How does global and local environmental change affect plant populations, communities and ecosystem functioning? Palaeoecological data allow us to extend our ecological “observations” to millennia and beyond. This long-term view offers an essential perspective on how ecosystems change in response to both slow and fast drivers. We use a variety of statistical modelling approaches to test hypotheses about the mechanisms underlying long-term ecosystem dynamics from palaeoecological data.
Elizabeth S Jeffers
Lizzy completed her DPhil in 2010 for her work in MERG and the Oxford Long Term Ecology Lab using a statistical modelling approach to infer how ecosystems functioned in the past and how this varied over time. She is currently Lecturer in Long Term Ecology in the Department of Zoology and continues to use mathematics to unravel the complex drivers of ecosystem dynamics based on evidence in the fossil record.
The research questions that are currently driving her research include: What are the consequences of large herbivore species losses for ecosystem processes? Is nitrogen availability to plants increasing or decreasing over the last few hundred years? How might the provision of important ecosystem services change over time given global and local environmental changes? And how does global and local environmental change affect plant populations, communities and ecosystem functioning?