Petra Straková

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Description of research and teaching

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Specialized in Chemometrics, FTIR analyses of plants and soil

My research at Helsinki University focused on biogeochemical processes in boreal peatlands and their responses to climatic and/or land-use changes. I studied the interactions between plant community composition, microbial enzyme activity, rates of organic matter (plant litter, peat) decomposition and environmental conditions in pristine and drained peatlands. My ultimate qoal was to quantify how each of these factors contribute to the C sink/source function of peatlands under different conditions, and to provide decomposition data and models that could be used for verifying the functionality and reliability of ecosystem-level C models and for developing them further.

This research vas initiated during my doctoral study, results from the early stage of litter decomposition process are summarized in my doctoral thesis "Carbon dynamics in peatlands under changing hydrology: Effects of water level drawdown on litter quality, microbial enzyme activities and litter decomposition rates" (approved with distinction -kiittäen hyväksytty-, received the Doctoral Thesis Award from the Finnish Society of Forest Science).

Fields of Science

  • 4112 Forestry

International and National Collaboration

Publications and projects within past five years.