Skip to content
Main menu hidden.

Sarah Schwieger

Works at

KBC-huset KB F5, Linnaeus väg 6, Umeå, 5 07 081 Umeå universitet, 901 87 Umeå

I am plant ecologist with a strong focus on belowground ecology. I am studying the effects of climate change on the decomposition on a regional (arctic) to global scale. In a future warmer environment, it is thought that microbes become more active and break up biomass quicker and more carbon is released into the atmosphere in form of CO2 and methane. However, climate change is a bit more complex than that, and the problem is that we don't have a clear idea of how all the different factors that are changing with climate warming will interact and affect the different stages of decomposition. 

The Arctic tundra stores large amounts of carbon in its soils, twice as much as is present in the atmosphere. The Arctic region is warming three times as fast as the rest of the planet. Releasing the stored carbon in the form of CO2 and methane adds to global warming and affects not only people in the Arctic, but around the world. My work aims to understand how decomposition is affected by the many factors that change with climate warming, such as temperature, precipitation, and plant species composition.

Believe it or not, but tea bags can help us shedding light on these important questions. Across the world, standardized methods are used in climate change experiments, such as ITEX open-top chambers (OTC’s). I am working on a synthesis of decomposition data and their drivers obtained with the Tea Bag Index and the use of OTC’s, which allows us to easily collect data on different decomposition stages and perform large-scale comparisons over global scales.

Nature, Springer Nature 2024, Vol. 629, (8010) : 105-113
Maes, S.L.; Dietrich, J.; Midolo, G.; et al.
Scientific Reports, Nature Publishing Group 2023, Vol. 13, (1)
Peters, Bo; Blume-Werry, Gesche; Gillert, Alexander; et al.
Journal of Applied Ecology, John Wiley & Sons 2022, Vol. 59, (8) : 2106-2116
Schwieger, Sarah; Kreyling, Juergen; Peters, Bo; et al.
Plant and Soil, Springer 2021, Vol. 465, (1-2) : 613-621
Blume-Werry, Gesche; Di Maurizio, Vanessa; Beil, Ilka; et al.
Annals of Botany, Oxford University Press 2021, Vol. 127, (3) : 337-346
Schwieger, Sarah; Blume-Werry, Gesche; Ciesiolka, Felix; et al.
Ecosystems (New York. Print), Springer 2021, Vol. 24, (5) : 1093-1109
Schwieger, Sarah; Kreyling, Juergen; Couwenberg, John; et al.
SOIL SYSTEMS, MDPI 2020, Vol. 4, (1)
Jurasinski, Gerald; Ahmad, Sate; Anadon-Rosell, Alba; et al.
Plant and Soil, Springer 2019, Vol. 445, (1-2) : 217-229
Schwieger, Sarah; Blume-Werry, Gesche; Peters, Bo; et al.
Plant and Soil, Vol. 424, (1-2) : 145-156
Schwieger, Sarah; Kreyling, Juergen; Milbau, Ann; et al.
Acta Ornithologica, Vol. 50, (1) : 1-10
Altewischer, Andrea; Buschewski, Ulrike; Ehrke, Christian; et al.
Entomologia Experimentalis et Applicata, The Netherlands Entomological Society 2015, Vol. 155, (3) : 257-265
Kehl, Tobias; Bensch, Julia; Böhm, Friederike; et al.

Research groups

Group member