IGN 3-5
Why Earth system modelers should care about microbial ecology

Tuesday, August 11, 2015
345, Baltimore Convention Center
Steven D. Allison, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology/Earth System Science, University of California, Irvine, CA
We have demonstrated that 21st century predictions from conventional soil models are unreliable. How can they be improved? We need to include the right biological mechanisms. In concert with physical and chemical controls, soil microbial activity controls biogeochemical fluxes. Model predictions change drastically when these controls are implemented. Therefore microbial ecologists need to collaborate with Earth system modelers to explore key biological processes like acclimation, adaptation, and community shifts. Without a concerted effort to represent microbial ecology, Earth system model predictions will remain unreliable.