Doctor Catarina Martins


Catarina MartinsGraduated PhD 2016

Thesis Title

Identifying drivers of greenhouse gas flux feedback responses to global change

Research Project

Since the start of the industrial era human activities have been impacting climate change with increasing emissions of greenhouse gases (GHG), altering the Earth's energy balance. Methane (CH4) and nitrous oxide (N2O) are one of the principal greenhouse gases with increasing concentration in the atmosphere. The global warming potential of CH4 is 25 times that of carbon dioxide (CO2), and N2O 298 times higher relative to CO2 on a 100-year time horizon.

Major pathways of greenhouse gas production and consumption in terrestrial ecosystems are microbial processes. However, the response of functional microbial groups associated with production and consumption of GHG to future climate conditions and its consequences for GHG emissions (feedback responses) are not fully known. In order to improve future projections of GHG emissions and to further understand their different regulatory levels of control from soil to the atmosphere, feedback responses of GHG emissions to global change will be investigated over different land use and climate change treatments. A range of manipulative field based experiments and a controlled environment laboratory experiment will be considered. The mechanistic understanding of the GHG feedback responses will be linked to shifts in functional microbial communities known to be responsible for CH4 and N2O emissions and supported by different physiochemical properties of the soil in order to better understand the environmental control exerted on the emissions.


Best poster - 20th World Congress of Soil Science in Jeju, South Korea, 2014


Martins CSC, Nazaries L, Delgado-Baquerizo M, Macdonald CA, Anderson IC, Hobbie SE, Venterea RT, Reich PB, Singh BK, (2017) 'Identifying environmental drivers of greenhouse gas emissions under warming and reduced rainfall in boreal–temperate forests', Functional Ecology, (in press)

Martins CSC, Macdonald CA, Anderson IC, Singh BK, (2016) 'Feedback responses of soil greenhouse gas emissions to climate change are modulated by soil characteristics in dryland ecosystems', Soil Biology and Biochemistry, vol.100, pp 21-32

Martins CS, Nazaries L, Macdonald CA, Anderson IC, Singh BK, (2015) 'Water availability and abundance of microbial groups are key determinants of greenhouse gas fluxes in a dryland forest ecosystem', Soil Biology and Biochemistry, vol.86, pp 5-16

Research Project Supervisors

Professor Brajesh Singh, Professor Ian Anderson, Dr Catriona Macdonald

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