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Dr Nina Lindstrøm Friggens

Dr Nina Lindstrøm Friggens

Postdoctoral Research Fellow

 Amory C255


Amory Building, University of Exeter, Rennes Drive, Exeter, EX4 4RJ , UK


Nina is a plant-soil ecologist investigating the carbon cycle in the Arctic and permafrost regions. Her current work focuses on whether the formation of new soil organic matter through plant inputs can offset the predicted loss of carbon from thawing permafrost soils.

Nina’s academic career to date has been centered on understanding the dynamics of plant-soil interactions and their effects on soil carbon storage and climate change. The primary focus of her research is the dependent interactions between plants and soil mediated by mycorrhizal fungi and how this drives soil carbon storage dynamics in a changing world.

During her PhD at the University of Stirling (2016-2020) she investigated how planting native tree species onto heather moorlands in the Scottish uplands affects ecosystem carbon storage, both above and below ground, over decadal time scales. She also spent a considerable amount of time in the Swedish sub-Arctic exploring how tree-line forest species interact with soils via roots and mycorrhizas using stable isotopes of carbon and nitrogen.

Broad Research Specialisms

Plant-soil interactions, Soil carbon dynamics, tree planting, stable isotope labelling, Arctic ecology


PhD ‘Webs of influence: Investigating the effects of the forest mycorrhizosphere on soil carbon storage in a changing world’, University of Stirling

BSc (Hons) Plant Science, University of Edinburgh

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Research interests

Nina is interested in the links between plants and soil, how processes above ground affect processes below ground and vice versa, particularly in the context of global change. Globally soils store more carbon than vegetation and the atmosphere combined, most of which is stored at high latitudes and in the Arctic where the climate is warming faster than anywhere else on earth. This global change is altering Northern and Arctic plant communities and consequently soil carbon dynamics in ways we have yet to fully understand.

Nina’s current research aims to answer whether the formation of new soil organic matter can offset predicted thaw-induced permafrost soil carbon losses, and if yes, to what extent?

Research projects

NERC: ‘Can the formation of new soil organic matter offset decomposition losses from thawed permafrost soils?’ (2020-2023)

This NERC funded project led by Professor Iain Hartley will grow an Arctic sedge species Eriophorum vaginatum in contrasting permafrost soil types in a 13C enriched atmosphere. This will enable detection and quantification of plant-derived carbon inputs into different soil organic matter pools as well as soil carbon losses through decomposition and priming.

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Journal articles

Parker TC, Chomel M, Clemmensen KE, Friggens NL, Hartley IP, Johnson D, Kater I, Krab EJ, Lindahl BD, Street LE, et al (2022). Resistance of subarctic soil fungal and invertebrate communities to disruption of below‐ground carbon supply. Journal of Ecology, 110(12), 2883-2897.
Friggens NL, Hartley IP, Parker TC, Subke J, Wookey PA (2022). Trees out‐forage understorey shrubs for nitrogen patches in a subarctic mountain birch forest. Oikos, 2023(4). Abstract.
Friggens NL, Hartley IP, Grant HK, Parker TC, Subke J-A, Wookey PA (2022). Whole-crown 13C-pulse labelling in a sub-arctic woodland to target canopy-specific carbon fluxes. Trees, 36(4), 1437-1445. Abstract.
Parker TC, Clemmensen KE, Friggens NL, Hartley IP, Johnson D, Lindahl BD, Olofsson J, Siewert MB, Street LE, Subke J-A, et al (2020). Rhizosphere allocation by canopy-forming species dominates soil CO2 efflux in a subarctic landscape. New Phytol, 227(6), 1818-1830. Abstract.  Author URL.
Friggens NL, Hester AJ, Mitchell RJ, Parker TC, Subke J, Wookey PA (2020). Tree planting in organic soils does not result in net carbon sequestration on decadal timescales. Global Change Biology, 26(9), 5178-5188. Abstract.
Friggens NL, Aspray TJ, Parker TC, Subke J-A, Wookey PA (2019). Spatial patterns in soil organic matter dynamics are shaped by mycorrhizosphere interactions in a treeline forest. Plant and Soil, 447(1-2), 521-535. Abstract.
Friggens NL (2017). Diversity and community composition of aquatic ascomycetes varies between freshwater, estuarine and marine habitats in western Scotland. Mycosphere, 8(9), 1267-1287.

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Office Hours:

09:00-17:00 hrs

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