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Professor Richard Bardgett

Formerly at Lancaster University

Richard Bardgett

Research Interests

My research is broadly concerned with understanding the roles that linkages between aboveground and belowground communities play in regulating the structure and function of terrestrial ecosystems, and the response of ecosystems to global change. Much of my research is currently focussed on understanding the role that linkages between plant and soil communities play in the delivery of ecosystem services, especially soil carbon sequestration and nutrient cycling. Most of this research is field-based and is carried out in a range of terrestrial ecosystems around the world. Please follow link for more information on about my research, personnel and publications of the Soil and Ecosystem Ecology Group.

Some of our recent research is featured in a Special Feature of the Journal of Ecology on plant-soil interactions and the carbon cycle http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/jec.2009.97.issue-5/issuetoc



1984-1987 BSc (Hons): Soil and Land Resource Science, University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, UK.

1987-1990 PhD: Grazer effects on soil biological properties of mountain grasslands, University of Lancaster/Institute of Terrestrial Ecology, UK.

Employment history

2002-present Professor of Ecology, Lancaster Environment Centre, Lancaster University

1999-2002 Senior Lecturer Ecology, Department of Biological Sciences, Lancaster University

1995-1999 Lecturer Environmental Biology, School of Biological Sciences, University of Manchester

1991-1995 Research Scientist, Soil Ecology, Institute of Grassland & Environmental Research (IGER), Aberystwyth

1990-1991 Scientific Officer, Nature Conservancy Council, Blackwell, Cumbria

Editorial roles: I am currently a Chief Editor of Journal of Ecology (2006-present) and a member of the Editorial Boards of Ecology Letters (2006-present) and Ecosystems (2006-present).

Other professional responsibilities: I am Chair of BBSRC’s Committee B (2010-present), which is responsible for responsive mode funding in plant, soil and microbial science, food security and sustainable farming, and a member of BBSRC’s Appointments Board (2010-present). I am also a member of the Rothamsted Research Board of Directors (2009-present), the Scientific Advisory Committee of the Netherlands Institute of Ecology (NIOO) (2007-present), the Steering Committee Global Mountain Biodiversity Assessment (GMBA), DIVERSITAS (2005-present); the Advisory Board INCREASE, an EU-funded trans-European Integrated Network on Climate Research Activities on Shrubland Ecosystems (2009-present), the Advisory Board for SEERAD Environment Research, Macaulay Institute (2006-present), act as a Coordinating Lead Author for the UK National Ecosystem Assessment (2009-present).


2009 ISI Highly Cited Researcher in the field of Environment/Ecology

2006 Honorary Fellow of the Royal Society of New Zealand

2006 Marsh Ecology Book of the Year Award, British Ecological Society.

2003 Erskine Fellow, Canterbury University, New Zealand

1998 OECD Postdoctoral Fellow 1998, Landcare, Lincoln, New Zealand.

1995 BBSRC Science Communication Award

1992 George Stapledon Memorial Fellow, DSIRO, New Zealand.

1986 Sydney Houre Collins Prize, University Newcastle-upon-Tyne

Additional Information


Bardgett, R.D. and Wardle, D.A. (2010) Aboveground-Belowground Linkages: Biotic Interactions, Ecosystem Processes, and Global Change. Oxford Series in Ecology and Evolution, Oxford University Press. http://ukcatalogue.oup.com/product/9780199546886.do

Bardgett, R.D. (2005) The Biology of Soil: A Community and Ecosystem Approach. Oxford University Press. (Awarded Marsh Ecology Book of the Year 2006.) http://ukcatalogue.oup.com/product/9780198525035.do

Bardgett, R.D., Usher, M.B. and Hopkins, D.W. (Editors) (2005) Biological Diversity and Function in Soils. Cambridge University Press. http://www.cambridge.org/uk/catalogue/catalogue.asp?isbn=0521609879

Selected publications

De Deyn, G.B. Quirk, H. & Bardgett, R.D. (2010) Plant species richness, identity and productivity differentially influence key groups of microbes in grassland soils of contrasting fertility. Biology Letters, in press.

Singh, B.J., Bardgett, R.D., Smith P. & Reay, D.S. (2010) Microorganisms and climate change: terrestrial feedbacks and mitigation options. Nature Reviews Microbiology, 8, 779-790.

