Welcome to my website!
My name is Nadia Maaroufi, I work in the fields of ecosystem and soil ecology, and I am primarily interested in relationships and interactions between above- and below-ground organisms. I investigate how global change drivers impact soil functioning, soil biota and plant-soil interactions.
You will find below my curent research projects:
Land-use intensification alters ecosystem functions in grasslands: insights from the soil fungal community (FORMAS)
Global change is altering ecosystems worldwide and affecting groups such as soil fungi that are key drivers of many ecosystem services. Land-use intensification in grassland causes nitrogen (N) enrichment and loss of plant diversity and changes in plant functional composition. Despite advances in our understanding of some of these processes, little is known about how they jointly and interactively affect soil fungal communities and their functioning.
The overall aim of this project is to characterize the response of the soil fungal community to these aspects of global change and its effects on important ecosystem functions and services. I will sample soil fungal communities in a unique field experiment that manipulates plant species richness and functional composition together with N addition and will determine the abundance and diversity of functional groups such as saprotrophs, pathogens and mycorrhizae. I will relate these data on different fungal functional groups with existing measures of forage quality, soil fertility, soil enzymatic activity and carbon storage. Finally, I will conduct additional greenhouse experiments,
using soil collected from the field site, to determine how changes in the soil fungal community feedback to affect plant growth. This research will provide mechanistic insights into how poorly studied fungal groups respond to global change and affect function, which will contribute to the design of more sustainable grassland management systems.
The effect of ecosystem engineers on ecosystem functioning
In Europe and particularly in Sweden, the wild boar population have increased and its Scandinavian population is currently expanding northwards outside its preferred forest habitats. I have been using two approaches, one experimental simulating rooting at different intensities and another by sampling natural rooted areas and adjacent intact soil and vegetation.
The effect of anthropogenic nitrogen deposition on the net carbon balance of boreal soils (CMF, KSLA)
Since the 20th century anthropogenic activities has increased the nitrogen released into the atmosphere which may impact boreal forest and soils. The goal of this project is to explore the different mechanisms via which nitrogen deposition impacts upon soil carbon inputs and losses by assessing shifts in the aboveground litter quality and quantity, litter decomposition, soil respiration and the microbial community structure and biomass (e.g., ectomycorrhizal fungi).
I have been also interested in using nematode and mite functional groups as indicators of soil functioning.