Subproject 07: Soil multistability (1 PhD position)

Principle Investigators: Nico Eisenhauer, Leipzig University; Simone Cesarz, Leipzig University; Cordula Vogel, Technical University Dresden


Healthy and stable soil is a prerequisite for well-functioning terrestrial ecosystems and has thus been proposed to play a key role in plant diversity–ecosystem functioning relationships. The overall objective of this subproject is to study multidimensional soil stability as affected by plant diversity in a long-term plant diversity experiment. We designed three coordinated work packages (WPs) to comprehensively assess soil multistability to environmental fluctuations and climate extremes by considering the biological, chemical, physical dimensions that are key for soil functioning. In close collaboration with other subprojects, we will assess biological, chemical, and physical soil properties and stability indicators that will be used to calculate soil multifunctionality and multistability indices. We propose to use a combination of simple, high-throughput (e.g., bait-lamina test) and more sophisticated methods (e.g., extracellular polymeric substances analyses) to be able to investigate temporal dynamics of soil processes and their mechanistic basis.

With this project the PhD student will learn to use a wide portfolio of field and lab techniques in plant and soil ecology as well as novel statistical approaches to assess soil multifunctionality and multistability under drought stress.

Available positions: 1 PhD student

Job advertisement :

Contact: Prof. Dr. Nico Eisenhauer (