Managing Belowground Processes In Agroecosystems
Thursday, August 8, 2013: 8:00 AM-11:30 AM
101B, Minneapolis Convention Center
Sarah K. Hargreaves
Lisa A. Schulte
Lisa A. Schulte
Understanding the processes that occur in soil is essential to the stewardship of our managed ecosystems; however, belowground processes and our ability to manage them are poorly understood in comparison to their aboveground counterparts. This organized oral session addresses this knowledge gap by exploring the question: how do we manage agroecosystems for belowground processes that support multiple ecosystem goods and services? By contrasting belowground processes of past, current, and alternative systems, we expect this session to help guide the science and management of agroecosystems for greater long-term sustainability.
The session will start with a review of existing knowledge regarding our ability to manage belowground processes. The bulk of the session will focus on empirical research based on field experiments contrasting current and alternative agroecosystems. These talks will consider the response of roots and microbial communities to management and how these responses affect key outcomes, including decomposition and carbon storage. Plot-scale research will also focus on understanding larger-scale variability of these processes. The final speaker will discuss how site-specific data can be scaled up through the use of models, and used to assist ecologists and land managers predict the effect of management decisions on belowground processes.