Year of selection 2011
Institution Queen Mary & Westfield College
Country United Kingdom
Freshwater ecosystems play a key role in the global carbon cycle. They process huge amounts of carbon and can either act as sinks, sequestering CO2 and driving it to the sea, or sources, emitting CO2 into the atmosphere. Matteo Dossena is investigating how global warming may affect these processes. He has demonstrated that the 4°C rise in global temperatures expected by 2100 will increase the rate of decomposition mediated by communities of aquatic organisms. For his PhD, Dossena will investigate how structural changes in the community affect the processing of carbon at the level of an ecosystem. If a rise in temperatures alters the sink/source capacity of freshwater ecosystems, more carbon could be released into the atmosphere, thereby increasing the current rate of global warming. His work may help understand links between temperature rises and carbon cycles, which will be crucial in predicting future changes in the climate.
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