Research: Dr Matt Saunders

This project, which is currently at the planning stage, will investigate the impact of climate change (increasing temperatures, elevated CO2) and water availability on plant growth systems. A series of open-top chambers – plastic enclosures, with an open top – will be set up to contain the plants. The conditions within these chambers will be controlled from a specially housed unit which can be set up to control the air turbulence and CO2 concentrations within the chambers. This project will have an important application for testing the response of plants in intensively managed production systems (grasslands and arable crops), but will also be used to investigate the impacts of changing climate on natural ecosystem function.