Climate shapes the functional trait and species composition of communities. Predicting how communities and ecosystems will respond to ongoing climate change and species loss is a critical area of ecological research. Despite imminent threats from anthropogenic warming and the loss of functionally important species, little is known about the interactive effects of warming and species interactions on biodiversity and the functions it provides. My research generally asks, what are the effects of warming and the loss of dominant species along environmental gradients, both locally and globally?
I'm particularly interested in two key questions.
1) How do the interactive impacts of climate change and species loss on plant communities vary along environmental gradients?
2) What consequences will the resulting changes in plant functional trait
composition have for ecosystem processes mediated by plants, especially soil C storage and turnover?