Frontiers in the Evolution of Plant-Soil-Microbe Interactions: Linking Ecology and Evolution Belowground

Wednesday, August 12, 2015: 1:30 PM-5:00 PM
308, Baltimore Convention Center
Jennifer Schweitzer, ESA- Soil Ecology Chair
Richard Lankau, University of Georgia; and Jennifer Lau, Michigan State University
Jennifer Schweitzer, ESA- Soil Ecology Chair
Soils are an important selective environment and the complex interactions among soils, plants, and microorganisms (especially mutualists) may cause important evolutionary dynamics that are just beginning to be examined and disentangled. The goal of this symposium is to highlight the range of evolutionary interactions among soils-plants-microbes. Understanding soil-plant-microbe interactions has implications for plant adaptation to a range of global change factors across a range of biotic and abiotic gradients. A purely ecological understanding of species interactions ignores feedbacks and evolutionary responses that can change the trajectory of species interactions and the long-term persistence of populations in the face of global change. These ideas/talks will be of broad interest to ESA members as they incorporate the growing field of eco-evo dynamics, speak to important theoretical and applied questions in above- and belowground interactions and addresses feedbacks that can both stabilize or destabilize ecological processes over time. Our speakers span a range of perspectives, from the evolutionary ecology of plant-soil-microbe interactions and how soil microbes influence natural selection on plant traits (e.g., speaker Wagner) to the genetic mechanisms controlling these interactions (e.g., speaker Heath). Our first speakers (Wagner, Piculell) will illustrate the evolutionary ecology of plant-soil-microbe interactions: how soils and the microbes they harbor can influence patterns of natural selection on plants. The next speaker (Heath) will showcase the mechanisms by which these complex evolutionary interactions occur, focusing on the genomics and genetic mechanisms that allow microbes to be key players in eco-evolutionary dynamics and the biogeochemical mechanisms through which changes in microbial communities have such large impacts on plants. Finally, the last three speakers (Porter, Maherali, Rodriguez) will demonstrate how the evolutionary dynamics between plants, microbes, and soils are relevant to ecology; how these evolutionary interactions affect ecological outcomes and responses to pressing global changes. As a result, this collection of speakers will illustrate the links between genomics and ecosystems and the evolutionary connections between above- and belowground processes.
1:30 PM
 Examining the evolutionary interactions of loblolly pine with both beneficial and pathogenic fungi
Bridget J. Piculell, University of Mississippi; C. Dana Nelson, Southern Institute of Forest Genetics; James Roberds, Southern Institute of Forest Genetics; Lori G. Eckhardt, Auburn University; Jason D. Hoeksema, University of Mississippi
2:00 PM
 The role of soil microbes in local adaptation and the evolution of plant functional traits
Maggie Wagner, North Carolina State University; Derek S. Lundberg, Max Planck Institute for Developmental Biology; Susannah G. Tringe, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory; Jeffery L. Dangl, University of North Carolina; Thomas Mitchell-Olds, Duke University
2:30 PM
 Ecological genomics of mutualism decline in response to nitrogen fertilization
Katy D. Heath, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; Jennifer A. Lau, Michigan State University; Dylan Weese, St. Ambrose University; Christie Klinger, University of Illinois
3:00 PM
3:10 PM
 Fitness alignment and conflict in the mutualism between plants and nitrogen-fixing soil symbionts
Stephanie Porter, Washington State University, Vancouver; Ellen Simms, University of California Berkeley
3:40 PM Cancelled
 The fungal microbiome as a driver of plant adaptation and ecology
Rusty Rodriguez, Adaptive Symbiotic Technologies; Regina Redman, Adaptive Symbiotic Technologies
4:10 PM
 Local adaptation and maladaptation of tree populations to microbial communities across ranges
Richard Lankau, University of Wisconsin; Daniel Keymer, University of Wisconsin - Stevens Point
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