BII: New Roots for Restoration: Integrating plant traits, communities, and the soil ecosphere to advance restoration of natural and agricultural ecosystems

    Project: Research project

    Project Details


    Statement of Work During the five year project the PhD student based at Northwestern University will begin on the grant in its second year (fall 2022). This student will be supervised by the PI, Prof Zerega. The dissertation research will be focused on the following questions: 1) How are variation and covariation in below-ground and above-ground plant traits structured among populations within species and are patterns of covariation consistent among populations, and 2) How does intraspecific variation in above- and below-ground traits modulate interspecific competitive relationships and Biodiversity-Ecosystem Function (BEF) relationships? The work will focus on three species: Asteraceae: Silphium integrifolium; Fabaceae: Dalea purpurea, Poaceae: Schizachyrium scoparium; and will take place in both the greenhouses at the Chicago Botanic Garden (CBG) and a research site in Mettawa, IL (ca. 12 miles north of CBG). The student will employ a variety of methods in the experimental design, including micropropagation, above and below ground plant phenotyping using traditional approaches as well as the Phenotyping App (described in proposal), and methods to assess microbiome composition and function.
    Effective start/end date9/1/228/31/26


    • Chicago Botanic Garden (NU.SP0067132//2120153)
    • National Science Foundation (NU.SP0067132//2120153)


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