how forest microclimate influences these dynamics.

I do this by:

1) Analysing changes in community climate means of the forest understory in relation to forestry and climate changes using the data from the Swedish NFI.

2) Analysing species compositional differences in forest sites that have been thinned 15 years ago vs sites with no management.

3) Transplanting two moss species with diverging regional abundances together and separately across a macro- and microclimate gradient to see how these two different climate scales respectively impact the moss species’ performances and which role their biotic interactions play.

4) Analysing the population growth dynamics of a southern forest herb across its distribution in Sweden; if and how microclimate impacts its different vital rates and thus population growth rate.