Project in the picture

Soil microbes in temperate forests

Soil microbes are essential for regulating biogeochemical cycling in temperate forests across the globe. Differences in the composition of soil microbes can affect soil nutrient pool and ecosystem functioning of these forests. Our aim is to assess soil microbial composition and diversity and their effects on plant growth in continental scales.


We supplement knowledge on the compositional differences of soil microbes in continental scales. We predict the ecological influences of soil microbial dynamics under global change.


We use latitudinal gradients across northern France to central Sweden to represent climatic and environmental differences. We assess soil microbial composition and diversity using phospholipid fatty acids (PLFAs) and high-throughput sequencing. We explore the correlations between soil microbes and abiotic and biotic factors. We conduct greenhouse experiments to study the effects of soil microbes on plant growth.


The project is coordinated by Fornalab, Ghent University, Belgium, by Shiyu Ma (Shiyu.Ma[AT], Pieter De Frenne and Kris Verheyen, in collaboration with the FLEUR network.