Thursday, August 5, 2010: 8:00 AM-11:30 AM
310-311, David L Lawrence Convention Center
OOS 41 - Plant Genotypic and Microbial Controls Over Ecosystem Processes: The Role of Diversity in Modulating Response to Global Change
The goal of the proposed session is to review current thinking and explore future research directions regarding the effects of plant genotypic and microbial diversity on ecosystem processes, and how these relationships might determine ecosystem response to global change. We are particularly interested in exploring the potential for interactions between these two trophic levels – e.g., how plant genotypic diversity indirectly influences ecosystem processes via its impact on microbial community composition, and vice-versa. Ecologists have a longstanding interest in the relationship between biodiversity and ecosystem processes. For example, the influence of species richness and/or functional group diversity on productivity in plant communities has been explored extensively, and has been the source of considerable debate among ecologists. More recently, it has become clear that intraspecific richness can act as a functional surrogate for interspecific richness in species-depauperate systems where a single foundation species forms the dominant structural component of the community. Thus, the genotypic diversity of producers (e.g., cottonwoods) has been shown to increase ecosystem productivity. Although the fundamental importance of microorganisms to ecosystem processes such as decomposition has long been recognized, efforts to link function to specific members of the microbial community have historically been very difficult. Recently, advances in molecular techniques have revolutionized microbial ecology by enabling investigators to characterize variation in community composition more or less in situ, as well as to explore its link to biogeochemical functions. As a result, numerous recent studies have demonstrated a correlation between microbial community composition and ecosystem process rates like decomposition, and there is growing evidence in support of a link between environmental change and microbial structure-function relationships. Given the intimate relationship between producers and decomposers, the effects of biodiversity on ecosystem processes is likely regulated to a large degree by complex interactions between these trophic levels. For example, microbially-mediated decomposition is dependent upon organic matter inputs from plants, and thus it no surprise that plant community composition can influence both microbial structure and function. Recently, investigators have demonstrated that within-species variation can have a similar effect. It is also likely that microbial community composition influences plant productivity - based upon both model predictions and empirical evidence that microbes have important direct (via mutualistic or pathogenic symbioses) and indirect (via competitive or facilitative interactions) affects on plants, but there have been few experimental tests of this relationship.
Organizer:Steven Travis, Univ. of New England
Co-organizer:Gregory Zogg, University of New England
Moderator:Gregory Zogg, Univ. of New England
8:00 AMConsequences of genotype identity on ecological processes and response to disturbance in a marine foundation species
Fiona Tomas, Instituto Mediterraneo de Estudios Avanzados (IMEDEA) CSIC, Jessica M. Abbott, University California, Davis, Clare Steinberg, University California, Davis, Meghan Balk, University California Davis, Susan L. Williams, UC Davis, John J. Stachowicz, University California, Davis
8:20 AMBelowground microbial community structure influences plant evolution
Jennifer A. Lau, Michigan State University, Jay T. Lennon, Michigan State University
8:40 AMGenetic or genotypic diversity and population stability: Conflicting evidence from experimental data versus field surveys
Sophie Arnaud-Haond, Institut Français de Recherche pour l'Exploitation de la MER
9:00 AMThe relationship between microbial composition and ecosystem processes in a New England tidal marsh
Heather Reed, University of Massachusetts, Jennifer B.H. Martiny, University of California, Irvine
9:20 AMEnvironmental controls of microbial diversity and function in freshwater wetlands
Rima Franklin, Virginia Commonwealth University
9:40 AMBreak
9:50 AMA community genetics approach for understanding microbial community structure and feedbacks on foundation tree species
Thomas G. Whitham, Northern Arizona University, Louis J. Lamit, Northern Arizona University, David Solance Smith, Northern Arizona University, Arthur R. Keith, Northern Arizona University, Posy E. Busby, Stanford University, Matthew K. Lau, Northern Arizona University
10:10 AMComplementarity and dominance contribute to genotypic diversity effects on marine plant biomass
A. Randall Hughes, Florida State University, John J. Stachowicz, University of California, Davis, Rebecca J. Best, University of California, Davis
10:30 AMPlant-defined genetic mosiacs of ecosystem functioning in terrestrial ecosystems
Michael D. Madritch, Appalachian State University
10:50 AMLinking composition to function in soil microbial communities - current thinking and future directions
Christopher B. Blackwood, Kent State University, Donald R. Zak, University of Michigan
11:10 AMTemporal patterns of microbial response to fire and multiple global change factors
Jessica LM Gutknecht, Helmoltz- Centre for Environmental Research- UFZ, Teri C. Balser, University of Wisconsin-Madison

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