Quinton, J. N. , Govers, G. Van Oost, K. & Bardgett, R.D. (2010) The impact of agricultural soil erosion on biogeochemical cycling. Nature Geoscience, 3, 311-314.

Ward, S.E., Ostle, N.J., McNamara, N.P. & Bardgett, R.D. (2010) Litter evenness influences short-term peatland decomposition processes. Oecologia, 164, 511–520

Orwin, K.A., Buckland, S.M., Johnson, D., Turner, B., Oakley, S., Smart, S. & Bardgett, R.D. (2010) Linkages between plant traits and soil properties related to the functioning of temperate grassland. Journal of Ecology, 98, 1074-1083.

Harrison, K.A. & Bardgett, R.D. (2010) Influence of plant species and soil conditions on plant–soil feedback in mixed grassland communities. Journal of Ecology, 98, 384-395.

De Deyn, G. B., Quirk, H., Zou, Y., Oakley, S, Ostle, N.J. & Bardgett, R.D. (2009) Vegetation composition promotes carbon and nitrogen storage in model grassland communities of contrasting soil fertility. Journal of Ecology, 97, 864-875.

Bardgett, R.D., Freeman, C. & Ostle, N.J. (2008) Microbial contributions to climate change thropugh carbon-cycle feedbacks. The ISME Journal, 2, 805-814.

De Deyn, G.B., Cornelissen, J.H.C. & Bardgett, R.D. (2008) Plant functional traits and soil carbon sequestration in contrasting biomes. Ecology Letters, 11, 516-531.

Van der Heijden, M.G.A., Bardgett, R.D. & van Straalen, N.M. (2008) The unseen majority: soil microbes as drivers of plant diversity and productivity in terrestrial ecosystems. Ecology Letters, 11, 296-310

Bardgett, R.D., Richter, A., Bol, R., Garnett, M.H., Bäumler, R., Xu, X., Lopez-Capel, E., Manning, D., Hobbs, P.J., Hartley, I.R. & Wanek, W. (2007) Heterotrophic microbial communities use ancient carbon following glacial retreat. Biology Letters, 3 487-490.

Harrison, K.A., Bol, R. & Bardgett, R.D. (2007) Preferences for uptake of different nitrogen forms by co-existing plant species and soil microbes in temperate grasslands. Ecology 88, 989-999.

Bardgett, R.D. , Smith, R.S., Shiel, R.S., Peacock, S., Simkin, J.M., Quirk, H. & Hobbs, P.J. (2006) Parasitic plants indirectly regulate belowground properties in grassland ecosystems. Nature, 439, 969-972.

Bardgett, R.D., Bowman, W.D., Kaufmann, R. and Schmidt, S.K. (2005) Linking aboveground and belowground communities: A temporal approach Trends in Ecology and Evolution 20, 634-641.

Heath, J., Ayres, E., Possell, M., Bardgett, R.D., Black, H.I.J., Grant, H., Ineson, P. & Kersteins, G. (2005) Rising atmospheric CO2 reduces soil carbon sequestration. Science 309, 1711-1713.

Johnson, D., Kresk, M., Stott, A.W., Cole, L., Bardgett, R.D., Read, D.J. & Leake, J.R. (2005) Soil invertebrates disrupt carbon flow through fungal networks. Science 309, 1047-1047.

Wardle, D.A., Walker, L.R. & Bardgett, R.D. (2004) Ecosystem properties and forest decline in contrasting long-term chronosequences. Science 305, 509-513.

Wardle, D.A. Bardgett, R.D., Klironomos, J.N., Setälä, H., van der Putten, W.H. & Wall, D.H. (2004) Ecological linkages between aboveground and belowground biota, Science 304, 1634-1637.

Bardgett, R.D. & Wardle, D.A. (2003) Herbivore mediated linkages between aboveground and belowground communities. Ecology, 84, 2258-2268. .

Bardgett, R.D., Streeter, T. & Bol, R. (2003) Soil microbes compete effectively with plants for organic nitrogen inputs to temperate grasslands. Ecology, 84, 1277-1287.

Bardgett, R.D. (2002) Causes and consequences of biological diversity in soil. Zoology, 105, 367-374.

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