Does CO2 enrichment of temperate forests also affect soil N cycling and the emission of nitrous oxide (N2O)?

About the project or challenge area

Increasing atmospheric CO2 concentrations in temperate forests may affect soil nitrogen (N) cycling processes due to the increased demand for nitrogen availability by tree photosynthesis. This in turn can affect the emission of nitrous oxide (N2O), a potent greenhouse gas, from the forest soil leading to a potential trade-off between the enhanced canopy CO2 uptake and soil N2O emission. Our current understanding of the response of N cycling processes to elevated atmospheric CO2 in mature, unmanaged temperate forests is limited. This project will look at the soil microbial nitrogen activity in the Free-Air CO2 Enrichment (FACE) facility in a mature temperate oak forest by using state-of-the art stable isotope probing techniques.

Why choose this opportunity?

You will receive training in state-of-the art stable isotope techniques, soil nutrient and greenhouse gas analysis and form part of the biogeochemistry research group in the University of Bristol.

About you

Some experience of nutrient or greenhouse gas analysis would be an advantage, although training will be provided.

How to apply

All students can apply using the button below, following the Masters by Research Admissions Statement (PDF, 187kB). Please note that this is an advertised project, which means you only have to complete Section A of the Masters by Research Statement Template (Office document, 68kB).



Your supervisor for this project will be Dr Jo HouseReader in Environmental Science and Policy in the School of Geographical Sciences. You can contact her at +44 (0) 117 928 8303 or email

Find out more about your prospective research community

The Environmental Change theme is a vibrant community of researchers who integrate expertise across multiple disciplines to provide the evidence base and solutions to tackle the world's most pressing environmental challenges. Find out more about the Environmental Change research theme.


Your co-supervisor for this project will be Dr Fotis Sgouridis from the School of Geographical Sciences. You can contact him at +44 (0) 117 928 8078 or email .

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