Dr. Mahesh Sankaran
Community and Ecosystems Ecology
Current research in the lab is grouped around the following broad themes that examine
- How interactions and feedbacks between climate, biogeochemistry, fires and herbivory influence the structure, composition and stability of ecosystems and the cycling and sequestration of nutrients.
- How projected changes in climate such as increasing variability of rainfall, increased frequency of droughts, increasing aridity in the tropics, nitrogen and phosphorus deposition and rising CO2 will impact ecosystem function, stability and services.
Most of our research is carried out in savanna ecosystems in Africa and India. We are now extending this work to encompass a wider range of ecosystem types including rainforests and grasslands. Our current and planned future work will employ both long and short-term experiments, as well as targeted field surveys to address the above questions across the gamut of natural ecosystem types of the Indian sub-continent, with the goal of bringing a comprehensive understanding of biome-scale vegetation and nutrient dynamics in the sub-continent.