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Nicola O'Byrne

Tracking trends in upper ocean mixing around Antarctica

Tracking Trends in Upper Ocean Mixing around Antarctica 400 x 400 px

In the last decade, polar regions have seen rapid climate change. From the sea ice loss and impact on polar bears in the Arctic to rising Antarctic sea level and temperatures and the calving of continent-sized chunks of Antarctic ice sheets. The Southern Ocean surrounding Antarctic is a major source of heat for the region […]

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The dynamics of “ness” sediment spits

The dynamics of “ness” sediment spits 400 x 400 px

We mostly enjoy the coast by visiting the beach, which, apart from the waves and tides, can seem quite static. Viewed from the air, however, the coastline is dynamic and complex, exhibiting many curious shapes, for no apparent reason. One feature quite common on our coasts is a sort of blunt spit, usually composed of […]

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Spatial and temporal patterns of liana success in Malaysia

Spatial and temporal patterns of liana success in Malaysia 400 x 400 px

Tropical forests are a major global carbon sink and account for a third of the carbon fixed globally by photosynthesis. Recent research in South America shows that these forests are changing, including increases in abundance and biomass of lianas (woody vines), which may be a results of changing climatic conditions. Lianas reduce growth and increase […]

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Role of dark septate endophytes and ericoid mycorrhiza in ecosystem resilience to chronic drought

Role of dark septate endophytes and ericoid mycorrhiza in ecosystem resilience to chronic drought 400 x 400 px

Global circulation models predict that severe and widespread drought will occur throughout Europe. Soil is the largest carbon pool of the terrestrial biosphere and is an ofter-overlooked carbon pool that can be highly susceptible to climate change. At one of the UK’s longest running climate change experiments we have found that repeated summer drought has […]

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Risks to global water resources from geoengineering the climate with solar radiation management

Risks to global water resources from geoengineering the climate with solar radiation management 400 x 400 px

Global warming poses grave risks for society and ecosystems. To date, mitigation efforts have been insufficient to prevent greenhouse gas emissions from continuing to rise. Solar radiation management geoengineering has been proposed as a means to slow or reverse global warming by reflecting incoming sunlight back to space. Solar radiation management is receiving growing attention […]

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Quantifying the function of mycorrhizal associations under altered resource availability

Quantifying the function of mycorrhizal associations under altered resource availability 400 x 400 px

Why is this research exciting? The relationship between plants and mycorrhizal fungi is central to the maintenance of plant growth and ecosystem productivity worldwide. Mycorrhizal fungi also play an important role in ecosystem carbon dynamics, but the contributions of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi and ectomycorrhizal fungi to soil carbon storage can differ substantially. Recent evidence suggests […]

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Pollen forecast 2020: using DNA metabarcoding to assess aerial pollen mixtures and identify linkages to hay fever

Pollen forecast 2020 using DNA metabarcoding to assess aerial pollen mixtures and identify linkages to hay fever 400 x 400 px

Approximately 20% of people display allergic reactions to combinations of tree and grass pollen causing symptoms ranging from discomfort (e.g. hay fever) to respiratory complications (e.g. asthma), with associated socio-economic costs to society and health services. Identifying pollen from different species of tree can be achieved using labour-intensive microscopy. Nevertheless, since most grass pollens look […]

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Novel imaging approaches to track rhizosphere carbon flow

Novel imaging approaches to track rhizosphere carbon flow 400 x 400 px

Rhizosphere microbes are key players in the carbon transformations underlying the generation and sustenance of soil organic matter. Recent evidence suggests that the production of stable soil organic matter compounds may be related to microbial recycling of cellular products. Additionally new research reveals that changes in the abundances of specific microbial taxa following fresh nutrient […]

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