Short CV/Education and training


  • 2003
    PhD in plant ecology and ecophysiology, University of Tartu

  • 1997
    MSc in plant ecology and ecophysiology, University of Tartu

  • 1995
    BSc in botany and ecology, University of Tartu

Work experience

  • Since 2008
    Senior Research Fellow in Landscape Ecology, Institute of Ecology and Earth Sciences, University of Tartu

  • 2004 – 2008
    Researcher, Institute of Geography, University of Tartu

  • 2004
    I've worked as research assistant for different scientific projects, and also as botanist for Estonian Forest Conservation Area Network

Selected publications

  • Walker, T.W.N.; Janssens, I.A.; Weedon, J.T.; Sigurdsson, B.D.; Richter, A.; Peñuelas, J.; Leblans, N.I.W.; Bahn, M.; Bartrons, M.; De Jonge, C.; Fuchslueger, L.; Gargallo-Garriga, A.; Gunnarsdóttir, G.E.; Marañón-Jiménez, S.; Oddsdóttir, E.S.; Ostonen, I.; Poeplau, Ch.; Prommer, J.; Radujković, D.; Sardans, J. ... Verbruggen, E. (2020). A systemic overreaction to years versus decades of warming in a subarctic grassland ecosystem. Nature Ecology & Evolution, 4, 101−108.10.1038/s41559-019-1055-3.

  • Halbritter, A.H.; De Boeck, H.J; Eycott, A.E.; Reinsch, S.; Robinson, D.A.; Vicca, S. …Ostonen, I. et al (2020). The handbook for standardised field and laboratory measurements in terrestrial climate‐change experiments and observational studies (ClimEx). Methods in Ecology and Evolution.

  • Kriiska, K.; Frey, J.; Asi, E.; Kabral, N.; Uri, V.; Aosaar, J.; Varik, M.; Napa, Ü.; Apuhtin, V.; Timmusk, T.; Ostonen, I. (2019). Variation in annual carbon fluxes affecting the SOC pool in hemiboreal coniferous forests in Estonia. Forest Ecology and Management, 433, 419−430.

  • Parts, K., Tedersoo, L., Schindlbacher, A., Sigurdsson, B.D., Leblans, N.I.W., Oddsdóttir, E.S., Borken, W., Ostonen, I. (2019) Acclimation of Fine Root Systems to Soil Warming: Comparison of an Experimental Setup and a Natural Soil Temperature Gradient. Ecosystems 22 (3), 457−472.DOI:10.1007/s10021-018-0280-y

  • Ostonen, I., Truu, M., Helmisaari, H.-S., Lukac, M., Borken, W., Vanguelova, E., Godbold, D.L., Lõhmus, K., Zang, U., Tedersoo, L., Preem, J.-K., Rosenvald, K., Aosaar, J., Armolaitis, K., Frey, J., Kabral, N., Kukumägi, M., Leppälammi-Kujansuu, J., Lindroos, A.-J., Merilä, P., Napa, Ü., Nöjd, P., Parts, K., Uri, V., Varik, M., Truu, J. (2017) Adaptive root foraging strategies along a boreal–temperate forest gradient. New Phytologist, 215 (3), pp. 977-991. DOI: 10.1111/nph.14643

  • Parts, K., Tedersoo, L., Lõhmus, K., Kupper, P., Rosenvald, K., Sõber, A., Ostonen, I. (2013) Increased air humidity and understory composition shape short root traits and the colonizing ectomycorrhizal fungal community in silver birch stands. Forest Ecology and Management, 310, pp. 720-728.

  • Brunner, I.; Bakker, MR.; Björk, RG.; Hirano, Y.; Lukac, M.; Aranda, X.; Børja, I.; Eldhuset, TD.; Helmisaari, HS.; Jourdan, C.; Konôpka, B; López, BC.; Miguel Pérez, C.; Persson, H.; Ostonen, I. (2013). Fine-root turnover rates of European forests revisited: an analysis of data from sequential coring and ingrowth cores. Plant and Soil, 362(1-2), 357 – 372.10.1007%2Fs11104-012-1313-5

  • Ostonen, I.; Rosenvald, K.; Helmisaari, H-S.; Godbold, D.; Parts, K.; Lõhmus, K. (2013). Morphological plasticity of ectomycorrhizal short roots in Betula sp and Picea abies forests across climate and forest succession gradients: its role in changing environments. Frontiers in Plant Science, 4, 335.10.3389/fpls.2013.00335/full

  • Ostonen, I.; Helmisaari, H-S.; Borken, W.; Tedersoo, L.; Kukumägi, M.; Bahram, M.; Lindroos, A-J; Nöjd, P.; Uri, V.; Merilä, P.; Asi, E.; Lõhmus, K. (2011). Fine root foraging strategies in Norway spruce forests across a European climate gradient. Global Change Biology, 17(12), 3620 – 3632.

  • Ostonen, I.; Püttsepp, Ü.; Biel, C.; Alberton, O.; Bakker, M.R.; Lõhmus, K.; Majdi, H.; Metcalfe, D.; Olsthoorn, A.; Pronk, A.; Vanguelova, E.; Weih, M.; Brunner, I. (2007). Specific root length as an indicator of environmental change. Plant Biosystems, 141(3), 426 – 442.10.1080/11263500701626069

Complete list of publications

Selected projects

Membership in scientific bodies/juries

  • Associate Editor for ‘Forest soils’ section in Frontiers in Forests and Global Change, since 2020

  • Silva Fennica, Member of the Editorial Board, since 2019

  • Forestry Journal, Member of Editorial Board, since 2016

  • Leader of Estonian research group in FORHOT (Natural soil warming in natural grasslands and a Sitka spruce forest in Iceland, project, since 2013

  • Main organizer of the 7th International Symposium on Physiological Processes in Roots of Woody Plants (Woody Root 7), 26.-29 June 2017, 146 participants, 2017

  • Vice Chair of FPS COST Action FP1305 "Linking belowground biodiversity and ecosystem function in European forests (BioLink)", 2014 − 2018

  • The organizer of training school "Belowground Carbon Turnover in Forests" in frame of COST FP0803 and doctoral School of Earth Sciences and Ecology of University of Tartu, 2011

  • Leader of WG 1 (Fine root turnover) in COST FP0803 project "Belowground carbon turnover in European Forests", 2009 − 2013

  • Participation in international project "Age of tree root and understorey rhizome carbon across ecological gradients in boreal forests – radiocarbon isotope approach", 2008 − 2011

  • Participation in SNS project "How much do roots contribute to the C budget of forest soils? Nordic network on role of roots in the carbon budget of forest soils", 2008

  • Member of working group 1 "Roots as indicators of environmental change" in project COST E38 "Woody Root Processes", 2004 − 2008

  • Member of International Society of Root Research and Estonian Naturalists´ Society, since 1995


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