Temperate grasslands are a great system to study aboveground – belowground interactions. There are a lot of them in the North of England, and their diversity and species composition are relatively easy to characterise and manipulate. I have done a lot of work in the Lake District and the Yorkshire Dales, often in the rain, and I will continue to work in these systems.
Glaciers are melting. It is a nasty, but very useful truth. As glaciers melt, they expose barren material on which primary succession then starts – because the retreat of glaciers has been very well characterised since the 1850’s a nice and well characterised successional gradient is left behind. These chronosequences are ideal for answering ecological questions about primary succession. I have recently done work on three glaciers – the Odenwinkelkees and Rotmoosferner in Austria, and the Damma in Switzerland – and will continue to do so.
A bit less romantic than the previous two, but ideal for answering questions about how changes in soil biodiversity as a result of management will affect the functioning of soils!