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Ecosystem response to drought: unravelling the unexplored role of plant-soil feedback

Total Cost €


EC-Contrib. €






Project "SHIFTFEEDBACK" data sheet

The following table provides information about the project.


Organization address
address: SPUI 21
postcode: 1012WX

contact info
title: n.a.
name: n.a.
surname: n.a.
function: n.a.
email: n.a.
telephone: n.a.
fax: n.a.

 Coordinator Country Netherlands [NL]
 Total cost 1˙500˙000 €
 EC max contribution 1˙500˙000 € (100%)
 Programme 1. H2020-EU.1.1. (EXCELLENT SCIENCE - European Research Council (ERC))
 Code Call ERC-2019-STG
 Funding Scheme ERC-STG
 Starting year 2020
 Duration (year-month-day) from 2020-01-01   to  2024-12-31


Take a look of project's partnership.

# participants  country  role  EC contrib. [€] 
1    UNIVERSITEIT VAN AMSTERDAM NL (AMSTERDAM) coordinator 1˙500˙000.00


 Project objective

Drought is severely threatening our ecosystems and their functioning: it causes strong shifts in plant community composition that are difficult to revert. Positive feedbacks often underlie these dramatic shifts, but in many ecosystems drought causes fast-growing species to increase. These species are not only vulnerable to drought, but they also suffer negative plant-soil feedback, i.e. they change the soil microbial community in a way that keeps their own abundance in check. Thus, drought-induced shifts in plant communities do not result from positive feedbacks, unless drought changes plant-soil feedback. We know that plant-soil feedback drives plant community succession, but its role in community response to drought has never been explored. Here, I will unravel whether and how changes in plant-soil feedback underlie strong shifts in plant community composition following drought. This knowledge is crucial for mitigating the effects of drought on terrestrial ecosystems.

My objectives are: 1. Examining how drought affects plant community and soil microbial community composition and the implications for plant-soil feedback 2. Quantifying the effects of plant-plant and plant-microbial interactions on plant growth and subsequent shifts in plant community composition in response to drought 3. Disentangling the mechanisms underlying drought-induced changes in plant-soil feedback

I will address these objectives in a novel set of approaches. I will identify general patterns in plant-soil feedback across European drought experiments, and assess the role of plant-plant and plant-microbial interactions across a Dutch secondary successional gradient. In a set of targeted mesocosm experiments, I will elucidate the mechanisms underlying changes in plant-soil feedback and the consequences for plant community composition. These approaches will result in a step-change in understanding the dynamics of plant-soil interactions under drought and the consequences for ecosystem change.

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The information about "SHIFTFEEDBACK" are provided by the European Opendata Portal: CORDIS opendata.

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