OOS 21
Urban Soil Biodiversity: A New Frontier in Ecological Science and Education

Tuesday, August 11, 2015: 8:00 AM-11:30 AM
340, Baltimore Convention Center
Katalin Szlavecz, Johns Hopkins University
Richard V. Pouyat, USDA Forest Service; and Stephanie Yarwood, University of Maryland
Tara L. E. Trammell, University of Delaware
Biodiversity as an ecological concept is difficult for people to personally experience due in part to the fact that the majority of humans now live in urban areas. Moreover, the role of extremely diverse soil biota is often overlooked in assessing soil ecosystem services. Indeed, for much of the terrestrial ecosystems of the world, soil community structure and function reflect both natural and human disturbance and stress. For example, logging, agriculture, urbanization, and human caused environmental change can dramatically alter the species composition of soil biota and thus how these soils function. However, not much is known about the structure and function of soil communities in response to human effects, and whether these effects are similar across regional and global scales. For example, are urban soil processes and communities more similar across global scales than the native soil ecosystems replaced by urban development? This organized oral session will highlight what we suggest is a relatively new frontier in the ecological sciences—urban soil ecology and the biodiversity of soils in urban landscapes, and how investigations of soil biodiversity and functioning in urban soils represent an excellent opportunity to educate the public on the importance of biological diversity and ecology in general. The first presentation will examine the importance of soil biodiversity from a global perspective to be followed by a history of research addressing the relationship of soil biodiversity and function. The next presentation will explore ways in which urban soil ecological systems can be incorporated into K-12 and undergraduate education instruction as well as urban community revitalization efforts. The next three talks will focus on the potential effects of urbanization on soil communities and their functioning from a local to global perspective and how research in urban soil ecology can advance our overall understanding of ecological systems in general. Finally, two case studies will be presented, one examining the connection between urban soil biodiversity and soil health and the other reports on two urban soil networks that assess large scale patterns of soil biodiversity but vary in their overall approach.
8:00 AM
 Global soil biodiversity: A new frontier in ecology
Tandra Fraser, Colorado State University; Diana H Wall, Colorado State University
8:20 AM
 Soil biodiversity and function: A historical perspective
Heikki Setala, University of Helsinki
8:40 AM
 Soil ecology and environmental literacy in your neighborhood
John C. Moore, Colorado State University; Jennifer Doherty, University of Washington; Laurel Hartley, University of Colorado -Denver; Alan Berkowitz, Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies
9:00 AM
 The biogeography of urban soil microbes
Stephanie Yarwood, University of Maryland; Dietrich Epp Schmidt, University of Maryland
9:20 AM
 Patterns and processes of soil faunal biodiversity in urban ecosystems
Parwinder S. Grewal, The University of Tennessee
9:40 AM
9:50 AM
 Ecosystem functioning of urban soils: A global perspective
Richard V. Pouyat, USDA Forest Service; Ian D. Yesilonis, USDA Forest Service
10:10 AM
 Belowground functional diversity and resilience of health clinic gardens in South Africa
Marié J. du Toit, North-West University; Frank Fourie, North-West University; Sarel S. Cilliers, North-West University; Hendrika Fourie, North-West University; Pieter D. Theron, North-West University
10:30 AM
 Global comparisons of urban ecosystems: Two case studies
David Johannes Kotze, University of Helsinki; Richard V. Pouyat, USDA Forest Service; Heikki Setälä, University of Helsinki; Katalin Szlavecz, Johns Hopkins University
10:50 AM
 Arthropod diversity and decomposition processes in urban ecosystems: Effects of habitat complexity
Alessandro Ossola, University of Melbourne; Amy K. Hahs, University of Melbourne; Fiona J. Christie, University of Melbourne; Michael A. Nash, South Australian Research and Development Institute; Stephen J. Livesley, The University of Melbourne